Best Buys For Non-Wish List

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Usagi704 decided it was time to only pick up Game Boy Advance games which are complete and in the box. As I’d shown off last friday, I do have such GBA titles in that very condition! However, I’m personally not against getting a hard-to-find or rare game as cartridge only if that means I’ll finally own it. This brings us to The King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood. This was a game Usagi had in the past and this was his second time purchasing it, but since he wanted a complete copy I opted to buy this one off of him.

This week (or at least this last Sunday for me) I went to Best Buy and selected to purchase Infamous 2, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, and God of War Origins Collection. I didn’t have any of these on my wish list even though I did think about getting them before (sans God of War Origins Collection since I already had a used copy). I figured I might as well this time around since they were only $15 each.

Keeping on the topic of games not on my wish list. I found Onimusha 3: Demon Siege for the PlayStation 2 for $6. It’s the only other title in the Onimusha series which interests me outside of the fourth game, Dawn of Dreams (already have). The first two titles are controlled Resident Evil style which didn’t look like it worked very well for the type of action that’s on display. I have to have a dose of Jean Reno. :D

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Double The Double Dragon

When Double Dragon Neon was released three weeks ago, I didn’t purchase right away. I wanted to try my luck at scoring a free code via WayForward’s Twitter account. Alas, I didn’t win. Last week Marvel vs. Capcom Origins was released and that’s when I bought both of those games. The latter title includes arcade versions of Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes and Marvel Super Heroes.

A games shop in Galion was where I went for the final two games. I got some more Double Dragon this time it was the first game for the Game Boy. I also picked up God of War Origins Collection and it includes (as you know) the PSP titles Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta.

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MORE: Hart & Usagi Podcast episode 19

Post E3 Game Thoughts 2011 – Part 1

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With everybody focusing too much on the press conferences and giving them letter grades as if it were a high school course, I’m going to be giving my attention to what E3 is really all about: The Games! I will now share some of my thoughts on the games that caught my attention.

Blades of Time – This is an indirect follow up to the failed X-Blades. It has the same main character as before, but the style of the graphics are very different this time around. The ability for the player to rewind time and copy themselves up to ten times is quite an interesting game mechanic. I hope this game ends up good with it being in the hands of Konami’s Most Extreme Producer, Tak Fujii. :P

Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 – This game looks like Inglorious Basterds in game form. That in and of itself is a cool concept and hopefully Gearbox can pull it off. Randy Pitchford has promised co-op for both online and off with up to four players and a seamless drop-in/drop-out experience. There’s not much to go on at this point, but my interest is fairly high.

Dragon’s Crown – Here’s a game I know next to nothing about, but I’m pretty excited about it because it’s a Vanilla Ware game and has the same art style as Odin Sphere. With it being released on the PS3, the graphics will look even more amazing than they did on the PS2. The PlayStation Vita is also getting a version of its own.

God of War Origins Collection – You guys know me and my love for the God of War series. So the fact that I’m looking forward to this title shouldn’t be of any surprise to you. Just think of it as the God of War Collection only with the two PSP games instead. It’ll include updated HD graphics with trophy support for play on the PS3. I remember thinking a few years ago that I’d gladly buy a PS2 version of Chains of Olympus if it was ever made. Well, this is that, but better!

Renegade Ops – I saw a quick glimpse of this downloadable title when GameSpot’s Homer was roaming around Sega’s booth. I checked out more gameplay footage on Gametrailers and it looked like it could provide some entertainment. It seemed like it was a dual-stick shoot-’em-up, but with actually missions/objectives. It’s being developed by Avalanche Studios. The same crew that made the Just Cause series.

OTHER GAMES OF INTEREST:
Far Cry 3
The King of Fighters XIII
Ninja Gaiden III
No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise

Thanks for reading!

Now Playing: November 2010

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Welcome to Now Playing for November 2010. Every game played in the last month has been finished bring the total for this year to 38.

One of the games I’ve been fairly quiet on has been Metroid: Other M. Well that ends now.

The last time I talked about this game (Now Playing: October 2010) I said:

The story scenes are no doubt a low point, but surprisingly don’t bother me as much as I expected them to. I guess I just know what to expect from Team Ninja and a good story isn’t one of them. It’s a good way to avoid getting needlessly upset over nothing.

