Now Playing: May 2011

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I played a hella lot of games in the past month. This has much to do with most being from the compilations SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, Gradius Collection, and Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection.

As I talked about previously, I had finished Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO and Gradius on PSP giving me 13 games beaten in 2011. I’d also mentioned Baseball Stars 2 plus Gradius II and III.

Around this same time I was trying to go for all of the treasures in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but I probably didn’t talk about it because I was still in the middle of it. Well, I guess you could say I’m still in the middle of it. I had a difficult time finding some and I found out I missed a few. I was getting a little tired of it so I stopped trying to find them all. Maybe some other time I’ll try again.

There’s two games, however, that I won’t be trying again. The first being GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. To quote my full review, “EA LA clearly didn’t have any original or even remotely good ideas for this game. They simply wanted the GoldenEye name to sell it on the nostalgia people have for the N64 title alone. For shame.”

The other of the two games was the original Streets of Rage. I let my rage be known in this rant I typed up soon after getting my ass cheaply handed to me by a Master System looking game posing as 16-bit.

I moved onto more exciting games like Sonic Spinball. I loaded a 2+ year old save file which gave me the trophy for earning 10 million points on the first level way back then. I added another 6 million before saving it again. I figured after that amount of points I could consider it as finished game #14.

I played the arcade version of Shinobi and remember it fondly from my arcade days. Thanks to the emulation save state-like saves on this compilation, I was able to finish this game. I don’t know how you’d do it otherwise. It has the typical arcade game cheapness to it and also has a limit to the number of times you can continue just like the arcade version of Contra. Nevertheless, I was proud to have seen it to the end giving me finished game #15.

Finally on the multiplayer side of gaming, I had fun popping back in Grand Theft Auto IV to mess around in. I showed @thatmikem what I called the Playground of Death when you can get cars to launch high into the air. I hope it’s a glitch that’s never removed.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat on DS was the other game I played against Usagi704 and SonicHomeboy. I’ve not much to really say about it. It’s MK.

That’ll do it for me this time. Thanks for checking out my blogging space. Peace!

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – 16h57m; 74/100 Treasures; Trophies: 30/48 (63%)
* Streets of Rage – Score: 373,400
* Sonic Spinball – Score: 16,605,000
* Shinobi – Score: 318,230
* Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection – Trophies: 30/35 (85%)
* Ultimate Mortal Kombat – 392 SP Wins; 126 SP Losses; 121 MP Wins; 86 MP Losses

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PSP XTREME!!! (shhh… GameSpot likes it quiet)

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Since my Now Playing blog post I finished the final few stages of Ragnarok mode in Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO and unlocking the rest of the characters. This included running through the arcade mode once to unlock Kamen Rider W in Cyclone Accel Xtreme form. I felt this character to be unnecessary since this form of W never happened in the show. It was only an idea of Shroud in a thought bubble.

While over at a friends place earlier in the week I played some of Baseball Stars 2 on SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 via my PSP. I’ve always had trouble with pitching to the correct base on games of this era. I hit the throw button while my character is running in the direction of the base, but ball instead goes to the base as corresponds to the d-pad (1st = Right, 2nd = Up, 3rd = Left, Home = Down). It makes sense, but I hardly seem to do it correctly when under pressure to make it before the runner. I lost in extra innings as you probably guessed.

I’ve mainly been playing on the PSP since the visit. I’ve mostly played Gradius Collection and it’s reminded me why I like the series so much. Shoot-’em-ups don’t attract me all that much, but I like these games. I started with Gradius III and can get quite far. I just haven’t been able to finish it yet.

In my first session with the original Gradius, I finished it. It’s overall a much easier game with bosses that are very repetitive and easy. Gradius II, on the other hand, is the most difficult out of the three. I can’t pass stage 2 yet. The collection also has Gradius IV and Gaiden (a PS1 game), but I didn’t want to start them for now.

I plan to start playing GoldenEye: Rogue Agent next. Usagi704 just recently played through it fairly quickly on Xbox. I’ll be breaking out the PS2 version.

GAMNG STATS:
Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO – All characters unlocked (#12 finished for 2011)
Gradius – Score: 450,000 (#13 finished for 2011)
Gradius II – Score: 114,600
Gradius III – Score: 244,210

Now Playing: January ’09

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It’s been awhile since I’ve racked up as many games played in a month’s time. This time it was a total of 14.

Street Fighter Alpha 2 (SNES)
Skyblazer (SNES)
Resistance 2 (PS3)
Burnout Paradise (PS3)
Street Fighter Alpha Anthology (PS2)
Fatal Fury (GEN/SNES)
Prince of Persia (PS3)
Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 1 (PS2)
Chili Con Carnage (PSP)
SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 (PSP)
Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3)
Castlevania Chronicles (PSN)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3)

The games that I finished are CoD4, GTA IV (again), Fatal Fury (arcade/SNES), and Prince of Persia.

In other games, Castlevania Chronicles is of the older style of that series and, as expected, gives me some trouble. This PS1 game has an original mode and an arranged mode. The latter mode isn’t just a slight graphical upgrade. It’s also much easier. The proof here is that in original mode I can’t get past stage 2 where as in the arranged mode I’ve made it to stage 6.

