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

psp-xtreme

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

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Finishing The Unfinished

finishing-the-unfinished

Fairly recently I decided to make up a list of games that have left unfinished and mostly focus on getting to the finish line. I would list them here, but I keep taking some games off of the list because I either find out that they’re too frustrating to continue (ie: Urban Chaos: Riot Response) or barely started to even count as being played in the first place (ie: Sonic Rush).

Four games that I’ve now completed are as follows: Retro Game Challenge, Biker Mice From Mars, Metal Slug, and TMNT.

RETRO GAME CHALLENGE (DS)
I purchased this game when it was released back in the early part of this year. I kept at it until I got to the last challenge which was to beat all of the eight games included. I had only half left, but for whatever reason I didn’t get back to it.

Once I did get back into it, I quickly beat Robot Ninja Haggleman 2 , Rally King, and Rally King SP. Guadia Quest was the lone RPG left and I’m sure that most people leave this one until last since it does take up a majority of the time to get through.

It was very satisfying to beat and I can’t recommend this DS game enough to those that are willing to relive the older days of gaming’s history; the good, the bad, and the difficulty.

BIKER MICE FROM MARS (DS)
This game may seem strange to some, but those that grew up during the time that I did will probably remember a cartoon by the same name in the early ’90s. This DS game in particular is from the 2006 series revival that came to North America last year.

Instead of just racing, like on the SNES, this game is also the typical licensed fare of action-platforming. A single level sometimes feels like it goes on forever and the enemy groupings can be pretty cheap causing frustration to set in. Despite that the final boss was very easy to beat.

METAL SLUG (PSP VIA METAL SLUG ANTHOLOGY)
I don’t really have much to say about this game. All I had left was the final mission and it was really short especially when compared to the one in Metal Slug 3. That one was way too long.

My main complaint was that the cheapness of it originally being an arcade game made for many deaths. Otherwise it was fun.

TMNT (PS2)
Oh my. Where do I begin?

The combat in this game is completely and utterly boring. No matter what’s happening or what moves are at your disposal, it’s the same from beginning to end.

The platforming is fun when you can get on a roll, but usually this is interrupted by a bad camera angle or zoom position. My biggest problem is that because of the bad camera you’ll have times where you’ll jump too close to a wall and because of this you’ll do a wall run to your death. It’s also bad when you have to deal with moving platforms as you will likely fall off a lot when making a jump to the next one.

As far as where I was in the game. It showed 51% complete, but that was referring to unlocking everything, which I don’t care about. I think I played about three levels and then quickly finished off the few bosses at the end.

I feel the same about this game as I do for the movie of the same name. It looks pretty good, but has little substance to keep you coming back for more.

Thanks for reading what I guess can be considered mini-reviews. Later!

Recent Demos & Next Game Purchase

next-game-purchase

I’d like to take this time to fill you in on my thoughts of some demos that I recently played.

Ghostbusters
I liked the graphics and the voice acting. The controls were decent, but wrestling the ghosts into the trap, while more movie authentic, was quite difficult and annoying to do especially at first. Getting hit often from random objects also didn’t help the fun factor.

Overall I didn’t find the demo for Ghostbusters to be long enough to get a good idea of whether I’d like the whole game or not. I know that some of you are going to cry foul because you liked the game a lot. Trust me, I know, I’ve read what’s been said. :D

Rating: Bargain Bin

The Bigs 2
The Homerun Pinball mode was quite a bit of fun. However that wasn’t the case when actually playing a full game. I like arcade sports game, but I found out with this game that baseball isn’t one of them. I guess I’ll be sticking to arcade basketball for the time being. NBA Jam Tournament Edition has yet to be unseated in that genre.

Rating: Skip It

Dissidia: Final Fantasy
I wasn’t all that impressed with Dissidia after reading some previews and looking at a few screenshots before the demo hit. Because of this I didn’t rush to play the demo once I downloaded it. When I did try it I thought it was quite good and showed a lot of promise for the full game.

If you must know I played as Terra since I remember her from playing Final Fantasy VI back in 2007. Slowly I got the hang of how to play. It reminded me of a Dragonball Z Half-Life modification that I played a number of years ago. The one thing that sticks out as not so great are the arenas where the fights take place. They’re pretty bland looking and empty feeling. Graphically the arenas look too blocky as if they were made for the N64/DS.

Rating: Bargain Bin

Batman: Arkham Asylum
This really feels like it’s the Batman game that we’ve all been waiting a long time for. Its graphics are superb and the voice work from veterans of Batman: The Animated Series doesn’t hurt either. I’ve always really liked the animated show so I’m really happy about the latter part.

