Now Playing: January 2014

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It’s time to take a small break from the gaming award ceremony to catch up on what I’ve been playing over this first month of 2014.

It started with the continuation of our PS1 Link Cable gaming. We (Usagi704 and I) played some deathmatch in Duke Nukem: Total Metaldown (a port of Duke Nukem 3D) and more of Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Usagi even recorded video of this session of fighting game madness. I suspect you’ll see it soon. Keep tabs on his Twitter account and personal blog for updates.

Bayonetta became my first game finished for 2014. It’s definitely as great as you’ve probably heard. I did pussy out a small amount by choosing to play on Easy difficulty, but I did disable the item used for automatic combos. And oh Luka. How can I forget about Luka. He’s the lovable goof who goes from wanting revenge on Bayonetta to appreciating her for no apparent reason, but he’s forgiven all the same.

I’m currently playing Pandemic Studios’ final game, The Saboteur from very late 2009. It’s an open world game based in occupied Paris, France during World War II. It’s big graphical gimmick is similar to Prince of Persia 2008. In that game once you conquered an area the colors brightened up in said location. In The Saboteur areas are in black and white until freed and then color is restored. It’s quite a interesting game in which I recommend looking into.

Thanks for reading!

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Bayonetta – 6h22m; 16/51 trophies
* The Saboteur – 13h3m; 47% missions; 16% targets; 14/46 trophies

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Hey Microsoft! (a collection blog and short story)

Hey Microsoft! I have some TV for you. It’s called Xena: Warrior Princess and this is season 2. It’s funny, but I don’t need your Xbox One to watch it. I have all I need right now multiple times over. You should know about the format. It’s called DVD. I know, I know. That’s SO last generation.

Hey Microsoft! I also bought Power Rangers S.P.D. for the Game Boy Advance from It’s About Games. I bought it USED and I know how much of a criminal I am for doing such a legal thing. But when you look at it as it is in REALITY you find out that these video game stores can’t exist unless they sell used products. It’s not like their $2 profit on a $60 new game is going to keep them in business.

Hey Microsoft! Gigastormz was a really nice dude and hooked me up with a free Steam copy of Hotline Miami. You know Steam, right? It’s that digital platform from Valve Software who know how to price digital versions of retail games. You know, by actually giving a discount. But I wouldn’t want to give you actual good ideas for Xbox Live or anything.

Hey Microsoft! Another free Steam game came along from Devolver Digital in the form of the original 1997 PC game Shadow Warrior. They’re the crew publishing the upcoming remake from the developer Flying Wild Hog. It’s a much better game to give away for free unlike crap nobody wanted like Undertow. Again, I apologize for giving you such great ideas.

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Onto books with actual paper and printed words in them. I picked up paperback versions (because I’d rather that over hardcover) of four of Mick Foley’s books. I did read “Have a Nice Day!” around the time it came out, but didn’t own it. I always wanted to read at least “Foley Is Good” too. I do like this cover for “Countdown To Lockdown” over the original. It had a huge title taking up most of the cover which I didn’t think looked great.

* Mankind: Have a Nice Day! (735 pages)
* Foley Is Good: And The Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling (574 pages)
* The Hardcore Diaries (371 pages)
* Countdown To Lockdown (377 pages)

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Thanks for reading and have a nice day!

Now Playing: February 2011

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Unlike last month I didn’t get to even a handful of games this time around. Also unlike last time this Now Playing blog post will be rather quick.

At the beginning of the month I quickly finished Duke Nukem: Time to Kill followed by Rush’n Attack two days later. I haven’t beaten any since then. However, that does bring my list up to seven games for this year so far. For my thoughts on these two games check out my blog from Feb. 5th.

My initial thoughts of Yakuza can be read here. Since then I’ve put an additional 12 hours into the game.

During this time I’ve gotten used to how to handle fights better, but it does still have its difficulties. Bosses are the biggest problem I have and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. They usually can’t be thrown or grabbed and dodge attacks most of the time. It doesn’t make for a very fun fight and feels more frustratingly cheap than that of a challenge.

The best part of the game outside of the story is just how detailed the world is. I love how they use real names for the businesses and products you can buy. It’s cool to be able to go into a bar and plunk down some yen to get a serving of Jack Daniel’s and read a brief history of the drink.

Overall, Sega’s Yakuza is a top notch game. My only regret is not playing it sooner.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PS) – 8h11m; Enemies killed: 568; Secrets found: 30 of 54
* Yakuza (PS2) – 16h41m; Chapter 11

It’s Time For A Total Meltdown In The Land Of The Babes

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I started and finished Duke Nukem: Time to Kill in one week. In total playtime it was 8 hours and 11 minutes. In that time I killed 568 enemies over 15 levels, found 55% of the secrets, and laughed quite a few times at Duke’s one-liners.

I enjoyed myself a lot more than I expected to with what’s essentially Duke Nukem starring in a Tomb Raider clone. I can easily recommend this game to those who can get past the lack of analog controls. After the first two levels I was used to it. I looked up information on Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes and noticed that it’s pretty much a sequel of sorts to Time to Kill. n-Space also developed it and seems to be in the same Tomb Raider style. I may just have to play some DN3D in the form of Total Meltdown since I got through this one fairly quickly.

