Thursday, March 31, 2011

41 - Spy Fiction (PS2)

Genre: Stealth
Rating: M
Developer: Access Games
Publisher: Sammy Studios
Platform: PS2
Release Date: 2004

I remember seeing this game for sale at GameStop maybe some months ago before they all started switching to the paper sleeves for cheap PS2 games. It had the case and I looked at it for a while. It looked pretty cool but instead of picking it up I went for some other unknown title. Whatever game it was it wasn't nearly worth the purchase instead. Maybe a month after not buying it I realized the game was directed by SWERY (of Deadly Premonition fame). Dammit. Well, at least I have the disc.

From what I played the game didn't seem amazingly well written. It felt a lot like a B-movie, but there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. Something that was really sweet were the character designs. They might not have been anything incredible but the art style looked pretty cool. It reminds me of some other game, but I can't put a finger on it. Also, the main male character is way too hot for his own good.

In regards to gameplay it's a pretty solid title, if kind of slow. It's stealth but real stealth (not like Metal Gear Solid 3). You won't do to well to run around shooting guys with the wonderfully gimped shooting system. However, there's some really cool ways to hide from enemies. You have a cloaking device that activates when clinging to walls and also the ability to stick to ceilings.

Along with that you can also take pictures of enemies and mask yourself as them. Maybe I'm not playing the right games but I haven't had the ability to do that (to a large number of characters) since Mission Impossible. I think games are just escaping me though, because it can't be possible this mechanic has been that underutilized. So yes, I really did enjoy this despite the gameplay quirks.

Would I play again? Yes!

Video Game Hotties: Horror Guys

In the act of commenting on my last list of my personal favorite attractive characters the idea arose to make posts specifically for game genres. I don't know how many genres I'll be able to work out as of yet, but I've got at least a few in mind for now. My favorite genre out there for anything really is horror. Some people can't stand horror for one reason or another and that's totally fine with me. That doesn't mean we can't come together and enjoy the studs in those types of games, right?

Agent Francis York Morgan - Deadly Premonition
This guy like to go by "York". While that instantly brings to mind peppermint patties, it doesn't change the fact that York is pretty drat attractive. He has a few mysterious scars on his face, but they stand as an accent to his facial features more than anything else. The guy is also relatively stylish with the ability to change his outfit to different colored suits. York also has a really bizarre attitude which ends up making him seem rather cute and naive before he pinpoints clues no one else picks up on. One feature of York in particular is that he shaves or doesn't on player command, so you can have just as much stubble or beard on him as you please!

Vincent - Silent Hill 3
In the Silent Hill world there are lots of "average" looking people. Vincent is an attractive, bookish fellow with a slight tinge of insanity. He aids Heather and steers her down a path but is he good or bad? Vincent is a man with a plan, even if that plan is never fully divulged. The fellow also seems to suffer from some delusions of grandeur but his ambiguous existence makes me want to see him more.

Leon S. Kennedy - Resident Evil 4
For some reason Leon looked a bit dorky in Resident Evil 2. However, by the time he took the reigns again for Resident Evil 4 he had grown all up. For one, his clothing style was amped right up with a sexy bomber jacket and form-fitting dark shirt underneath. His hairstyle is a bit of an anomaly when compared to most other male protagonists, but that helps set him apart. Leon is unbelievably stylish and I love that in a man, whether he is polygonal or not.  

Alex Shepherd - Silent Hill: Homecoming
Secret: I absolutely hated Silent Hill: Homecoming as a Silent Hill game. On its own it is acceptable but I still haven't been able to force myself to sit down with it again. What I do not hate however is Alex. From the moment there were first character sketches and renders I was all over him. The "faux hawk" hairstyle was starting to explode when this game came around and normally I was already sick of it. However, Alex didn't look like a goofy teen/20 something. His face screams determination and wear which appeals to me. I might never know exactly what was tormenting him, but I can still enjoy how he looks fighting off monsters. 

Richter Belmont - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
First off, let me say that while there were images close up of Richter's face I had to go with one showcasing his whip. It's a Castlevania staple but also it just looks pretty hot. The Belmont clan is actually all pretty damn hot especially in official art. Really the only one who wasn't some degree of attractive to me was the guy depicted on the first Castlevania game. You know the one where the guy had Chun Li-sized thighs and has his butt barely covered? Yeah, that never really appealed to me.

Ellis - Left 4 Dead 2 
While I never really enjoyed Left 4 Dead 2 as much as the original, it definitely had the hottest character of the bunch. Ellis is goofy, talks too much, has somewhat boyish looks, and is overall adorable. At a point in the game he even talks about having a crush on Zoey which is extremely "awwww" worthy when in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Something especially fun about Ellis is that a gay gamer or two have created shirtless mods for him. There might not be full on nude mods like Zoey got, but it's something!

Andrew Ryan - Bioshock
Mr. Ryan isn't actually so painfully hot once you happen upon him in game, but when all you have is a still image of his face it is a really good shot. This particular image is fan art because all the official pictures of his face were teeny. I think the art really does him justice though. He exudes confidence but also has a sinister air about him. He's also an older fellow, but that doesn't deter my interest one bit.

