Now Playing: January 2010


It’s been an interesting first month of gaming for the new year. It has ranged from disappointment to the feeling of victory. With that said, I give you the return of Now Playing for the first time since last September.

We’ll start off with that feeling of victory as The Minish Cap became the first game I’ve finished for 2010 as of four days ago.

Along with my earlier gripe of some of the “Zelda logic” that exists in this game, I also didn’t like that I had to do a lot of backtracking. Overall I did enjoy the month I played the game, but it certainly didn’t blow my mind like the series seems to do for so many fans each and every game. 3/5 (no half points)

Just as the movie was fun to watch for me unlike for most people, the game is the same. The only problems that I recently came across was missing the chance to get the “Ultimate Wolverine” trophy (Fought four W.E.N.D.I.G.0 prototypes at the same time and defeated them at Alkali lake.) and an enemy decided to be where I couldn’t get to him. The latter problem is pictured below.


The former problem came about because somehow one of the W.E.N.D.I.G.0 prototypes either died on their own or were somehow killed by one of the others. Either way I was robbed. Not that I’m upset or anything like that since the game is pretty satisfying.

Trophies: 23 / 51 (45%)

Within the last week I’ve been trying to get the final “Untouchable” trophy (Go unharmed for an entire level, without restarting from a checkpoint.) by playing the second chapter mostly with Rorschach. Time and time again it just doesn’t happen. I think I’ve tried a good 30+ times at this point. Odds say it’ll happen eventually.

Trophies: 11 / 12 (92%)

I reinstalled Steam for the first time in many years and the same hardware that ran those games flawlessly now has some problems doing so under Windows 7. Interestingly enough it also works with Wine on Ubuntu and much better at that. Sound is the only issue here, but that’s been an overall problem for me on Ubuntu.

Even without sound I was eager to play some DoD, but it unfortunately doesn’t have any servers with anything, but bots on it. At least that’s what I got every time.

If you were wondering when the disappointment was going to come in, well look no further than Borderlands. Weren’t expecting that, were you? I honestly wasn’t either when I started playing it just two days ago.

After playing it some and getting my soldier to level 12, I can say for sure that the loot drops that help motivate a number of gamers to continue playing does absolutely nothing for me. When I think back about my time playing Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance on the GBA, I know now that it wasn’t the case then either.

I understand that the selling point of Diablo-style loot drops was the best way for Borderlands to be marketed. It stands out more than that way than if it was known simply as a co-op FPS. However, co-op is what sold me on this game and what I like best in shooters these days. Resistance 2 is a perfect example of this as it was a lot of fun to get back into after about a year of being away from it.

My main problem with the game is its pacing. Because of all of the loot, you’re always picking it up and comparing it with what you already have to see if it’s worth switching out with. Doing this makes progress very slow. Doing this with more players in co-op makes it even slower.

To make matters worse, the fact that the enemies get stronger as you level up kind of null and voids the whole point of leveling up to begin with. The sense of always being a weakling accompanies this and with that aggravation sets in. It just drains all of my energy to want to continue playing the game at that moment as if I had just finished fucking Matt Damon. XD

I don’t have an ending to this joke so I’ll just take a small bow.

2009 Game of the Year Nominees


There will be 12 nominees and they will consist of the games that I enjoyed the most for each month. This rule will be the case regardless of whether or not I’ve played the game before. It also doesn’t matter if the game was released in 2009 or not.

Jan. — Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3)
Feb. — Retro Game Challenge (DS)
Mar. — Watchmen: The End Is Nigh (PSN)
Apr. — Saints Row 2 (PS3)
May — The Ninja Warriors (SNES)
Jun. — The Punisher (PS2)
Jul. — Crash Commando (PSN)
Aug. — The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match (PS2)
Sept. — Tekken: Dark Resurrection (PSP)
Oct. — Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (PS3)
Nov. — God of War Collection (PS3)
Dec. — Batman Begins (PS2)

I’ll reveal the winner soon.

Games Finished In 2009


The list below shows every game that I finished in 2009. The total number comes to 47 across 11 systems. That’s up 17 from 2008.

Burnout Paradise
Crash Commando
God of War
Grand Theft Auto IV
Half-Life 2
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Prince of Persia
Saints Row 2
Street Fighter IV
Streets of Rage 2
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Viking: Battle for Asgard
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Part 2

Fatal Fury
Final Fight 3
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
The Ninja Warriors
Street Fighter II

Captain Commando
Chili Con Carnage
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 3
Tekken: Dark Resurrection

Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival


Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Batman Begins
Burnout Revenge
The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match
The Punisher
Unreal Tournament

Biker Mice From Mars
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
Retro Game Challenge

Crash Bandicoot: Warped

Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams


I also got my first two platinum trophies within the previous 12 months. The first one came along back in March with Burnout Paradise and the second one was captured more recently in November with God of War.

