Now Playing: December 2015

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Most gamers are probably familiar with Quantum of Solace on the PS3 and Xbox 360 where the game is a first-person shooter, as is the case with most 007 games. However Quantum of Solace on the PlayStation 2 is a third-person game developed by Eurocom instead of Call of Duty mainstays at Treyarch. Since this version of the game was released for an older generation of system at the time in 2008, it gets a smaller budget and looks worse than PS2 games from 2004. It gets the job done, but is overall of obvious poorer quality.

The game itself is nothing to write home about. It tries to act like stealth matters at different points, but unless it’s forced upon you, I never felt the need to do so. The best sections of the game was where you’d be chasing an enemy and needed to keep up. The worst aspect was hacking doors/cameras and the QTEs. Skip this game unless you like mental pain.

Free Radical Design’s PS3 exclusive game, Haze, was the next one played. This is an FPS and an mediocre one at best. The story of the game has a good message, but it’s bluntly ham-fisted that it feels forced. Both sides of the conflict are extreme opposites of being angelic and the devil. Most of the game you’ll play as the rebels and I felt it was much more fun for it. Regardless, you can skip this game too unless you like wishing Haze was “the shit” instead of mostly shit.

I’m currently playing TRON: Evolution because I felt the need for some Prince of Persia wall running and platforming in my life. It is as good as ever, but with the cool TRON visuals. Combat can be frustrating at first, but once you get the bomb and stasis discs the fighting is much more fun. You can be creative and slow your enemies down and then pummel them. Of the three games I played this month, TRON: Evolution comes recommended to fans of the Prince of Persia games.

Heavy Metal Shump Madness!

The one game that I’ve been looking to get for awhile has now been obtained. A new copy of Lords of Thunder! Also pictured below are two games left over from last month; Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect.

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To continue with the one game a month purchase, I figured I’d get you all involved. Below are five games from my wish list, hyperlinked to gameplay videos, that interest me the most. You can vote for two of them. The game with the most votes will be the one I go looking for in September.

Double Dragon II (GB)
Castlevania II (GB)
Einhander (PS)
Resident Evil Gaiden (GBC)
Wild Guns (SNES)

Thanks for reading and voting. Later!

2000 Game of the Year

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Note: You may very well disagree with some of my choices, but that’s why it’s a good list.

NOMINEES
Medal of Honor: Underground (PS)
Ridge Racer V (PS2)
TimeSplitters (PS2)
WWF SmackDown! (PS)
WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (PS)

2000 Game of the Year: WWF SmackDown!
Runner-up: TimeSplitters

The first wrestling game to change the direction and expectations of such games was WWF SmackDown. Before that game I was used to two types of wrestling games. They either were in the style of the WCW PS games where you did fighting game commands to pull off moves or they were button mashers. Neither worked that well because either you were trying to remember the commands or you were in what was a controller destroying button mashing contest. The fun was put back into the game with simpler controls that made way for a larger moveset.

TimeSplitters was a great launch title for the PS2. Even though it wasn’t online, since that wasn’t possible at the time, the 4-player split screen multiplayer options were robust with bots as well. It also had a map maker mode where I remember making a level that was large enough to exhaust the memory limit allowed for one level. I thought it was a pretty interesting level especially once one of the themes were applied to it like a dark castle motif.

Previous entries: 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

Heavenly Prices

I normally never think to look for video games at Sears. However this time it occurred to me to take a look. They had some pretty awesomely priced stuff.

The highlight was definitely Heavenly Sword. This is a 2 year old game that still fetches the full $60. Sears had it for only $15!

When looking back at my decision to return the used copy of Haze, I was glad I did. It was $16 then and this time it was $10 new.

The King of Fighters 2006 was the other game that goes for quite a bit new. It’s usually about $20-$30. Sears came in great once again at $5!

Shadow of the Colossus was the only one that went for the current regular price of $20. Bionicle Heroes followed suit when it finally arrived from Amazon.com.

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REMINDER
Retro Revival Week is back. Check out the details here.

MY RRW SCHEDULE
The following games do not account for any possible fighting games that I may play. One in particular is on tap: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (1995 – ARC via Premium Edition of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon).

