Releasing the Unreleased

Over the last few months the number purchases in the movie/TV and gaming realms I’ve made have been piling up. Here they are.

Back in April I reported on getting a digital copy of Double Dragon II: The Revenge via Hamster’s Arcade Archives. Well, this time I also added the original arcade version of Double Dragon. This was one that Usagi704 also picked up and said I’d probably like how it turned out.

Lately I’ve been afraid that the Yakuza games, despite getting a wide release in the West, would dry up sooner than you’d think. It seems to already have happened to Yakuza 0. I didn’t want to miss out on Yakuza Kiwami so I got it and I will be looking to get 0 soon enough.

A used copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End ran me around $20. I was on my wish list long enough and got it along with a unreleased game set to me sent to me in about eight days.

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Onto the movies/TV side, speaking of “unreleased” WWE released a 3 disc set of matches spanning from 1986 to 1995 called Unreleased. It has some decent matches with the two featuring Ric Flair against Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan being quite fun to watch. I also popped huge for seeing Sean Mooney (who?) in the hosting segments.

I bought and watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and it was fantastic. Yeah, it was another lackluster villain who posed no real threat despite being told otherwise. However, we’ve come to expect the main characters to be fun and relatable and that’s what we got.

A staple of ’80s television was Miami Vice and on a whim I picked up the whole series on Blu-ray despite never really watching it at the time. I mean, I wasn’t even a teenager during its five season run. It’s a huge 20-disc set and was half the original price.

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Other films I bought were Pleasantville, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Bridge of Spies, and a special edition of Death Wish II with a theatrical and unrated cut of the film.

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On a final topic, I can happily say that the SNES Classic was much easier to obtain than I expected, but it definitely was still on the low end of the quantity of the shipments. The store I work at received only 14 units which was more than the 2-3 they got last year with the NES Classic system. I helped sell an initial 6-7 at midnight, I immediately went on my break and bought mine. A first shift employee asked me if any were left and at 4:30am I sold the last one to him. It might not sound like much, but with just over four hours that supply lasted longer than I expected.

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As far as my experience with the system itself, I’ve only played Street Fighter II Turbo and even did so with Usagi704. It was as fun as a real system and I can’t really complain about the selection of games. Even if some of the games aren’t my speed, it’s understandable why they’re on there. Plus, the quality of the games chosen are of much higher quality than the NES Classic had. Truly less is more in this case.

Thanks for reading and game on!

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Movies For The Holidays

These are more recent Blu-ray purchases I’ve made in the last number of weeks. These are not Xmas gifts. Those were nothing to write on a blog about. A few shirts and a coat. Trust me. You do not care about those items.

So what did I get? Well, let’s take a look.

I’m not the biggest fan nor do I, any longer, purchase a movie without first knowing if I’ll like it enough to watch it again and again. The Running Man, however, was one of those bought-it-before-I’d-seen-it deals. The only reason for this is that I have seen clips of the film over the decades so I knew it’d be for me. How much for me? Quite a bit as it turns out. Richard Dawson nails the smarmy host role so well that it’s very satisfying when he meets his end.

The rest of these movies I have seen before. None of them probably more than three times, but I felt they’d be worth it in the long run. Those films are: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Glengarry Glen Ross, A League of Their Own. Yes, Glengarry Glen Ross is on DVD, but I only revert back to that format these days when it’s absolutely necessary.

Happy New Year!

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2012 Award Winners (Part 1)

I somehow came up with 17 award categories. A few of them are joking around and others are serious. In this first part it will feature more of the former. Enjoy.

CRAPPY SHOOTERS I HAVEN’T PLAYED BUT ARE STILL CRAPPY
007 Legends
Battleship
Medal of Honor: Warfighter
WINNER: Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified

Promises of greatness fell flat for these games (expect for Battleship which was obvious crap from the beginning). 007 Legends ended up not being for Bond fans or shooter fans and Medal of Honor had nothing authentic going for it despite the desperate pleas from its developer. The newest Call of Duty on the PlayStation Vita gets this award for promising a great CoD experience at E3 and being nothing of the sort. Other strikes against it include selling at full price and being included with a system bundle. Stay away from this one.

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OVERHYPED
Journey
Asura’s Wrath
Fez
WINNER: The Walking Dead

A lot of love gets thrown in the specific direction of these four games. Other than Fez, there’s little actual gaming to be had in these titles. Story is great and all, but the game part of a video game really should come first. I know you’re probably already typing up a comment to prove me wrong, but please don’t bother.

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WORST BEAT-‘EM-UP
Alien Storm
Growl
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GBA)
WINNER: Golden Axe III

I did have a little bit of fun with these games. Growl was decent, but the Vince Russo style swerve at the end with the final boss being some kind of alien was pretty stupid. Alien Storm on the Genesis wasn’t very exciting at all and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on GBA (based on the 2003 show) was somewhat frustrating. However the classically bad Golden Axe III still remains worst of its respective series.