In some interesting trivia about my game collection (idea from DuncanR2N), the oldest game I own is Dodge ‘Em for the Atari 2600. This is an estimate since it’s extremely hard to find more than just the year of 1980 for a release date. GameSpot has it listed for 1978 so it’s obviously not known for sure.

The newest game I own is a lot easier to look up. It would be Pandemic’s final game The Saboteur which was released a month ago.

On my wish list the oldest game that I’m looking to get is the NES version of Konami’s Gradius which was released on December 1, 1986.

The newest game that I’d like to have (mainly because I’m a big fan of beat-’em-up games) is Revenge of the Wounded Dragons on the PSN. It was released 23 years and 9 days after Gradius on December 10, 2009.

Coming up soon I’ll have my Game of the Year announced. Game on!

Rorschach Doesn’t Compromise


That’s what I keep hearing him tell me. Anyways, onto the blog post at hand.

My progress was slight over the last couple of days. I mainly just tackled the Fortress of Winds. In it I obtained the mole mitts and beat the stupidly easy boss Mazaal.

I’m currently in the middle of trying to find the three library books that are around Hyrule Town. The first one was pretty easy, but the second book is becoming a pain. I can’t get into the scholar’s home to start looking for it. I’m beginning to wonder if I either messed up or missed something along the way to this point that allows me to gain access to the house. Any ideas?

I was looking to go for completion by beating the game in co-op. Since that can only happen locally I asked Usagi to help out. He gladly did so and we were having a great time until the rooftop part of Chapter III, the final level.

The first problem was a glitch where Rorschach, who I was playing as, fell through part of the map. Usagi had to kill off his character, Nite Owl, to restart from the previous checkpoint.

The second problem came from battling Twilight Lady’s “special slaves,” as she put it. They brutally owned Nite Owl every time making it not so much fun. We even switched off controllers and I also got beat badly. Oh, geez, that didn’t sound right. :lol:

I think it had to do with not knowing exactly how the counter system works. Since then I’ve practiced with both characters noticing that it’s a bit different for each. Nite Owl prefers that you follow R1 with Square fairly quickly. Rorschach, on the other hand, is a bit more lenient in that you can tap Square a few times after R1 for the counter to work.

While I had the disc out for Part 2, I figured I’d do some of that aforementioned practicing on Part 1. I also took that time to record a good chunk of gameplay footage from Chapter II of Part 1. In it I play as Rorschach and kick some major ass if I do say so myself. :D

Earlier in the year I had forgot to mention some of the purchases that I’d made. I didn’t even notice this until I was gathering information for my buying stats blog post that will be upcoming.

Back in mid-May I downloaded a free copy of Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic. It was sponsored by, I think, Sprint which was why it was free. This PSN game isn’t all that good and definitely not worth the current price of $10 for such a shallow Smash Bros. type of game.

Near the end of that same month I bought Crash Commando. It was one of the few PSN games that got a discount for about two weeks. It’s like a third-person shooter, but on a 2D plane. It was fantastic at the sale price of $5 and it’s still totally worth it at $10 too.

On October 1st I bought Uno. This was mainly because VixDiesel and s0njas0n were playing it and this is actually one casual game that I don’t mind having. The online portion is kind of flaky at times, but I still played it a bunch with them. It’s was a bit expensive at $10, but if I remember correctly the physical cards cost more. It’s currently $8 on PSN.

Lastly, I bought a second DS Lite. This one is red and black. I like it better for the matte finish that was used on the bottom half of the unit. My original system is white and has the glossy finish everywhere on the outside.

That’ll be it for now. It’s the holiday season so you guys take it easy. :)

Brutally Short


I can’t say that I’ve played this game all that much in the last two to three days, though I have made some progress. It’s not been all that difficult just wasn’t playing it much.

I did wake up the shoemaker and get the Pegasus Boots. I also made my way to the Wind Ruins and obtained the bow. My next task is to clear the Fortress of Winds. It looks like a doozie when checking out the map on page 13 of the GameSpot Game Guide.

Even less progress has been made in the 2004 PlayStation 2 release of Transformers. That’s to say that I haven’t touched it at all. Instead I played…

…Part 2 of the Watchmen beat-’em-up.

I was quite shocked to see just how short the game was. Part 1 contained six levels and Part 2 is only half that. On top of that Nite Owl and Rorschach don’t learn any new moves or combos. They’re definitely not recommendable based on those reasons and the crazy asking price.

However, I really like the beat-’em-up genre. You could say that I’m pretty loyal to them even though I won’t blindly buy them. I found the Watchmen games to be brutally satisfying, especially the finishers that Rorschach would pull off.

For great brutal beat-’em-up action that’s not insanely priced and is a good deal longer than Parts 1 and 2 of Watchmen together, check out the Rockstar Toronto 2005 release of The Warriors. It even has a better 2D arcade beat-’em-up unlockable game than the recent Xbox Live release called “Armies of the Night.”

Oh, and by the way, in case you haven’t guessed it yet, yes, I finished Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 2 making it the 47th game beat this year.

