Now Playing: February 2017

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Since I checked in last month with you guys it’s only gotten hotter. It’s February and it’s 71°F as I type this. Unbearable! Despite the fact we’re all going to melt and drown in the rising ocean waters, I’ll try to fill you in on what I was playing recently.

Since last time I had continued to play and subsequently finished Bujingai: The Forsaken City. My thoughts are the same in that it’s a fun action title with a few “huh?” moments. Bujingai comes recommended by me despite it’s faults.

Right after I started to play Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas on the original PlayStation. It was unlike the first Die Hard Trilogy in that it’s not fun. The gameplay is more in the style of Tomb Raider and Duke Nukem: Time To Kill. It doesn’t work here. It’s too easy to die and there weren’t any mid-level checkpoints. Unfinished forever is fine by me. Moving on…

Back on the PlayStation 2, I played around ten levels of Manhunt 2. It was satisfying to sneak around and take out all of these “bad dudes.” What was less exciting was to have to use melee or firearms against enemies that noticed you. Manhunt 2 does have mid-level checkpoints and save points which helped me get as far as I did. However, some levels just required a bit too much on engagement with guns leaving me wondering where all the stealth went. The controls don’t lend themselves to being a shooter and these sections proved that. The game does have some merit so I don’t regret my time with it. It’s just doesn’t deserve any more.

I then dusted off and charged up my PSP for the next game, Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow. I didn’t get far into Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror years ago, but Logan’s Shadow looks to be easier to handle. I’m certainly impressed with the quality of the graphics on display here. Other than that there’s not much to say since I’m still only on the first episode. Wish me luck in seeing this one through.

Game on!

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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

Now Playing: December 2010

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As promised in my holiday update here’s my final Now Playing entry for 2010.

Right off the top I wanted to give a mention to Geometry Wars: Galaxies. I played this game on the DS and even though I included it in my finished games list for this year, I forgot to talk about it. I found the best way to control where I was shooting was to use the four face buttons over using the stylus on the touchscreen. I guess I’m too used to Smash TV on the SNES. I played until I maxed out the levels on the drones and got at least the bronze medal on all levels. My best score was 524,479,400.

I also forgot to quickly mention my final stats on Metroid: Other M. After finishing the main story you are allowed to go back and collect the rest of the items which were unreachable or simply not found before. For my game it added on roughly two hours and during that time you fight another game ending boss and race to get off the ship in traditional Metroid fashion. Check out last month’s Now Playing for more of my thoughts on this game.

Metroid: Other M final gaming stats – 10h27m; 100%; 80 missiles; 9 Energy Tanks

I played a few beat-’em-ups. With the help of Usagi704 we managed to get to the final stage of The Combatribes before all of the credits were used up. I’m sure most of you haven’t heard of this game. It was ported to the SNES from it’s initial showing in the arcade and as such was subjected to being censored at the time by Nintendo.

We also played Final Fight 3 together on the Expert difficulty setting. It didn’t seem as hard as one would expect from such a name. Usagi704 played as the newcomer Lucia and I stuck with series mainstay Haggar. He’s my favorite of the four characters because of his long range and powerful moveset. You could say I cleared it on one credit even though Usagi had to use one on the final boss, Black.

For single player action I went back to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I hadn’t played it since back in January and finally wanted to get to the end. I’m still not there yet, but it’s as fun as I remember it being. It’s a fairly lengthly game and rewards you with a lot of experience points for finding hidden collectibles. It also has brief nods to World of Warcraft and Portal.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine trophies – 32 / 51 (63%)

You can check out my thoughts on other beat-’em-ups I played in previous blog posts including Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend (from Dec. 6th) and X-Men (from Dec. 21st).

I’ll leave you now with a quote from my complaints with the DS version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare from December 9th.

The AI, as one review put it, was like it was in the original Doom just without them moving forward. Yes, they literally move into their scripted position and do not move once there.

Happy holidays!

All-Stars

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With the release of Super Mario All-Stars on the Wii, I brought out the 17 year old SNES version to play. It’s the exact same game so there’s absolutely no reason to buy the collection on the shiny new disc. And when I say the exact same game I mean it. The SNES controller is still shown on screen in the Wii version. So lame and so very, very lazy.

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In an update to my finished games list of 2010, I actually put up with the hand-cramping tedium that was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on the DS. It’s the 41st game beaten on this quickly closing year. Click on the photo below to see the full list. Also check out my previous blog post to read up on my thoughts on the game if you missed them.

Finally last week I picked up two games as apart of a Toys-R-Us sale getting the newly released NBA Jam on PS3 and the not-so-new Super Mario Galaxy. I was surprised to find the latter game new. I remember the sequel quickly replacing this game on store shelves when it came out earlier in the year.

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Happy holidays!

The Tedium of Call of Duty 4

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After the pretty decent game Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend, I didn’t have another game lined up right away. This all changed when I had to deal with a flat tire I didn’t cause on a car I don’t own and wasn’t there at the time it happened. And what a beautiful flat tire it was. I’ll spare you the rest about the car as there’s not much more to say.

I quickly chose to take my DS Lite to pass the time and plugged in two games, the GBA cartridge Namco Museum and the DS card Call of Duty 4. On the former collection I mainly played Pole Position. I feel I did pretty well for the little experience I have with the game scoring 31,130 points.

When I was playing Call of Duty 4, I soon wondered why I had bought this game because the experience of it was quite crap.

I’ll admit up front that the controls are probably the best one could hope for with a first-person shooter on the DS platform, but saying so isn’t high praise. Below is the diagram for the basic controls from the manual. I removed mentions to the redundant layout for left-handed players.

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It’s cramped and awkward holding the system with one hand. Looking around is done with the stylus on the touch screen and it’s easy enough to aim. Double tapping is how to aim down the sight. Reloading is tapping the current firearm once.

You feel like you can at least deal with the controls until you experience the other aspects of the game.

The AI, as one review put it, was like it was in the original Doom just without them moving forward. Yes, they literally move into their scripted position and do not move once there. Another problem is that the AI will almost always get a successful shot on you before you can shoot them. This isn’t a big deal since you soak up bullets like a sponge before being in any real danger of dying.

I could go on, but those are the most troublesome parts of this horrid portable port. I’m currently at mission five titled “Hard Impact” and I’m not totally sure I’ll be seeing it to the end. All I know is that the DS version of Call of Duty 4 isn’t as good as most of the pushover reviews would like you to think. I think this one word sums up this game the best: TEDIOUS.

Happy holidays!