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MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME
Need For Speed: Most Wanted
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (GBA)
Spyro: Year of the Dragon
WINNER: Prince of Persia Revelations

All were disappointing in their own right, but Price of Persia Revelations was the most disappointing. It took one of my favorite games, Warrior Within, and added extra areas to traverse. Sounds great until to see the worse graphics for these areas and how they weren’t as well thought out as the main part of the game. Because of this I don’t expect the new parts of Prince of Persia: Rival Swords to be good either.

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CRAP GAME OF THE YEAR
Prototype
Medal of Honor: European Assault
Batman Forever
WINNER: Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures

As impossible as Prototype, Batman Forever, or Medal of Honor: European Assault felt at different times, Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures on the Super Nintendo was the most impossibly crap game I played all year. I couldn’t pass the first level and I never felt it would clue me in as to how after trying for an hour. Screw this game.

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FAVORITE GUILTY PLEASURE
Fighting Force
Beyond Oasis (Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection)
Mortal Kombat (Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection – PSN)
WINNER: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES)

I’m always had Mortal Kombat as a guilty pleasure of mine. Fighting Force is another which I played through several times this year. I didn’t give it much of a chance to warm up to it before Usagi704 tackled it. Beyond Oasis was a fun Zelda-style romp on the Genesis. The SNES version of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, however, gets this award for being more competently fun than it has much right to be. Thanks for that Natsume.

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BEST SCORE CHASER
Metal Slug Advance
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
WINNER: Super Hang-On

My favorite game to get a high score in and then try and best it was a close race between Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and Super Hang-On. Before last year I never seriously tried to play any Tony Hawk game. The original was fun, but I do see why Pro Skater 2 is seen as one of the best in the series.

With that said, I was quite amazed at the fun in besting a friend’s time in Super Hang-On via PSN. It’s a nostalgic trip back to the arcades of old. Now I want to see Outrun!

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BEST SHOOTER
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Max Payne
WINNER: Half-Life 2: Episode Two

I think you could say that these four games were fairly unique when they initially were released. Maybe not so much for the winner, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, but the variety of environments along with the strong gameplay of Half-Life 2 to begin with pushes it to the top.

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BEST BEAT-‘EM-UP
Darksiders
X-Men
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
WINNER: Yakuza 2

While I was disappointed with the overall story of Yakuza 2 as opposed to its previous entry, I did find enough to enjoy along the way to stay entertained. I ultimately can’t be totally down on a game which allows for a Heat move to pick an opponent up and throw him into a glass display case.

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Thanks for reading. Part 2 of my awards are up next.

This Game Better Stop Sucking Ass: Top AVGN Episodes

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A week and a half ago over on Cinemassacre.com, the Angry Video Game Nerd’s wife posted a list of her top 20 favorite AVGN episodes. Not being a gamer, as she explains, her reasons for her choices are much different than a typical viewer’s would be.

Being one of those aforementioned typical viewers, I do have a different list I’d put together. However, this isn’t that list. If it was it would definitely have on it the Power Glove, Atari 5200, and Sega CD episodes. I love them.

What I have shown below is the exact same 20 AVGN episodes she listed, but in the order I’d prefer them in. I watched them all again to know right where I wanted to place them at.

Most of the episodes listed that rely heavily on special effects are more towards the bottom. I remember the fan reaction to the Bugs Bunny’s Crazy Castle episode with so much praise being placed on it as the best episode ever up to that point. I was confounded by the response because I literally thought it to be one of the worst. Upon rewatching it I still don’t think highly of it.

Some might wonder how I could dislike the Crazy Castle video and still enjoy The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout episode. It has to do with Birthday Blowout focusing on the game with the beating skit peppered in throughout. Crazy Castle felt like an excuse to do more of the skit than the games and while I don’t like it, I understand there being nothing much to the games in the first place.

An exception to the FX episodes on the lower part of my list is the one focused on the Nintendo World Championships. Its placement has to do with feeling more like an NES Punk video versus an AVGN video. The awkward style of humor is definitely more Pat’s thing which isn’t where my taste in what I find funny lies.

The most pleasantly surprising episode was on Wayne’s World. It’s probably one of the more simple AVGN videos. The game is explained and shown with clips of the 1992 film spliced in at specific points. That’s all there was to it and it beat my expectations in terms of quality and humor.

My top 3 had, what I felt to be, the most creative of them all. Kevin Finn as the ninja in the Ninja Gaiden episode was great improv comedy, James as every member of the Addams Family had funny lines from each of his characters, and finally Mike Matei as the Joker in Batman part 2 was laugh out loud hilarious!

20. Bugs Bunny’s Crazy Castle
19. The Wizard and Super Mario Bros. 3
18. ROB the Robot
17. Nintendo World Championships
16. Atari Jaguar Part 2
15. Battletoads
14. Christmas Special 2010
13. Halloween
12. Indiana Jones Trilogy
11. Game Glitches
10. Christmas Carol Part 2 – Shaq Fu
9. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Re-Revisited
8. Sega 32X
7. The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout
6. Spiderman
5. A Nightmare On Elm Street
4. Wayne’s World
3. Ninja Gaiden
2. Fester’s Quest
1. Batman Part 2

Now Playing: January 2012

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My battle to get through the suggested games by GS friends shall continue, but I’ll fill you in on my progress.

Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures didn’t go well at all for a whole hour. I had to shelve that mess next to the SOPA bill. The infamous second game of Batman Forever went better. I know I was shocked too. I still had to cheat at times to move on by using the level select code and clearing enemies from the screen (L and R when paused), but at least progress was possible in some fashion.

I’m currently in the middle of Darksiders as suggested by stripesonfire. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. This game is quite the step up from the previous two games. I think they were selected to see just how close I’d get to sacrificing my love for the SNES. Close, but no cigar.

Anywho. Back to my thoughts on Darksiders.

I’ve played 7 hours and 34 minutes of the game in question. In a recent blog post, alpha99 mentioned his dislike for button mashy action games. It doesn’t bother me, though this game does rely more on the □ button than similar action titles.

My main beef with Darksiders is the challenge rooms. There’s about four to five to complete at certain points. I’ve passed two sets so far and while they’re something we’ve seen before in other games, they usually aren’t the greatest thing since sliced bread. The most frustrating one required killing five enemies with an attack immediately after parrying.

Puzzle style boss fights are also not my thing. I remember disliking them in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. I continue to be dissatisfied with them here.

These are overall minor gripes in what’s otherwise a quite enjoyable game.

Thanks for reading and check out my 2011 Award Winners if you haven’t already.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection – Trophies: 8/12 (67%)
* Super Stardust HD – 16h49m; Best Score: 67,579,170; Total Score: 747,368,065; Trophies: 11/13 (85%)
* Metal Slug Advance – Mission 5/5; Card 9/100; Finished 1/11
* Batman Forever – Finished 1/14
* Riot Zone – 1CC on Easy; Finished 1/15
* Darksiders – 7h34m; 1103 Kills; 5 Deaths; 19844 Souls Collected; Highest Combo: 31; Trophies: 12/43 (28%)

Batman Forever and Big Riddle

MINOR ANNOYANCE, BUT IMPORTANT REMINDER
The Protect IP Act (PIPA) is scheduled for its next hearing on January 24, 2012. Although opposition is building, support is crumbling, and Congress is feeling the pressure, it could still pass even with Sen. Wyden’s filibuster. The future of innovation, free speech, and our economy are on the line. Please urge major websites to strike against SOPA/PIPA on January 18th at sopastrike.com. Thank you!

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After the horrid experience of Indiana Jones’ “Greatest” Adventures. I went onto play a game widely known for it being awful. This “gem” in question is Batman Forever as suggested by 6h05tly.

I lived a lot longer in this game than I did in IJGA. In fact, the enemies weren’t the problem most of the time. The hard part was know what to do or where to go. I would try to get as far as I could, but once I was stuck for too long I’d reset and enter the stage level code (←↑←←ABY). Some good news: I was able to figure out my way through the final three stages and take on several end bosses with hilarious names like Holo Riddler and, my favorite, Big Riddle to finish game number two of the new year.

Speaking of finishing games for 2012, I was able to knock out another one today. Yesterday I watched this video of gameplay from Crest of Wolf on the PC Engine. North American TG-16 gamers know it as Riot Zone. I fired up the Virtual Console version and one credit cleared the game giving me a quick third completion.

The next game I’ll be playing is Darksiders as suggested by stripesonfire.

Indiana Jones’ Shittiest Adventures

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How’s the new year been treating you so far? I’m good. Thanks for asking.

I recently bought another two-pack of Chuck Norris movies. The disc includes Missing In Action (1984) and Delta Force 2 (1990). Neither are all that good. I recommend The Delta Force as it was a much better prequel.

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Since I played Klonoa 2, I’ve had the original game, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, on my wish list. This all changed when this PS1 title hit the PlayStation Store last week. Instead of paying $65 for a complete copy, I went with $6. Also having it on my PSP is a big plus!

I scored my best on Super Stardust HD with the total of 67,579,170.

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Along with that I also started and yesterday completed Metal Slug Advance. Since it’s not an arcade port it has two different characters and just one life, but there are checkpoints to help out. You can collect cards, but they don’t do anything. This game became my first finished game for the new year.

For those on Twitter I asked them to choose a game from this list. I also got a suggestion from SonicHomeboy via PM. I preceded to put them in order of when I bought them from oldest to most recent. First up was Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures (suggested by SHB). As you could already easily tell from the title of this blog post, I didn’t like it very much.

The first part of the initial level is a lead up to a cutscene where Indy gets ahold of the golden idol. The next portion is, you guessed it, running away from a giant boulder. With obstacles in the way slowing you down and one touch of the boulder killing you, it sucks hard to say the least. I must’ve tried to pass this section for about an hour. No more, I say! I’m done trying to run away from this thing only to fail and see Sean Connery’s face again and again. He is a handsome devil, though.

The next game suggestion I’ll start on will be…oh no…say it isn’t so! Batman Forever? Thanks so much, 6h05tly!