Thanks for reading and have a great final week before Christmas!

I Have A Death Wish


This is something I’ve been saving for awhile as I watched a few movies here and there. These are my thoughts that I put up on twitter (slightly expanded) after watching the film in question. August and September were when the viewings took place.

Watchmen (2009)
I never read the comic and figured that would make it easier to have fun watching it. That unfortunately wasn’t the case. I didn’t find it to be all that exciting. 3/5

To Be or Not To Be (1983)
This Mel Brooks film was a fantastic comedy-drama that never failed to entertain. Brooks himself was definitely the highlight as the bad Polish actor Frederick Bronski. Christopher Lloyd was great too! 4/5

Death Sentence (2007)
Based off of the book of the same name which was itself a sequel to the book Death Wish. Kevin Bacon isn’t nearly as convincing as a bad ass as Charles Bronson. 2/5

Days of Thunder (1990)
A typical ’80s macho man film that doesn’t have the appeal that it may have had at the time. Also what’s up with Tom Cruise’s character name anyway? Cole Trickle? What were they thinking? 2/5

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
What did I just watch? Oh yeah. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. But seriously, this movie made Antonio Banderas look old like he couldn’t keep up or something. Apparently the duo of GBA games based on this movie are much better. 1/5

Executive Decision (1996)
A “go home team” type of ’90s terrorist plot movie. At least it’s more plausible than Air Force One. I mean who really thinks that the US President is suddenly going to get in McGyver mode when trouble happens? Plus any film that kills off Steven Seagal before the halfway point can’t be all bad. 3/5

Backdraft (1991)
A fairly predictable “it was an inside job” type thriller/drama with the usual who-did-it swerve. The only performance that I liked all of the way through was Robert De Niro’s. 2/5

Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994)
The story is pretty much the same across the series, but how it plays out is fairly different each time. The bad guys going after Kersey first was a slight change that I enjoyed. It’s on par with the rest of the series, but the third film is still my favorite. 3/5

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
I found it to be more enjoyable than most did probably because I haven’t read any of the comics. The ending was lacking in closure and wasn’t all that great, but otherwise pretty good before that. 3/5

Angels & Demons (2009)
This sequel to The Da Vinci Code played it too safe and wasn’t nearly as good. By that I mean that it was trying to be nice to the church and in doing so became another lackluster “it was an inside job” film. There’s much better puzzle solving films to see like the first National Treasure. 2/5

Rating scale is out of 5 (no half points).

Rainbow of Games

Over the last three weeks I’ve accumulated the following additions to my collection. The totals are 22 games, 2 movies, and 5 albums.


It’s my first copy of it and it’s my favorite of the early Batman films. It has a bunch of extras including a 50-page book that’s apart of the case and a director commentary track which I usually look for in movies I buy.

Included with the two End Is Nigh games for the PS3.

Ten Pin Alley
I remember it from a demo disc years ago.

Big Bang Mini
It has interested me for awhile.

It was free with the original PlayStation system that Usagi704 got recently and he didn’t want it so he let me have it.


Space Channel 5 Special Edition
For the PS2, which I originally thought was the first game until I found out that it contains Part 2 as well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare
I bought these two games based solely on the inclusion of the two original Konami arcade games as unlockables.

Namco Classic Fighter Collection
I’ve been interested in picking up a copy of Tekken Tag Tournament more recently. This three game collection helped out nicely with that as it had that game along with Tekken 4 and Soul Calibur II.

Wario World
It’s one of the few Gamecube specific games that I’ve yet to get that have interested me.

The King of Fighter XII
To play against others online, but mainly Usagi, of course.


Kid Klown in Crazy Chase
I lead myself to believe that this SNES Kemco game was at least decent for some reason. It’s not.

Deja Vu
Oh here’s why. This NES adventure game, which always had fun box art, was published by Kemco where as the above game was developed by them. Retroware TV episode 12-4 made Deja Vu seem pretty interesting.

I remember liking the arcade version back in the day. This version works, but maybe not as well as one would hope.

Mission: Impossible
This was one of those games that we owned growing up so it was on my wish list because of that alone. Decent music I must say.

An interesting and mildly fun shooter style racer.


This next group of three were bought with the idea that since my original plan to buy less has obviously failed that I’d start looking on eBay for the harder to find games that I want. Just once a month with a few exceptions like the upcoming Modern Warfare 2. Hopefully this will work this time.

This was the game I was going after. It doesn’t have everything, but it does have most of The Ultimate Doom and Doom II games. It’s kind of a compilation of sorts.

Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense & Soul Blade
These two games were simply apart of the three game deal. Neither of which I had and I’ve heard some good things about both.


Finally, I looked up the prices of Michael Jackson album on and other than HIStory costing about $23, the rest were only $7-9. I looked locally for them first and no place had a good selection or price. So I ended up getting all of the albums expect for HIStory (price) and Invincible (already own).