Now Playing: July 2019

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This time out the group of games I played are from April through mid-July. There’s 12 in total with only three finished. Here we go!

The first game on tap is also one of the three I beat: Ghost Squad. This home port of Sega’s arcade light gun shooter works well on the Wii. I don’t have the plastic zapper shell for the controller, but you obviously don’t need it since there isn’t any additional hardware built in. It was a very fun and repeatable three mission structure with some alternate paths to take. I particularly liked earning and using the additional weapons and outfits available. The latter can get somewhat comical at times since the player character is the only one who changes outfits with the rest of the squad remaining in normal gear.

I was looking forward to getting into a new beat-’em-up with Batman: The Brave and the Bold (also on Wii). It didn’t pan out well, however. The training before the game actually begins makes the mistake of throwing every ability at you at once. Of course, you’ll eventually forget some of them long before you’ll need them. My biggest issue was with the overall feeling of the brawling. It wasn’t as mindless fun as I was hoping for. There’s more puzzle aspects to this game’s fighting that’s often enough that it feels like the momentum of a level keeps getting interrupted. I had to check out of this game fairly early on.

Two shoot-’em-ups I played for a little bit was the TG-16’s Final Soldier (via VC) and Raiden IV: Overkill on PS3 (via PSN). The former was a fantastic time until I got slaughtered on stage 5. At least it was nice getting to that point. I can’t say as much for the latter game. I didn’t quite understand the new Overkill Mode, but the normal Arcade Mode was the typical Raiden shooting experience. In that to say it isn’t great. I enjoy the original game and the sequel, but after those (like I am with the Contra series) they don’t appeal to me as much.

Next up on the list is Ninja Spirit. The game is pretty tough until you realize that all you need is the explosive weapon 3 and it’s fairly smooth sailing from then on. I got to what I call the “ninja pit” and was stopped fully in my tracks. I don’t know exactly how to reach the bottom without being touched since it only takes one hit to kill you. It’s the last major obstacle before the final boss if I ever clear it.

Speaking of Contra, I also played, but was unsuccessful in beating Contra Rebirth. While I was able to get to level 4, I’m not exactly the best at managing the switching of the weapons. This was a gameplay mechanic that debuted in Contra III in 1992.

I’m not sure exactly what to say about Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris other than it’s available for download on PlayStation 4 and, well, it’s a Tomb Raider game. I liked it for what it was, but I definitely still prefer the traditional presentation of the series in Tomb Raider: Legend or the 2013 reboot.

More recently I’ve been playing some PlayStation 2 suggested games from readers like you. Of course, I have to already own the games because I’m not in a position to be purchasing whatever anybody suggests. First was Lifeline, the USB audio voice directed game from Konami. I knew going in I wouldn’t be playing it very long because it doesn’t always understand was you are saying. Well, I didn’t even successfully get to the title screen as my current USB headset wasn’t compatible. Oh well. It’s not much of a loss.

ICO was another suggestion and it goes without saying that this was a much better idea. I’m not into these more artistic style of games usually so I’m not going to be as impressed with it like so many others have been. I’m happy for those people, but I’m simply not one of them. I’m at the Crane section, but I needed a more action packed distraction.

That distraction was Power Rangers Dino Thunder on PS2. In this game you don’t play as the Rangers themselves, but instead as their Zoids. I think there’s 5-6 total in the game. Zeltrax is the main boss in the game that you fight twice in very similar battles each time. Unfortunately, you never seen the TV show’s main villain, Mesogog. He’s only spoken about. This was the third game I beat.

Another suggestion I’m playing a little of is the arcade version of Bubble Bobble via Taito Legends. The best I’ve done this time around is round 7. I’ve previously hit as high as round 16.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my podcasts over in the sidebar.

Game of the Year 2015 Nominees

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My thoughts on a personal 2015 Game of the Year for myself will be brief. I will be foregoing the usual series of gaming award blog posts that I’ve done in recent years. I’m going to present a single Game of the Year award to my top pick like I did the last time for 2010.