I’ve definitely played more Fatal Fury over this last month than I think it should be played. On top of beating the arcade version on the PSP several times, I also cheated my way though the SNES version and played quite a bit in vs. mode with Usagi on the Genesis version. He loved using Michael Max against me and I could see why. The dude is totally broken when it comes to his semi-automatic dashing. It comes out as fast as you’re willing to double tap. Cheap! (lol)

More recently I’ve been online with Resistance 2 and my personal 2008 Game of the Year, Burnout Paradise.

I was mostly playing co-op as a medic in Resistance 2 to get my XP up before the patch that came out today. Apparently the medic was able to get XP much quicker then the other two classes before the patch. So I was getting as much as I could beforehand. :D

It was nice to get two more online challenges in Burnout completed. After awhile it becomes difficult to get to ones that haven’t been done.

Grand Theft Auto IV wins for a second time as Game of the Month. Last time it was back in May. The addition of trophies was cool as was reversing all of the decisions from the first play through. Most of those decisions don’t really matter which one you do. However the first one, killing either Playboy X or Dwayne, is much better on one side. The online side of the game is pretty small now with only “griefers” left it seems.

The next game that the fortune cookie of Backloggery.com suggests I play is Jurassic Park on the Sega CD. To that I say “hell no.” :P

Games Finished In 2008

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Here’s the list of games that I finished within the boundaries of 2008. Out of those that list of 30, here’s some comments on a few of those games.

Fatal Fury
I ended up beating the arcade version on easy, normal, hard, and insane difficulty levels via SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 on the PSP. That sounds impressive until to know how to best each CPU opponent. I didn’t even get a challenge on the insane setting. It still felt like easy or normal. Raiden is really easy once you realize that throwing a punch at a distance will make him do his flame breath that doesn’t hit, then hitting him with a move like Terry’s Burning Knuckle.

Neo Turf Masters
Thanks to SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, I was able to play this interesting golf game. It’s actually a pretty competent game of golf. More so than you’d first expect.

Kirby’s Dream Land
I remember really well playing this game at the time of its release in 1992. However, it wasn’t until I bought my own copy last year that I quickly beat it. There’s also a code to make the game more difficult, which is displayed at the end of the game. It ends up being the insane difficulty that Fatal Fury was looking for. :lol:

Stuntman Ignition
There are some games that I really enjoy and I play the crap out of them before moving on. Examples of this are Tomb Raider: Legend, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and this game. I played the PS2 version a lot until it was completed and then played it some more to five star some scenes that I didn’t the first time. While I haven’t played it yet, I have bought the PS3 version as well.

Power Blade
I didn’t expect to like Power Blade all that much since I didn’t know anything about it when I picked it up last August. Its actually fairly easy when compared to other NES games of the time. Once I understood what to do it was pretty fun. I now have Power Blade 2 on my wish list.

Contra 4
I’ve only finished this game on easy since this game is the definition of hardcore gaming. I spent most of my time on the challenges which were a little frustrating, but ultimately fun.

Mega Man 4 & Mega Man II
Back when Mega Man 9 was released, I decided to get some play time in on older Mega Man games. I played some of Mega Man 8 and Mega Man X4, but I had more fun playing Mega Man 4 on the NES and Mega Man II on the Game Boy. I finished the former with the Game Genie since I’m not all that skilled in the series, but I did beat the latter game without cheats.

The games I recommend from my list of 30 completed games are:
The King of Fighters ’97
Tomb Raider: Anniversary
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Twisted Metal: Head On – Extra Twisted Edition
Justice League Heroes: The Flash
Power Blade
Stuntman Ignition
Kill Switch

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.

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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.

New Releases 2008: April 27-May 10

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This week is packed with excitement and that’s only because of two games. The following week, however, is looking pretty slim and that’s also because of the same two games. Have a look.

THIS WEEK’S 3 BIG GAMES
Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, X360)
Mario Kart Wii (WII)
Warhawk – Operation: Broken Mirror (PSN)

THIS WEEK’S HONORABLE MENTIONS
SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 (PSP, PS2)
Iron Man (X360, PS2, PS3, DS, WII, PSP)
Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor (PC)
PixelJunk Monsters Encore (PSN)

NEXT WEEK’S 3 BIG GAMES
R-Type Command (PSP)
Iron Man (PC)
Boom Blox (WII)

NEXT WEEK’S HONORABLE MENTIONS
Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy (WII)
Speed Racer (WII, DS)

Bottom 10 Tracked Games

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The following list is the ten games that I’m tracking that have the lowest amount of total GameSpot members tracking as well. The tracking list serves as a coming soon list of sorts for myself. So that would make the arcade shoot-’em-up Raiden IV the least tracked game on GS that I’m also looking forward to.

Raiden IV (ARC) – 4
Samurai Shodown Anthology (PSP) – 19
The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga (PSP) – 29
Sonic Unleashed (PS2) – 30
SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 (PSP) – 32
Space Invaders Extreme (PSP) – 37
Puzzle Quest: Galactrix (PSP) – 49
N+ (DS) – 63
Untitled John McTiernan Game (PS3) – 76
SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 (PS2) – 84