Sunday: Beyond Oasis (1994 – GEN via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection)
Monday: Final Fight CD (1993 – SCD)
Tuesday: Duke Nukem: Time To Kill (1998 – PS)
Wednesday: Virtua Racing (1994 – GEN)
Thursday: Super Punch-Out (1994 – SNES)
Friday: Crash Team Racing (1999 – PS)
Saturday: Ray Storm (1995 – ARC via Taito Legends 2)

Thanks for coming by and as always another blog will follow soon.

eBay SNES Games incl. Secret of Mana

As I mentioned a week ago, I had bought two SNES games off of eBay both from the same seller. The first is Super Double Dragon (game only) and because of a few bucks off of shipping charges, I decided to select another. If eStarland.com had this game it would’ve been $30 more for the same complete copy so that’s why I went for Secret of Mana.

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Details: Box | Game | Manual | Map | Poster

As you can see from the above photos, the contents are in great shape. These hard-to-find games are ones that I’ve been looking for and it’s great to no longer have to.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing for Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos or Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. I did find them both locally, but neither worked at all even after much cleaning and testing. Those would’ve completed the Ninja Gaiden NES trilogy for me. Some other time I guess.

Usagi704’s copy of Street Fighter II on the SNES didn’t work for him, but it did for me. My copy, however, did work for him so we did a quick trade, SFII for SFII. We tried the same thing with Cybernator, but that didn’t work out regardless of which copy it was. One is better than none, though.

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Other local purchases were Killzone Liberation, Haze, and another hard-to-find SNES game and Capcom beat-’em-up, Knights of the Round.

Possible upcoming topics
The resume of my Game of the Year series with 1998 and some type of high score challenge for all to take part in.

Demo Supremacy

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Today I decided to try out the four demos that I’ve downloaded over the last few weeks. Here we go.

Iron Man
I’ve already read the reviews for this game so I knew mostly what to expect. It’s pretty much just as those reviews have stated. The combat is either really easy (at a distance) or a pain (up close). I was usually hovering instead of actually flying since the controls didn’t seem to be able to handle it very well. Of course, the melee button didn’t get much use since, as I said, fighting at a distance is much easier.

Iron Man isn’t worth the money so I’ll take a pass on it.

Dark Sector
I found the demo for Dark Sector to be a little odd. The media that’s out there for the game may lead you to believe that the Glaive weapon can dispatch enemies with little effort. This isn’t the case unless you have the ability for a stronger throw. Another thing that I didn’t care much for was how your character runs. It’s done the same way here as it was done in Gears of War. Maneuverability is small which I found annoying (in both games). In combat I found that I wanted to use the Glaive, but I kept going back to the guns since I was more comfortable with them.

In the end I didn’t feel that this demo truly represents what the full game is like. So while I’m a little cautious about a purchase, I’ll probably buy it eventually. I know that I currently own games that are much worse.

Haze
Being the best of the bunch, Haze isn’t radically different from the other first-person shooters on the market. However, it does share something in common with two Half-Life modifications, Vampire Slayer and Natural Selection, that I used to play a lot of. That common feature was that the opposing teams play quite a bit differently from each other.

The single player portion of the demo lets you play a small amount just as a member of Mantel Industries. It didn’t blow me away, but from what I was able to play, it was fun and the experience was frustration free.

Haze will be on my buy list for sure once it’s released.

The Bourne Conspiracy
I must say out right that I really liked the Bourne films. When I first saw someone playing this demo it was very entertaining. I really like how it goes between a quick cutscene and into the action very seamlessly. The takedown moves are also very cool too.

Once I started playing the demo, though, some of that excitement that I had wore off. My first problem was needing to push a button for what the game calls “Bourne Sense” or something like that. All it does is briefly show your objectives on the mini-map. I’d personally like to have the objectives always showing on the map. It just seems like a needless extra button press.

Loading is another problem. I was amazed at how long it took to reload the last checkpoint on something that was 100% on the hard drive. I think it took close to a minute before it finished up. Here’s hoping that High Moon Studios gets that down to at least half that amount of time if not less.

Overall, The Bourne Conspiracy was fun and I expect it to grow on me over time. More than likely it will be on my purchase list.

Gasp! More Fighting Games!

GAMESTOP
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Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (PS2) – complete; fair
The Mark of Kri (PS2) – complete; good
Red Faction (PS2) – complete; great
Red Faction II (PS2) – complete; great
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2) – complete; good
The King of Fighters XI (PS2) – complete; “new” as in opened display copy at no discount (business as usual for Gamestop).

STICKMAN’S
stickmans-apr08-6games

Critical Depth (PS) – complete; great
Road Rash (GEN) – complete; excellent
Streets of Rage (GEN) – complete; great
WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth (PS2) – complete; good
Kinetica (PS2) – complete; great
Timesplitters (PS2) – complete; good

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