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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New Releases 2010: July 25-August 7

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Those are some slim pickings for the first week of August. If I had an Xbox I’d surely pick up Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. It’s like a greatest hits of sorts of the three DS games and Symphony of the Night.

This current week, however, is pretty packed. the long awaited Starcraft II is finally out. Another XBL game I’d get if I had the system would be Hydro Thunder Hurricane.

As if fighting game fans don’t have lots of great games to choose from another one drops tomorrow in the form of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. Just like with Street Fighter IV, I didn’t play enough of the previous game I have to warrant the purchase of a new version. It’s cool, though, that it’s coming out at the same reduced price as did Super SFIV.

NEW RELEASES FOR THE WEEK OF 7/25
Alan Wake: The Signal (X360)
Arc Rise Fantasia (WII)
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (PS3, X360)
Clash of the Titans (PS3, X360)
Hydro Thunder Hurricane (X360)
Need for Speed World (PC)
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (PC, MAC)
TrackMania Wii (WII)

NEW RELEASES FOR THE WEEK OF 8/1
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (X360)
Monster Rancher DS (DS)

On a personal gaming note I improved my top score in Alien Crush to 16,293,600.

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I’ll soon be starting up God of War III to finish it. I also found a complete copy of Return to Castle Wolfenstein on PS2 for $2.25. It should arrive in about a week.

That’s all for me right now so thanks for reading.

A Few Hard-To-Find Games Found II

I was only planning to buy Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection and Retro Game Challenge this last week, but an unexpected stop changed things.

I accompanied Usagi704 to Gamestop. The plan was only for him to pre-order Street Fighter IV. While there I noticed a rather large number of used Game Boy Advance SP systems. After a trade-in mishap a year or two ago, I’ve been wanting to get back the brighter screen version of it. Being hard to find I settled on an original version. Once I saw these beauties, I couldn’t pass them up. The difference in the displays are pretty major when you compare them side-by-side.

Game Boy Advance SP – Pearl Blue
Tomb Raider: The Prophecy (GBA)
Wolfenstein 3D (GBA)
Strider 2 (PS)
Hydro Thunder (PS)
Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3)
Retro Game Challenge (DS)

As you can see from the above list, I also got some games that were more troubling to find.

The GBA games were both found with the GBA SP system. The Tomb Raider game came highly rated on GameSpot and Wolfenstein 3D was a very faithful port of the PC game. It even has the “Get Psyched” loading screen despite obviously not needing it.

Strider 2 and Hydro Thunder were fairly pricey on eStarland.com, but both were well worth it. Check out episode 7 of Substance TV as it explains Strider 2 really well.

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Details: Front – all

I haven’t tried the Genesis Collection as of yet, however I have played Retro Game Challenge and I can say for sure that it’s a blast. It has a bunch of references to real people. So far I’ve come across the following references:

* In-game magazine is titled GameFan.
* The first editor in chief is named “Dan Sock.” An obvious reference to Dan Hsu, complete with photo.
* Second editor in chief named “Dave” is Dave Halverson, founder of the real GameFan.
* Right after finishing the challenges for Rally King, the Nintendo film The Wizard is referenced.
* Once Star Prince is unlocked, there are serveral mentions of “The Game Master” and his impressive button-mashing skills. This is referring to Takahashi Meijin of Hudson Soft.

I’m sure there’s a lot more that I didn’t notice and even more to come. RGC is guaranteed to please any long time gamer.