Beyond the Grave

The title of this post is referring to just one game out of the 15 that were added to my collection over this past week. The first stack of games are as follows.

10games-nov2108

SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 (PSP)
I bought this over the PS2 version for framerate reasons, if I remember some reviews that I read correctly.

Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded (PSP)
The original three Street Fighter II games along with Eco Fighters, Knights of the Round, and Mercs (aka Commando 2) was worth it for me. However, if you want only one of the two Capcom collections on the PSP (this or Remixed), then I’d have to recommend Remixed for its better game selection.

Sega Genesis Collection (PSP)
Yes, I have had the PlayStation 2 version for a few years now, but the idea of Genesis games on the go was too good to pass up. Sure the Nomad was a cool concept, but obviously it wasn’t reliable enough. I consider this what Sega was trying to do with the Nomad. Mmmm. Shinobi III. :P

Saints Row 2 (PS3)
For a game that only just came out about a month ago, I picked it up pretty quick. I did so by getting a used copy for $30. That was after a few duplicate games that I traded in (TMNT: Hyperstone Heist, Tetris (GB), Mega Man 2, and Mega Man 3). That I’m not going to compare this game to Grand Theft Auto IV for two reasons. The first being that you’re more than likely sick of hearing it and, second, this game has enough differences this time around to warrant a look at both games.

TimeShift (PS3)
It’s been just over a year since the last time I posted anything about this game. Back then I was talking about the demo and how I had some problems remembering to use the time powers. Whenever I get to playing it I’ll see if it was worth the wait for the $20 price tag.

Puzzle Quest: Challange of the Warlords (PS2)
Here’s a game that I’m currently playing on the DS. I wanted this version for something on the bigger screen. It will be interesting to see if it has any game stopping bugs like the PSP version and if I find it a problem with the lack of a stylus.

Goldeneye: Rogue Agent (PS2)
For the longest time I stayed away from this game and I think it was because I once briefly demoed it on the Gamecube, a controller with shoulder buttons that I can’t stand. Speaking of things that I can’t stand. I’m really tired of hearing people compare every Bond game to their beloved N64 game. I heard it once again with the recent release of Quantum of Solace. I could go on, but I already did over two years ago. For those eager to read what I did say, I’ll post it again soon.

Gungrave (PS2)
Here’s another game that I already had…as in the sequel Gungrave: Overdose. Both games are based on the anime of the same name. You control the resurrected character formerly known as Brandon Heat and now known as Beyond the Grave. Pretty cool and so is the crazy third-person action.

Rygar: The Legendary Adventure (PS2)
I figured that since the updated Wii version is due out soon that I should just go for this game. The prequel was an NES game known only as Rygar.

Loaded (PS)
Don’t know what this game is? I have an easy way to explain it to you. It’s a bloody version of Gauntlet.

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Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA)
I wasn’t expected to find nor did I really want to look for another Klonoa game, but credit goes to Usagi704 for noticing that Gamestop didn’t know what they had on their hands.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
Ditto for this game as it usually goes for much more than what they were selling it for. Psst. $6.

Tekken Advance (GBA)
The third GBA game spotted by Usagi704. I played his copy of this game and I must say that Namco did some great work making this game feel and look as much like Tekken as they did.

Mortal Kombat 3 (GB)
Definitely the worst game that bought by a long shot. Why did I knowingly purchase a bad game? Because I simply had it previously. Back in 1995, I was expecting a lot from this game since they did a great job on MKII. Unfortunately, it ended up as an, as the kids like to say these days, epic fail.

Road Rash (GBC)
Not as bad of a port of the Genesis game as you might expect.

Well, that’ll do it for me this time.

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Recent Demos

recent-demos

Clive Barker’s Jericho
I tried Jericho knowing that I wouldn’t really like the horror theme of the game. So I wasn’t going to knock it for that. However, I was interested in the quick switching squad mechanic that was somewhat unique to this game even though it was used in a similar fashion in Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.

Once I played the demo I was less impressed than I thought I’d be. It wasn’t really that scary and switching characters was a menu-based pain in the ass. If that wasn’t bad enough, the AI controlled characters die way too often. The only really useful character is the guy with the minigun since the enemies rush to your position right away. Oh, and lets not forget the terrible context sensitive parts that are just upsetting and not one bit of fun.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Here’s a game that I thought wouldn’t be much fun because it has been labeled as more of the same. In fact this game does stick to the Ratchet & Clank formula very closely, but the controls are even more refined than in the previous PS2 games that I’ve played. It’s interesting that “more of the same” was just what the doctor ordered. I think that the controls and the beautiful visual design of Ratchet & Clank Future goes a long way to make this series still a blast to play.

