Concentrating On Some Revelations

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Over the last week the two games I’ve been most concentrating on are Beyond Oasis and Prince of Persia: Revelations.

Before I get to either of those games, however, I’d like to briefly speak about Golden Axe III. Originally only released in Japan with a quick visit to North American via the Sega Channel, it has been known for being quite poor in comparison to the two previous entries. I tried playing it seriously this time around with Level 4 being as far as I was able to get. Enemies don’t always react to getting hit and they have annoyingly hard to avoid jumping attacks in several situations. Not to mention the character selection is nothing to write home about. Blocking is a new thing which is not easy to do on purpose and with enemies also able to block make for frustratingly longer boss fights. Not recommended.

About three years ago I started playing Beyond Oasis via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (The Story of Thor: A Successor of The Light via Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection) because of Retro Revival Week. I got back to it this last week and it has been surprisingly fun. It’s usually considered an RPG, but overall I’d say it’s more of a non-linear beat-’em-up, but there are a few RPG elements to keep up interest. I just finished getting the fourth and final spirit to help out when needed. Now it’s onto the castle.

Finally on the PSP I’ve been going through Prince of Persia: Revelations. It’s a port of Warrior Within just with new areas to traverse. When going to the Throne Room the path changes part way through to the Courtyard/Guard Tower. On the way to the gears side of the tower the new area is The Puzzle Chamber. Getting to the Gardens section requires going through the Underground Spring, River, and Cave. These latter sections have really bad textures. I’m sure once I get the Wraith mask I’ll be greeted with additional new areas.

One bug which came up during Usagi704’s playthrough of Warrior Within on Xbox also appeared for me in Revelations. After defeating Kaileena for the first time and the Prince thinks he won and then getting chased several times by the Dahaka and raising the alter in the middle of the room. Climbing up to it to escape was impossible. At the top the game didn’t think you were so an invisible wall was in the way. Reloading the last save point (Beach – Present; The Long Way Home) after quitting to the main menu helped solve this problem.

Outside of that Xbox version bug the only other problem is the sound in cutscenes playing a little after they should. Otherwise the translation to the portable screen is pretty good.

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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. :)

Pick 5: Games Never Finished (version 2)

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Back in early 2007 I had put together this list and it consisted of Call of Duty 3, Metroid Fusion, Need For Speed Most Wanted, Ratchet & Clank, and Super Castlevania IV. Of those five games only two have since been completed — Call of Duty 3 and Ratchet & Clank. Tomb Raider: Anniversary would’ve been on this list, but I just completed it a few days ago after being away from it for about a year and a half. Here’s a new short list of games that were started yet still not completed out of the 55 games that I counted. These aren’t listed in any specific order other than the order in which I thought of them.

I. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)
I remember really enjoying the original game. Soon after completing that one I started MGS2. For what ever reason I did the usual and blamed the debut character Raiden for losing interest at the time. Since then I know better than to think that one character really kills the game. When I think back it was more likely because I was on Metal Gear overload and needed a break.

II. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (GBA)
One night when thinking of what portable game out of two to take with me over to a friend’s place I thought of this Zelda title. I knew that if I waited to get in the mood that I never really would since I’m definitely not much of a fan of the series. For about a month after that night I tried playing it on and off (mostly off) and got discouraged when trying to find my way around the overworld map. I realize that this may sound silly to big fans of the series, but it just confuses me to no end.

III. Odin Sphere (PS2)
When playing this game earlier this year I really did love it. I still do too, but as I even stated at the time, fighting the Skuldi wizard boss battle with Oswald was annoying. It’s even annoying just thinking about continuing that game at that point now. It also doesn’t help that the regular enemy wizards are also a pain in the ass to fight. Still I do hope to best Skuldi and move on in this beautiful game.

IV. Prince of Persia Revelations (PSP)
For a game that’s basically Prince of Persia: Warrior Within with a few new areas to explore, you’d think that I’d be finished with this one seeing as Warrior Within is my favorite game of the previous trilogy. I was cruising through the game, remembering where to go and what to do when I came across the first of the new areas. I figured out the first part of this new area, but the second part was less platforming and more puzzle solving which. of course, got me stuck. One of these days, Revelations!

V. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (GEN)
Ah, yes, Shinobi III. How I adore your awesome “Ninjaness” so I’ll count the number of ninja ways.

1. Awesome ninja controls. Best with the original three button Genesis controller.
2. Great ninja challenge. Easy to play, but difficult to master. However still a lot of fun.
3. Lots of ninja variety. The levels are always different and interesting throughout the game.
4. Killer ninja moves. The Joe Musashi moves of old these are not. Everything needed to kick ass is in this ninja.

All of that and I’ve yet to finish the game. I guess whether it’s on the Genesis or on the Genesis Collection, I’ll find a way to overcome it.

Now Playing: October ’07

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A total of seven games round out this past month of October. Here’s how it went down.

At the beginning of the month I finally finished Final Fantasy III (SNES). Getting through Kefka’s Tower was as epic as it was a pain, though I did enjoy every bit of it. The long ending wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be. Maybe I happened to hype it up for myself a little too much after a number of times viewing the fourth part in the GT retrospective. Regardless of any of that I still did have lots of fun with the game. I look forward to the next time I play one of the other Final Fantasy games that I own.

My first PSP game was chosen based on being able to play against others. That’s what lead me to picking up Tekken: Dark Resurrection. I’ve never really taken much to the Tekken series. The only other game I have is Tekken 5 and I hardly ever play it. So it was surprising that I actually like this PSP game. I think it’s for three reasons. 1) It’s on a portable system, 2) the aforementioned multiplayer modes, and 3) the awesome character, Sergei Dragunov.

Soon after that I bought the two Prince of Persia games on the same system. I started with Prince of Persia: Revelations. I, however, stopped playing once I got to a new puzzle that I couldn’t figure out. So far the new areas aren’t designed as well as the original game, Warrior Within. They’re much plainer looking and somewhat more complicated than they needed to be.

Back on the Super Nintendo I played two shoot-’em-ups: Gradius III and U.N. Squadron. I had the most fun with Gradius III and once I messed around with the edit mode I was really rocking. When it came to getting my ass handed to me, U.N. Squadron filled that role nicely. I’m glad that the guys at ScrewAttack.com like the game because it really pisses me off with its brutal difficulty.

Speaking of difficult games, Gargoyles for the Sega Genesis was another fun one. However, getting very far for me required cheat codes. Thankfully there was an in-game invincibility code. I did technically finish the game, but it didn’t actually do anything after the final boss was defeated.

The game that I decided to go back to after almost a year was Call of Duty 3. I originally played very little of the game so I wasn’t aware that you switched back and forth between the storylines. I finished it within a quick three day weekend. I think that the closing credits out lasted the length of Final Fantasy III’s ending.

That’s it for me as this month closes out.