Now Playing: July 2011

nowplaying0711

This month was unexpectedly worse in quality gaming than I expected. While I did enjoy my time with Alien Crush, Peggle, Tekken 6 on PSP, Super SFII Turbo HD Remix and a few others, some game just got on my nerves.

NBA Jam was the first to be a lot of fun and then it turned into a travesty when I tried to play half-court matches in Remix mode. It’s also very hard to tell your distance vs. an opponent to make a block. The CPU players don’t help things by being merciless even on Easy. Thankfully the original mode is still fantastic after all of these years!

Of course the biggest problem of all was Army of Two. I kept on calling it dumb via my updates on Twitter. When I looked at reviews for this game from ’08, I couldn’t believe how many were giving it fairly good passing marks. I didn’t play a 8 out of 10 game. Nowhere near it. They all claimed that the AI partner is horrible, but that this was made up for by having a friend play along with you. It’s not. Stay away from this 3 out of 10 BrickBeef McDudeShooter*.

Half-Life 2: Episode One and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas were the best of the bunch for this last month. The latter I had to consider finished when it didn’t let me continue on with the last two objectives by always saying I failed. I know I was playing the mission in question correctly when I checked out gameplay on YouTube.

The former, Half-Life 2: Episode One, was the great gameplay I liked from HL2 in bite size. This game I actually was able to finish. Being away from this style of game for as long as I have made it feel a little old in how it played. By this I mean I’m used to recharging health, clearly marked objectives, and a very linear path. I’m okay with this since it’s Half-Life after all. It was a fun experience, but, as I’ve read many times, I’m very likely to enjoy Episode Two much more.

In closing, I finished six games this month giving me 24 total for 2011. It’s probably the most in a long time. Listed below are those games and dates. Thanks for checking my blog out!

Alien Crush (PSN) – 6/27
NBA Jam (PS3) – 7/1
Peggle (PSN) – 7/6
Half-Life 2: Episode One (PS3) – 7/12
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3) – 7/21
Army of Two (PS3) – 7/26

The White Angel of Death

white-angel-of-death

Three days ago I started and today I finished the Adventure mode in Peggle with a score of 16,393,460. I’m sure I don’t have to explain what Peggle is at this point. Those of you who care already know. The rest of the things to do are mostly extras like online play and other challenges. I’m on a roll knocking out a game about once a week for the last four. This is the 21st game finished for 2011.

Peggle allows for replays to be uploaded very quickly to YouTube directly from within the game. Early on when I was on stage 2-2 I earned two free balls in one turn. I know it sounds dirty, but I assure you it’s quite clean fun. :P

I’ve had some opponents for two fighting games recently, namely Usagi704 and SonicHomeboy. Both challenged me in Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and the former in Tekken 6 on PSP. While SSFII is fun, I’ve talked about it many times before. Instead I’ll talk about the latter game in what the kids today are calling “first impressions.”

For Tekken 6 to get onto the PSP obviously Namco needed to make some cuts, but this is good news because everything cut was not all that interesting anyway. It strips out the console version’s lengthy beat-’em-up campaign. This is perfectly fine. I may like beat-’em-ups, but I didn’t pick up this game to do that. It also goes for 2D images on the vs. screen instead of 3D models. I’ve only spent around 45 minutes with the game so far so I don’t know of any other changes from the console version at this moment.

I played a little bit with Baek Doo San who’s still the crazy kick master he’s been since his debut. I also tried to use Marshall Law once, but I was quite surprised how much his moveset has changed. In every previous Tekken game he was fairly noob friendly, but not so anymore. My main is still Sergei Dragunov, who I learned from playing Tekken: Dark Resurrection on the same system. I still overall like him a lot and he still controls as before. I actually thought I would’ve forgotten how to play Dragunov since it’s been awhile, but his moves came back to me during the matches. Kind of like the old cliché of riding a bike.

Another birthday happened in the last few days. This would be mine. I was given Assassin’s Creed II by Usagi704. Thanks, man! :)

ac2ps3

Little To No Purchases

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It’s something of a surprise since it doesn’t happen very often, but I’ve gone one month without a single game purchase. I’ve certainly added games to my wish list in the meantime like God Hand and more recent releases like Moon Diver. Along with the games below I also added a third Game Boy Advance SP to the collection in early February. I have a feeling these 16 games are still more than most have bought this year or maybe I’m just being a bit cocky. :P

January:
Prince of Persia Trilogy HD (PS3 import)

February:
Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype (PSN)
Shatter (PSN)
Peggle (PSN)
Burnout 2: Point of Impact (PS2)
Run Saber (SNES)
X2: Wolverine’s Revenge (GBA)
Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced (GBA)
RayCrisis: Series Termination (PS)
Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero (DS)

March:
The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return (WII)
Gradius Collection (PSP)
Yakuza 4 (PS3)
Tetris (PSN)
Super Hang-On (GEN)
Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO (PSP import)

Shattering The Burnout Blues

shatter-burnout

I want to start of by quickly mentioning that I’m a bit bummed by the recent announcement by Ubisoft. They decided, after previously saying it wouldn’t likely get a retail release in North America, to make the Prince of Persia Trilogy available on Blu-ray coming March 22nd. At $40 I could’ve saved some of the money I spent on importing it. Oh well not much I can do now. Time for new stuff!