Speaking of beating games quickly, I also added Rush’n Attack to the list of finished games yesterday. There’s not much to say about this arcade game port other than you mostly get all stabby with your knife.

Thanks for reading and Happy Snowmageddon of 2011!

Now Playing: January 2011

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This will be a quick Now Playing entry for the month of January. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

First up at the beginning of the month was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. After making it the final game beaten for last year, I finished it up by getting my sixth platinum trophy. I talked briefly about a couple minor problems I had with the game.

The lone downloadable game I left untouched from when I first bought it was the beat-’em-up Revenge of the Wounded Dragons. It was disappointing to say the least. My favorite genre kept on being a disappointment with Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu. Because of this I went with a sure-fire winner in Streets of Rage 2. I also enjoyed my time playing other Genesis greats like Gunstar Heroes and Super Street Fighter II. All of these titles are covered in my blog posts “Rise of Sin Tzu” and “Surprises.”

More recently my first purchase of the year was the import of Prince of Persia Trilogy where I played The Sands of Time and easily scored my seventh platinum trophy. I still really like this game, but this version does have its problems which is unfortunate.

The game looks good, but it probably could’ve been a little bit better. Some of the graphical effects, like the blurry edges of the screen when rewinding time, are absent. Also the volume isn’t even across everything. Enemies are usually too loud and some environmental hazards, like the spiked poles, are too quite. I’m not a fan of the 2D Prince of Persia games, but for those who are the omission of the hidden Macintosh version of the original will be a bit disappointing.

The sole game I’m playing at the moment is Duke Nukem: Time to Kill for PS1. Now I don’t want to be overly general about what kind of game this is or how it plays, but saying it’s Tomb Raider with Duke Nukem in place of Lara Croft really is spot on. It uses the same graphics engine as the TR games from the time and the controls are the same. Duke himself even wonders if the woman on the subway phone on the first level is Lara. Despite all of this Eidos and Core Design didn’t have anything to do with this title. It was actually developed by n-Space. This is the same group that gave me the tedious FPS experience on the DS with Call of Duty 4. Thankfully it isn’t anywhere nearly as bad.

Overall I did quite well for myself by scoring five games on the finished pile is a good start.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3) – Trophies: 51 / 51 (100%)
* Revenge of the Wounded Dragons (PS3) – Trophies: 5 / 12 (42%)
* Streets of Rage 2 (GEN) – Score: 603,230
* Gunstar Heroes (GEN) – 1 credit cleared on Easy.
* Super Street Fighter II (GEN) – Finished on Super Expert mode.
* Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS3) – 4h33m; 100% | Trophies: 16 / 16 (100%)
* Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (PS) – Level 2 – Duke Hill; 1h59m3s; Enemies killed: 123; Secrets found: 5 of 14

Sony Santa Monica Studio’s Rage Unleashed

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It’s all about the game purchases this time around. While I didn’t go two months without buying anything like I originally planned back in mid-January, I did at least go one month and six days. Seven games were acquired and here they are.

It’s a guarantee that you can guess what at least one of the games are and you’d be correct. It’s God of War III!

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I knew I was getting it day one, but I didn’t realize how little into the day I’d be before I had it. I decided to stop by the local Gamestop for the midnight launch of the game and Usagi704 joined me in the adventure. I actually didn’t plan on buying it at that moment until I stepped into the store. Then I figured I’m here now so let’s do this.

While we were there I captured some footage and pieced together a small video for your viewing.

The other six games I grabbed up are:
Shinobi (PS2)
Mortal Kombat 4 (PS)
Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown (PS)
Demon’s Crest (SNES)
Mega Man Zero (GBA)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GBA)

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I’m curious to know who else got God of War III or is planning on getting it down the road. Also, I’d love to know what you thought of any of the other games I bought if you’ve played them before. I only played MK4 years ago out of them. It mostly feels like MK3 with 3D graphics to me.

Thanks for reading and have a great Spartan filled rest of the week! :)

1997 Game of the Year

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1997 was a pretty decent year for video games. That’s the year that North America saw the release of such hits as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Final Fantasy VII, GoldenEye, and PaRappa the Rapper. Surprisingly enough while I’m aware of them, I have yet to really bother with any of those games. The Castlevania game is the only one that I currently have and I’ve yet to play a whole lot of it.

That’s okay since I have another set of five games that enjoyed at the time or since their release in 1997. Here are the nominees.

Bloody Roar (PS)
A fighting game from the arcade with an interesting beast gameplay mechanic. It’s still somewhat enjoyable to play even today.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (PS)
Oh Crash. You and your fun original PlayStation games. How I still like them.

MDK (PS)
I haven’t played this game since it was released, but the experience of playing it has stayed with me.

Shadow Warrior (PC)
Here’s a game that modeled itself and its character after Duke Nukem 3D. Lots of funny one-liners and combat to match made Lo Wang a pun, I mean character to remember.

Street Fighter Collection (PS)
You really can’t go wrong with this collection as it included Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo (with much easier AI), and a rebalanced version of Street Fighter Alpha 2 with “Gold” added onto the end of the title.

1997 Game of the Year: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Runner-up: MDK

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