Upon finishing this game I’ve changed my mind on how I feel about Other M’s story. I actually kind of liked it. I felt it was pretty decent and that Samus’ actions and reactions made sense. All of the reviews that made a huge deal about the story and how Samus was portrayed in it need to really get over themselves. Before Other M Samus’ character wasn’t explored much at all so nobody can claim they knew anything about her before the current game. It was all speculation before now. And don’t get me started on X-Play’s review.

Now we come to the controls. Before this year’s E3 I wasn’t thinking much about this game, but all of that was changed once I heard about how simple, waggle-free, and yet still Wii-specific they were. The d-pad works surprisingly well in the 3D space and the quick switching from third-person to first-person for shooting missiles works great a majority of the time too.

In the end I don’t have a whole lot to negatively say about Metroid: Other M. I think it succeeds on the whole more so than it doesn’t.

Metroid: Other M gaming stats: 8h33m; 67%; 57 missiles; 7 Energy Tanks

For details on the other three games I played during November (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, and WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role), check out this previous blog post.

Kratos vs. The Rock

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You’ve probably noticed the pro wrestling related banner and/or avatar lately. I recently watched the DVD I had of SummerSlam 2000 which I still overall like. The finish to the opening match is still fun for me to watch as Steven Richards superkicked Scotty 2 Hotty while he was doing “The Worm.” I never liked Scotty’s move so I was happy to finally see it interrupted. Here’s that portion of the match for those less inclined to know what I’m talking about.

WWF SMACKDOWN 2: KNOW YOUR ROLE
This leads into a game that well represented the roster at the time, Smackdown 2. I played through one year of the season mode starting with Triple H, but it soon didn’t feel like it was leading anywhere. So I changed to Edge and did eventually get the Intercontinental title on him.

The problems I have with the game are of the season mode and championship division structure.

Season mode is mainly problematic because it doesn’t usually have any direction from show to show. And simulating a match is annoying since you have to wait for these stupid life bars to drain.

The championship divisions are separate which is fine, but makes it impossible to challenge for a title unless you’re entered into said division for the title you want. This also makes it impossible for one character to hold more than one singles title at a time. You also have to be ranked 2nd to challenge for a title and when doing so it’s the only time the champion is referred to as such in their introduction.

Surprisingly despite these problems I still had a lot of fun with Smackdown 2. It became my 35th game finished this year.

PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME
I know I’ve mentioned many times about the four times I played through Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in mid-2006. I remember it well. However what I didn’t know was that the original Prince of Persia game was a hidden unlockable. The version included was the later released Macintosh port from 1992.

Upon finding this out I pulled out the game and found the memory card with my save file on it. I proceeded to play about 33% of the game just to find a breakable wall which didn’t look obvious. It took about two hours.

In that time I found things about the game which didn’t bother me at the time or less so than it did now. It probably has more to do with me still having some of The Forgotten Sands fresh in my mind. It definitely had gameplay tweaks for the better from the last seven years.

GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA
As you might have expected, I quickly finished up God of War: Ghost of Sparta in three days (#36). It may sound fairly short, but it is longer by an hour or two over Chains of Olympus. GoS is on par with the length of the other God of War games.

The powers and moves are all fun to perform and I think there’s a few more crammed in there over what Chains of Olympus had. But this doesn’t cause a problem with the controls. They work supremely well and are easy to remember.

The graphics are a big step up from CoO. The only thing I thought could be a strike against this game were the environments. They didn’t vary all that much. I saw fire and lava quite a bit at different points in the game and I did get a bit tired of it, but it was pretty striking at first. Keep in mind that this is a very minor complaint given the quality of the overall product.

God of War PSP #2

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A second God of War game on the PSP brings another limited edition system for me to buy. And buy it I did. In fact, I pre-ordered the unit which is something I haven’t done in a very long time. Doing so provided a few digital downloadable extras.

* God of War III dynamic PS3 theme
* God of War: Ghost of Sparta PSP theme
* God of War: Ghost of Sparta Legionnaire skin (usable after finishing the game)
* God of War: Ghost of Sparta Kratos PSN avatar
* God of War: Ghost of Sparta soundtrack
* God of War: Ghost of Sparta Game Directors Live

Once the PSP system itself arrived the package consisted of the following goodies.