Until I figure out what the winner will be I’ll give you my list of nominees.

Tomb Raider (PS3, 2013)
Far Cry 3 (PS3, 2012)
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PS3, 2010)
Fighter’s History (SNES, 1994)
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (PSN, 2013)
TRON: Evolution (PS3, 2010)

Now Playing: January 2015

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In the last month I’ve been busy with other things like my 2014 Game of the Year awards to where I wasn’t updating on what I was playing. But don’t worry yourself too much because the Now Playing article for this last month is here to let you know the dirty details.

After last month’s fun romp back into the Yakuza series territory with Yakuza 3, I tackled one of the suggested original PlayStation games from the group I received previously from folks on Twitter. It’s in celebration of the system’s 20th anniversary. I went with Strider 2.

Strider 2 is a very fun direct sequel to the Capcom’s original beloved arcade game. It’s definitely on the easier side of things when it comes to the default difficulty, but I look at this as a good thing. Controls are a breeze to get accustom to and guiding Strider Hiryu through the environment is not a chore whatsoever. There’s a number of cool unlockable features. The best ones are an extra level to play for Strider 2 if you complete the arcade classic, which is also available on a separate disc, and the ability to play as Strider Hien upon beating the sequel itself. A number of other bonuses make Strider 2 a worthwhile recommendation to fans of arcade style action games! Thanks @Monodo for your suggestion!

I was planning on continuing with PS1 games, but I wanted better video output. So while I waited for component cables and a TV to use them on that didn’t have the signal cut out on me I played the 2013 release of Tomb Raider.

As suggested by @herviross, this Tomb Raider is the Square Enix-deemed sales failure of over 3 million copies. The game is your standard third-person perspective action game fare these days. The story tries to have an emotional connection with the player in how they relate to Lara’s beginnings, but I think it failed in this endeavor. Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t feel Lara goes abruptly from shocked about her first kill to Rambo mode like I’ve heard others mention. I think that was handled well because there’s only so many people she can off before she gets used to it and the shock of it all wears off.

Otherwise, it’s the usual style of game where there are items to find, upgrades to Lara’s weapons and her own abilities, and tombs to raid. Speaking of the tombs themselves. Where as in past games you adventured into tombs for the majority of the time playing, they’re very small and all are optional here. The puzzles inside were very easy to solve. This was a bit disappointing as the very name of the game itself was pushed aside. At least that’s how I felt.

Another disappointment was in the area of graphics. For a 2013 game I didn’t think it looked all that good. I was kind of surprised when I thought the game already didn’t hold up well to the ravages of time. The fire effects were especially bad when Lara was moving with her touch lit.

Upon finishing the game I had a 96% completion rate, found all hidden (and not so hidden) items, and acquired all upgrades. I didn’t bother with the online mode and I had earned 57% of the trophies. It’s worth playing, but it won’t blow you away.

The current game I’m playing is Omega Boost. That’s right. It’s back to the those games suggested for the PS1. This game came from the mind of @usagi704. I just started it so expect my thoughts on this game in the near future.

Thanks for reading and have a good one!

Now Playing: July 2013

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Over the past month of July I played six total games. Most of them, all but one, were multiplayer focused. You can read my mid-month happenings by checking out the blog posts Let Ratchet Fix Those Trophies and RivalShadeX and Gaming.

My main game as of late has been Tomb Raider: Underworld. It does continue the same style of gameplay that was present in the previous titles of Legend and Anniversary. There are some changes, of course. One of those things is the combat being easier than it already was, but the platforming, while still fun, does get a bit trickier. At least it has been for me. Jumping off of walls to get to higher points is a new ability Lara has here. It’s been sometimes difficult to know when you should be doing it.

New attacks have been granted. Lara can now melee, throw sticky grenades, and target up to two enemies at once. Like I said the combat is even easier this time around and I’m sure these additional moves proves that to you.

I’m currently 7 hours and 42 minutes into the game, but I don’t feel I’ve gotten very far. This has mainly to do with how long I’ve been in the Southern Mexico section of the game. I just arrived at the Land of the Dead portion and hope to move on soon.