The combat is quite interesting in that you can mix it up with strikes, counters, takedowns, etc. Being spotted by armed thugs can be punishing, but even so there’s still room for choice in how to deal with the situation given. Toggling the detective mode on does help in getting an advantage on a room full of enemies, but it by no means makes it a cake walk.

Rating: Sooner Rather Than Later

Rating scale: Day One – Sooner Rather Than Later – Bargain Bin – Skip It

As I’ve briefly mentioned before, I’m going to be focusing on getting harder to find games that I’ve been wanting for sometime now. Once a month I’m going to look on eBay for these games. This should also help stem the large amount of purchases that I’ve made up to this point. Of course, rare exceptions will be made for games like Modern Warfare 2 or God of War III.

With all of that said, the game that I’ll be looking for near the end of this month will be the Sega CD version of Lords of Thunder. It’s without a doubt my current number one game to get that I have on my wish list. It’s a fantastic shoot-’em-up with amazing heavy metal music. I highly recommend trying it out in any way you can.

That’ll do it for me this time. Later.

Now Playing: April ’09

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Out of the 11 games I’ve played in the last 30 days, seven of them were finished. With those stats some people may think that I try to beat as many games as quickly as possible. I assure you that it’s definitely not my intention, though I do take advantage of it whenever possible. Here’s the list of those seven games.

* Street Fighter II (SNES) with Game Genie air moves as Zangief on level 8.
* OutRun (GEN) via emulation on Super Easy with score of 1,552,330.
* Metal Slug 3 via Metal Slug Anthology (PSP) on Normal with limited continues until final mission on Easy with unlimited continues.
* Viking: Battle for Asgard (PS3)
* Saints Row 2 (PS3)
* Captain Commando via Capcom Classics Collection Remix (PSP)
* Final Fight 3 (SNES)

Other games that I played briefly were Super Street Fighter II on the Genesis and Samurai Shodown II against Usagi, as you didn’t figure already.

I spent some time also playing The Ninja Warriors Again on the Super Famicom and the North American version via emulation. That’s one game that’s really fun and each of the three characters are unique in their movement, attacks, and special moves.

My main game currently is the one that was voted on more recently in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. My character is at level 27 with 54.1% of the castle explored in 6 hours and 27 minutes of game time.

Before I forget, my Game of the Month was Saints Row 2. It’s just the right length with great things like online co-op and Steven Seagal style ponytails that make the game awesome on many levels.

My next game I plan to play as a supplement to Circle of the Moon will be the other big vote getter, Half-Life 2.

That about does it for me. Until next time, you guys take it easy. :)

Gaming Update incl. Saints Row 2

gaming-update

I’m not usually into doing the whole gaming updates as others are, but I decided to make an exception this time since I have a few things that I do want to cover.

About a week ago I had everybody choose two out of the 12 games that I listed that I’d play next. If you didn’t see my comment in that post with the results, then I’ll list them here.

8 – Saints Row 2
4 – Metal Slug 3 via Metal Slug Anthology
4 – Gungrave
4 – Gunstar Super Heroes
3 – Strider 2
3 – Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
2 – Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
2 – Final Fantasy via Final Fantasy Origins
1 – The Legend of Kage 2
1 – Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run
1 – Retro Game Challenge
0 – Tomb Raider: The Prophecy

I honestly hoped that Lost Planet and Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror would’ve been the two top choices, but I’ve since played Metal Slug 3 and Saints Row 2 and I’ve been having a blast! I was kind of surprised that these two games, which were of the randomly selected group, would be as fun as they are.

I finished Metal Slug 3 fairly quickly, but little did I know how difficult it was. Before I found the global options for difficulty, auto fire, and control config, I was playing it on Normal. Despite the game kicking my ass, I still managed to make it to the beginning of the final mission before running out of continues. I’d say that’s pretty good for a first time run through of the game.

After finishing Viking: Battle For Asgard, I moved onto Saints Row 2.

I find some of the characters to be hilarious such as Johnny Gat and the drug dealing mom, who was funny when she got all excited about my character breaking her out of jail.

Speaking of my character, I didn’t really do much with the details since I did just want to get playing the actual game. However, I do like how he came out. I gave him a British accent with a Steven Seagal style ponytail that’s colored pink to brown and, no matter what clothes he wears, they’re always colored black, red, and light gray.

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View larger image

Below are a few things that I picked up recently at Best Buy. Aside from The Dark Knight, which I got back in January, the rest were all for a total of less than $60. Fracture was $20, Face/Off was also $20, and the fifth season of ER was surprisingly $17. I think that the first four seasons that I bought were about $40 each when I originally got them years ago.

fracture-faceoff-darkknight-s5er

I have two SNES games from eBay coming real soon. They’re some hard-to-find ones that, when compared to eStarland.com’s prices, were really good deals.

Until then! :)

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