First up is a few new games bought off of the PlayStation Store. They had a sale for 11 games last week and three of them, Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype, Shatter, and Peggle, were ones I’ve been interested in. It’s too bad they didn’t also offer a deal on Rocket Knight.

Also locally I picked up Burnout 2: Point of Impact for PS2 and a third Game Boy Advance SP. This time it’s blue and in great condition.

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gbasp-blue

Finally I did a trade-in only order with eStarland. I have 35 Atari 2600 games and eight of them were about $1 or more. So those were the few I shipped off to them.

Plaque Attack @ $1.05
Frostbite @ $1.20
Oink @ $2.00
Pressure Cooker @ $3.50
Raft Rider @ $4.00
Wall Ball @ $10.00
Shuttle Orbiter @ $17.50
Rubik’s Cube @ $25.00

Hopefully all of these cartridges still work since I didn’t have any system to test them on beforehand. I do expect to lose out a little bit on Shuttle Orbiter because the cart was broken in two spots, but does look like it can still fit in fine.

Thanks for reading.

Best Co-op Around

best-coop

It’s time for another misc./general happenings/goings on around here. So let’s get to it!

RESISTANCE 2
It’s been a good year since I’ve played this game and since Usagi704 got it recently, I decided to hop online in the co-op mode for some more fun.

I really feel that of all of the games that I own and have played so far that Resistance 2 has the best co-op around. Sure Borderlands (new game) may change that, but until then this is it for me.

I like how the mode basically says “Work as a team or die.” That does setup for some frustrating sessions when other players don’t focus on doing what their chosen class is suppose to do. However when everyone knows their role and executes it well, it can be an excellent gaming experience.

NEW GAMES
Since I mentioned Borderlands, I might as well also mention the other game I got as a part of the recent buy one, get one half off sale at Toys-R-Us. I was going to get Demon’s Souls, but that wasn’t available so I went with The Saboteur. Those were the last purchases of 2009 which gives me a total of 705 unique games.

borderlands-saboteur

WINDOWS PC
About 3-4 months ago I decided that I’d reinstall Windows XP. Not because anything was going wrong, but just because, as I’m sure some of you know, Windows can benefit from a clean install every so often. So I went to do that, but for some reason the disk for the SATA drivers wasn’t being accepted at the time of the reinstallation even though I’d just made the disk before doing so.

Because of this problem the only other thing I was willing to do at the time was to simply disconnect the SATA hard drive from the motherboard and continue as usual with the two IDE HDs. I never did end up doing that so that PC has never been used ever since.

I’ve been continuing normally on a second PC with the Ubuntu version of Linux. I’ve learned a bunch about it and feel at home on it. The only problems that I have is that I still haven’t found a great way to do videos and I can’t do the podcast at all among a few other minor things.

This has lead me to thinking about getting Windows 7. After much thinking I came to the conclusion that I’d go with the Pro version and if it didn’t work out at least I still have Ubuntu to work off of.

Prices of the OS are as ridiculous as I expected coming from Microsoft. The MSRP is $300. The lowest I could find it at a store was $250. I went to eBay and found a genuine new copy for $130. The final price with free shipping was $110 after using the “best offer” function.

It should be here sometime this week. Wish me luck.

PEGGLE
I’m still not sure if I want this game or not. I played a bit of the demo and, even with the little video abilities I have at the moment, I uploaded two videos to YouTube showing some luck involved in two crazy shots.

That will do it for this time. I expect to start X-Men Origins: Wolverine as my first game of 2010. Happy New Year and Game on!

Help Wanted

help-wanted

I have some questions and I hope you could help with some answers.

PSN PURCHASES
I’ve been thinking about two games to buy off of the PlayStation Network lately, but I’ve been torn on some things about them.

First up is Peggle and its add-on Peggle Nights. I’ve heard about this game for awhile and never knew anything about it until I tried the DS version, Duel Shot, that my nephew had. It reminded me of The Price Is Right’s Plinko to an extent.

I liked what I played of it, but the DS version is $20. Both the game and the add-on is $15 in comparison on PSN which is a much better deal.

My question: Is the multiplayer mode(s), if any, worth the time?

I didn’t think much of the PSN port of Mortal Kombat II at the time of its release. That’s mainly because I have the game many times over already. I paid so little attention that I didn’t know that the price was always $5.

My question: Has the game ever been patched or does it still play as it did when it was released? Does it play good enough that any problems it may have aren’t that much of a bother?

GIFT GIVING
I’ve been thinking about games as gifts, but I’ve also been having a difficult time figuring out what to get. The two people in question are my niece and nephew.

I was thinking about Brain Age and Super Dodgeball Brawlers, both on the DS, mainly because I already own them, but now I’m thinking something else might be better.

What ideas might you have? My niece is six and my nephew is nine. They both have a DS Lite so I’m going to keep it to just DS and GBA games. Any game, new or old, on those two system are available for ideas. The only exception is Pokemon. I know that they have enough of that.

Thanks for your help on these questions.

EDIT: For the gifts I also like to stay away from newer games because they may be bought by my brother. Plus, I’d like to keep these games as cheap as possible. Also, if you could make sure nobody else has suggesting the same thing already. Most of Nintendo’s main franchise games are still going for a lot even the older ones so Mario, Link, and the like are also not the best either.