Conan
Conan is the game that everybody loves to hate just because it plays very closely to the God of War series. In that sense most people won’t even give it a first chance for a first impression. That’s sad because I was surprised that I enjoyed the demo as much as I have. I’m a big fan of the God of War games, but I can also allow for Conan to be its own game without the needless and endless comparison to Sony’s award winning series. Just because it plays similar doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. The combat felt really great and the huge amount of different moves that can be pulled off feels like it’s never ending and that’s awesome too. I like games from time to time to be viscerally satisfying and that’s where Conan totally delivers.

The Darkness
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I hadn’t tried out the demo for The Darkness. I think that had mainly to do with the overall solid scores that the game was receiving at the time of its release.

Upon playing some of the demo I found that the aiming was imprecise and sluggish. Because of that I died frequently during the part in the small graveyard while trying to fight off the mobsters. Once I finally cleared that part I eventually got to a point where I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to do or where to go. That was where I stopped playing because it was pretty boring.

TimeShift
Unlike the previous four games where I was obviously on one side or another, the same thing can’t be said for TimeShift. This game sounds like fun because of the time powers. Other than that this game would be just another first-person shooter. I liked everything about the game as I expected I would, but the problem here lies more within me than the game itself.

When a game has an interesting mechanic that I’m not used to for the type of game that it’s in, I have a tendency to forget to use it. This happened when I was playing Final Fantasy VI. I forgot to use the Espers in battle most of the time which made for tougher battles than there needed to be. So as you’d probably expect I wasn’t usually thinking about using the time powers to my advantage. Despite this I’m still looking forward to this game.

In The Anticipation Zone: Post E3

Back in January, I talked about my ten most anticipated games of 2007. Now that we are post E3 it’s changed quite a bit. Of course, four of the games on the previous list have been released. Two other games, TNA Impact and Black 2, are also off the list because of their scheduled 2008 release date. That leaves a lot of room for new additions so let’s get to it.

Contra 4 by Wayforward
DS – TBA 2007

I’m sure that some of you have heard how much I like the Contra series pre-3D. Well, then it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that I’m super excited for Contra 4 on the DS.

contra4

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty by Spark Unlimited
PS3, X360, PC – Q4 2007

This is one of the few games that I’m still anticipating from seven months ago. I can thank the great GameSpot stage demo at E3 for retaining my interest. The whole intriguing aspect of this game is based on a “What If” scenario. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t end up feeling too much like all of the other World War II FPS games that we’ve played before.

turning-point

Assassin’s Creed by Ubisoft Montreal
PS3, X360, PC – November 2007

I love platforming games when they’re done right. Some good examples of this are Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider. In those games it was simply a lot of fun to just move around the environment. Assassin’s Creed looks to take that another step with the free roaming aspect of being able to climb around on anything. I can’t wait!

assassins-creed

TimeShift by Saber Interactive
PS3, X360, PC – Q4 2007

I can’t say that TimeShift was on my radar before E3. However, after the show it has a place on my anticipated games list. The stage demo helped with that. I found it cool that the player can stop time and take an enemy’s gun out of their hands.

Burnout Paradise by Criterion Games
PS3 – Q4 2007

The last time my list included Burnout Dominator. It ended up as somewhat of a disappointment. It wasn’t because of the lack of online or crash modes, but rather because of the boost meter being more like the one in Burnout 2. Burnout Paradise looks to be a much more seamless experience with offline and online play. It’s kind of like Test Drive Unlimited, but even more so. It goes without saying that I hope the boost meter goes back to being like it was in the third and fourth games in the series.

Other anticipated games of 2007:
God of War: Chains of Olympus by Ready at Dawn
PSP – Q4 2007

Heavenly Sword by Ninja Theory
PS3 – Q3 2007

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames by Pandemic Studios
PS3, X360, PS2, PC – Q4 2007

Stranglehold by Midway
PS3, X360, PC – August 20, 2007

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune by Naughty Dog
PS3 – Q4 2007