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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Game of the Year 2014 – Favorite Revisit

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A number of games I have I’ll sometimes go back to them. This is especially the case if it’s short and going to be a quick session to play through. Arcade games fit this bill perfectly. Whether it be Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Contra, Ninja Warriors on Super Nintendo, or the fun horror game Splatterhouse on TG-16 (played during my Halloween Gaming Event). It’s always great to go back to these titles.

The one which caught my attention in 2014 was the arcade version of Robocop by Data East. It’s a bit tricky when it asks the player to level traversal that’s more than walk to the right, but otherwise it’s fun. It reminds me of a roller skating rink I used to go to and this blog post I mentioned it before in. All of this was spurred on by my purchase of the remastered in 4K Blu-ray edition of the original movie I picked up back in February.

Last year my favorite revisit was Tomb Raider: Legend and this year’s was Robocop!

Fun Times In Movie & Game World

My final original PlayStation game is here. It’s NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC and it feels like NBA Jam, but with the added feels of the 1990s NBC presentation. The theme they used at the time is is freaking awesome.

I got this game off of eBay. The seller refused to give positive feedback despite getting it from me. They didn’t like that I said the smell of smoke was on it in my feedback. It’s the truth and I don’t care if they don’t like that. The fucker can keep my positive feedback. I hope they choke on it.

Also below is listed a stack of movies and TV shows I recently bought from Best Buy. I had to return The Bourne Identity because the case was crap. I was treated as if I was trying to do something illegal. I’m guessing if they’d keep the case as it was then I should to. I’m very sorry my idea of quality is just too high for Best fucking Buy.

The Bourne Identity
The Italian Job
The Matrix
Knight Rider (Season One)
Xena: Warrior Princess (Season Four)

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Now Playing: February 2014

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There’s a lot to be said about the amazing artwork in Vanillaware’s games. One of those things, for me, would be that it tries to cover up what seems to usually be a shallow game experience. I’m always enjoyed my time playing their games like Odin Sphere and Dragon’s Crown, but with the current game, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, I felt it was pretty boring. This was especially the case at first. Since then it has gotten better the more I played, thankfully. The action still is a one button-mashing affair, though. I maxed out my character at level 99 and with 12 hours played I finished my eighth game of the year. There’s two characters stories to play through, but I won’t be doing that since nothing changes on the gameplay side and I didn’t care about the story as it was.

Other games I played that I talked about during the month was The Saboteur and Batman: Arkham Asylum. My complete thoughts on the former can be read here along with a small follow up about the ending. The latter I briefly mention here which includes quick finishes of Mortal Kombat Trilogy on PS1 and Street Fighter II: Champion Edition on PC Engine via the Virtual Console.

The next title I plan to play will likely be Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams. Join me, won’t you?

Welcome to the Madhouse

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From start to finish it was five days to complete the story mode for Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game certainly does what it does very well and that’s at making you feel like you’re Batman. I enjoyed combat more when I was tasked with sneaking around trying to take Joker’s goons out. It didn’t quite get a good feeling for the up-close personal hand-to-hand fighting. Also, like most everybody else, the boss fights were lacking in that they were all the same formula of avoid the big brutes and take out the smaller guys. Regardless it didn’t hurt the overall package too much.

Batman: Arkham Asylum stats – 76%; 164/240 Riddles; 18/20 Upgrades; 35/42 Bios; 56% trophies

Two other games I quickly added to the finished list was Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. On MKT I played as Shao Khan and beat the champion ladder. My victory created a time paradox.

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On the VC I beat PC Engine’s SFIICE three times. Once with Vega/Guile, a second time with M. Bison, and finally with Sagat. In the process I saw the normal ending, no-loss ending, and the higher difficulty no-loss ending.

The next game I’m going to start will be Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

DS Virtual Console Won’t Have All Your Favorites

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Recently an announcement was made by Nintendo regarding their Virtual Console library on the Wii U. They are planning to release DS games for download.

Now this may sound great to some of you and it is to an extent. The television plus the Wii U tablet controller does seem to be simply a giant sized DS anyway. Why not release DS games to be played on it?

I’ll tell you why not. Because some of the DS system’s original and interesting titles simply don’t work well anymore once the dual screens are detached. Sure a slower game like Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars or one that doesn’t use the touchscreen in any unique way like Ultimate Mortal Kombat and New Super Mario Bros. will work just fine.

However many games won’t transition well at all once both screens aren’t in your field of vision at all times. Sonic Rush and Contra 4 are two games where both screens are used as one. Dodging bullets from the soldiers of Black Viper are now much more unfairly difficult when the enemy is firing from the TV screen at your character on the tablet. The whole reason this is problematic at all is because you have to move your head to look at either screen instead of it being in your peripheral vision at the very least.

Ultimately, I’m not saying Nintendo shouldn’t do this, but as long as they’re smart about it you won’t be seeing The World Ends With You on the Virtual Console.

Joystiq: Nintendo bringing DS to Wii U Virtual Console

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