Thanks for reading. Peace!

Post E3 Game Thoughts 2011 – Part 2

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This is the continuation of my thoughts of games at E3.

Saints Row: The Third – Three words. Over the top. This third game is even more so than Saints Row 2. I was expecting just more in the style of the last game, but this craziness has been turned up to 20. The GS stage demo was quite hilarious.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time – Because I had my fill of the Sly Cooper games after just playing the second one, I don’t see myself getting the Sly Collection. However, this game looks fantastic and more so than I was expecting. It looks to be more of what made the previous three games great. I just hope it doesn’t overstay its welcome this time.

Tomb Raider – I remember this series not interesting me in the slightest until I saw Tomb Raider: Legend in action. I’ve been a fan ever since and this reboot looks cool. I’m sure most of the game is of a traditional style and isn’t comprised of the game’s beginning that was shown at E3 this year. I think it was a mistake to focus only on it which gave rise to Heavy Rain like comments. Here’s to hoping for better the next time it’s shown.

Twisted Metal – On the GameSpot stage this year they showed off the Iron Maiden boss battle. It took place in a canyon setting with the Dollface character controlling this huge robot. I’m not exactly sure what all of the objectives were, but there were quite a few. The biggest blow to my excitement for this game came when David Jaffe was saying that this boss battle would take 30 minutes at least and an average of an hour for most players. I don’t like this at all. In fact, now that I think about it, I don’t usually enjoy the boss battles in the Twisted Metal series. They always feel impossible and take forever. I’m looking at you Head On. I think I should admit it right here and now that I’m probably no where near the fan of this series that I thought I was.

OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST:
Overstrike
SSX
Starhawk
Street Fighter X Tekken
Uncharted: Golden Abyss

Thanks for reading!

One Game Is Not Enough

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The following is my reply to the blog post “Stop Single Game Syndrome” on Substance TV.com.

I’m definitely all about new/unique/different gaming experiences or at the very least more of them.

I was never a fan or even interested in the Tomb Raider series. However, I got interested once I saw Tomb Raider: Legend in action. I picked it up and was happy I did. In fact, Tomb Raider: Anniversary (finished too) and Underworld are similar so I’ve since picked them up.

I’ve also tried other games that I wouldn’t normal bother with that didn’t go over so well. The two that come to mind is Psychonauts and Splinter Cell. The former was a big collect-a-thon and I’m not into those kinds of games. The latter was too strict on the stealth which lead to a not-so-enjoyable experience. At least I gave those games a try. I have since bought the third Splinter Cell game, Chaos Theory, to see if I like it more.

Another great example is Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. I never liked any of the 2D games so I didn’t think to look at this game when it came out. In 2006 I decided to give the game a shot. Not only did I like it a lot, I also bought Warrior Within and The Two Thrones soon after. I even did three speed runs of the game back-to-back with my best time being just under three hours. On top of that I’ve bought the PSP versions of the latter two games renamed Revelations and Rival Swords, respectively. The 2008 game was a big letdown with the frustrating combat. The Forgotten Sands looks to be a return to form for the series, which I greatly approve of.

With my most recent purchases I picked up Alter Echo which looked interesting after seeing some gameplay videos. I even decided to get the PS2 Shinobi game and Urban Reign, if I can ever find it, because your show made them look so good. :)

The Wanted Ninjas of the Underworld

A few purchases that I picked up this past week. I’m trying to wait on more games to get down to $20 or less before buying unless I’m certain to play it right away.

I don’t normally think of Sears, but just like last time (online archive), I found a fantastic deal. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is still fairly new and still goes for full price. At Sears I found it for $20! Also while there I picked up Tomb Raider: Underworld.

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I enjoyed the demo for Wanted: Weapons of Fate when I played it around the time of the game’s release. I also liked playing it once again for the recent “Being the Man” Moment video. I got it on Amazon.com for about $15 also with a red Dualshock 3 controller.

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