* God of War: Ghost of Sparta red/black PSP-3000 system
* God of War: Ghost of Sparta PSP game (on UMD)
* God of War: Chains of Olympus PSP game (PSN game voucher)
* God of War III Deimos skin (PSN voucher)
* Kick-Ass full-length movie (on UMD)

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It shouldn’t come to anybody’s surprise that I started playing the new game already. I noticed how much more vivid the colors are on the newer model’s screen. It can be turned off, but it does a lot to entertain and please my eyes so I’m keeping it on. :D My current progress is 1 hour and 35 minutes at the Heraklion Forum.

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed at first that there wasn’t any God of War branding on the PSP system at all. The Chains of Olympus system at least had the head of Kratos on the battery cover. Overall, I do like the black and red colors and don’t regret the purchase. Here’s a comparison photo of both PSPs together.

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I do have to question the inclusion of the game voucher for Chains of Olympus, though. God of War fans, like myself, whether they bought either limited edition system or not, has played Chains of Olympus by now. It’s very easy to find and very cheap regardless of where it’s bought. This voucher is completely pointless.

One last thing I bought was an official NES Game Genie adapter to enable the use of the Game Genie in the model 2 NES system. I didn’t know about this until I looked it up. It was noted that very few were made by Galoob at the time. I looked on eBay not expecting to find one, but luckily I did. It was pretty expensive for a simple adapter, but when I considered the alternative of not being able to use the Game Genie at all it seemed much more worth it.

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That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

Post E3 Game Thoughts

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Over the week of E3 I saw a number of things that got me more interested in some games that I previously wasn’t sure how I thought about them. Here are those games.

Metroid: Other M – My first thoughts when this game was originally announced was that it’d be the typical wagglefest that I’d come to expect from a Nintendo IP. To my surprise the controls were as basic as they could get. Holding the remote sideways using the d-pad and 1 and 2 buttons. There’s some occasional moments where the player will aim light gun style for scanning and shooting some enemies, but that sounds like it’s the majority of how the game controls. Sounds great!

Mortal Kombat – The pre-E3 trailer was just a tease and didn’t do all that much for me. However, once I saw that GameSpot stage demo, I was sold. This new MK looks to have a solid fighting engine. Combine that with a ton of nostalgia and it’s a sure fire win!

Medal of Honor – I didn’t care for this reboot of a somewhat on again/off again great FPS franchise. After seeing its showing at E3, I still don’t really care. It looks way too much like Call of Duty to where that’s what first comes to mind when I see footage of it. The only thing that got my attention was the PS3 exclusive bonus of a remake of Medal of Honor: Frontline. It’s my favorite of the series and is the only reason I’ll probably pick the main game up.

Twisted Metal – I’m not as big as a Twisted Metal fan as I may let on, but I have still enjoyed most every game of the series with Twisted Metal 2 being the one that sticks out the most. The online modes look to be the most interesting of this newest game as it will mark the first time I’ll be playing others not sitting next to me.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta – At this point I’m somewhat overcome with a bit too much of Kratos’ adventures which is why I took a break from finishing up God of War III from back in March. With that said, I was loving the graphical look of the upcoming PSP entry from the GS stage demo. The water effects were especially impressive. Of course I’ll be getting this game.

Homefront – I’ve played/seen these shooters before. They’re those what if scenarios of the United States being invaded with the point of view being from a common everyday person and how they deal with it. Freedom Fighters had it be the Russains, Turning Point had it be the Germans, and this game has it being the North Koreans. Hopefully this will be the one I actually like.

Red Faction: Armageddon – Here’s another stage demo that changed my mind on the game in question. It was a safe bet to think that this would be very similar to last year’s game. To my surprise it’s not as open of a world. But it does seem to have fun weapons to use. One in particular can reform destroyed structures so you can ruin them again.

I’ve got a lot more to say, but I’ll reveal those thoughts at another time.

The responses for what game I bought from Gamefly was quite amusing, but all incorrect. You guessed the following games.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (x2)
Wolfenstein (x2)
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Darksiders
Split/Second

It was, in fact, Rogue Warrior. Check out this hilarious Giant Bomb quick look of the game.

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Thanks for playing and good day, folks!