Rick - Splatterhouse series
Really, I prefer the TurboGrafx/Genesis renditions of Rick because he actually had a relatively human body structure. By the time Splatterhouse made it to the PS3 and 360 it looked like Rick had been taking 'roids along with Chris Redfield. Still, I prefer his newer mask to the older and more blatant rip off of Jason Voorhees. Amazingly, this image of a life size statue Rick actually is more toned down than how he looks in game. He's even bigger, if you can imagine that.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

40 - Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelist of the Roses (PS2)

Genre: Card battle
Rating: E
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform: PS2
Release Date: 2003

Here's something a lot of people don't know about me: I love Yu-Gi-Oh!. The card game is tremendously fun and the original series was pretty entertaining to watch as well. It had at least a little more going on in it than say Pokemon did. This game came out at the height of my interest in the series but at the time I had no PS2. In fact, I'm not even sure when and how this game came into my possession.

This game makes me wonder why they can't ever seem to be content making a literal translation of the card game for home consoles. They make their perfect replica games on handhelds, but never the home systems. For example, Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Falsebound Kingdom is some whacked out strategy RPG. This game is ever so slightly strategic as well, except it's super dumbed down. Really wish the game could have retained the same rules of the card one though instead of trying to teach a new style of play that isn't as fun.

Something really weird about this title is that it pulls from the Wars of the Roses for its story and characters. It just strikes me as really odd that a kid's game would pull out such an unusual story rather than crafting their own. I'm not complaining though, as it makes for an amusing diversion when sitting through story bits.

The game isn't entirely to hard to pick up but it does rely heavily on luck. I guess the card game does as well, but it seems much more strategic than this offering. I kind of want to see how far I can push into the story or if I can indeed beat it. Really though my luck is pretty terrible which seems it will keep me from achieving my goals. I'll try anyway.

Would I play again? Sure (to beat it).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Video Game Hotties

So we've all seen those millions of lists for "hottest video game chick" or the like. When there's nothing else to post, top 10 lists keep site visits high. Add in some tits and presumably the viewer count skyrockets. Unfortunately, there aren't nearly as many "hot game dude" lists... at least ones not done tongue in cheek. Here's my attempt at a nice one. It's all done from my point of view though so feel free to disagree. Honestly, post more lists. We need all we can get!

Gene - God Hand
God Hand was somehow both criminally under and overrated. Regardless, something everyone seemed to ignore was how damn hot Gene is. He goofed off like an idiot and yet still managed to kick major ass. He possesses the legendary "God Hand" which amps up his macho factor tenfold so he can beat up on guys three times his size. Anyone who can look trim and stylish while destroying everything in his path wins major points with me. 

Major Ocelot - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Revolver Ocelot is a pretty enigmatic character throughout the Metal Gear Solid series but it is in MGS3 where he really caught my eye. That's probably due to the fact that he was in a much younger and mustache-less form. He was slim and was really good with his hands (just watch him do all those crazy revolver tricks). The only problem I had with this version of Ocelot was his weird meow cry thing he'd do to summon troops. It's weird.  

King - Tekken series
Tekken is one of my top fighting games to play and King is by far my favorite character to control and ogle. Yes, I know he's got a cheetah mask covering his face... It just so happens that luchadores are a guilty pleasure of mine. Besides, I like to imagine the mask signifies he's a wild man at times. Of course, in the story he is also extremely kind as he takes care of orphanage children when he's not in the ring. Gotta love those strong, sweet guys! 

Monkey - Enslaved
When I first started playing Enslaved I was kind of turned off by Monkey. He was dirty, anatomically incorrect, and generally really odd to me. As I continued to progress through the game though he started to grow on me. Perhaps it was the way his muscles rippled as he swung around and did acrobatic tricks. Perhaps it was due to the fact that his pants rode really low (much more so than this image conveys) and were tight. Oh, he was also a surprisingly caring and protective dude.

Will Powers - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
This is another example of me fawning over a huge, musclebound guy because he has a heart of gold. Will Powers (nice name, right?) is an actor who portrays the Steel Samurai. It's some Power Rangers-esque kids show and apparently Will loves it. Aside from being a happy, heart of gold kind of guy, he's also quite the bear. He's built huge and you can always see a massive tuft of chest hair peeking out of his outfits. If only there were an occasion to see him shirtless...

Batsu Iichimonji - Rival Schools
Batsu's one hell of a tough high schooler. He has to be when everyone in the school seems to inexplicably burst into fights all the time. He's one of the good guys too, at least that was my interpretation of him - and he has a soft side. Can you see a pattern going on here with my game crushes? Either way, I really love how his school uniform is so tight on him. Amazingly, it's even tighter than this image conveys. It initially looks a little silly with his stomach peeking out under the jacket top, but you get used to it.

Falco Lombardi - Star Fox series
This one is just for fun. When I was a little kid I had so many anthropomorphic character crushes. Bowser, King K. Rool's underlings, and half the Star Fox team were just some of them. Either way, after all this time Falco is probably one of the coolest. He's so self assured and knows what he's doing. It also helps that Falco reminds me of Captain Falcon for some reason, who is also pretty hot. Star Fox has a pretty good cast of awesome characters, but Falco just edges out the others. 

Honorable Mentions: Raiden (Mortal Kombat series), Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2), Sam "Serious" Stone (Serious Sam), Raphael (Soul Calibur series). 

If you want more game guys head to this post on The Gay Gamer which inspired me to post my own!

Monday, March 28, 2011

39 - Silpheed: The Lost Planet (PS2)

Genre: Shoot 'em up
Rating: T
Developer: Treasure
Publisher: Working Designs
Platform: PS2
Release Date: 2001

Over the last few months I've found myself more and more attracted by shoot 'em up games. My first experience was with the bullet hell anime style stuff going on and that never really appealed to me. However, the more manageable patterns of retro shmups appeals to me.

Picked this game up some months ago before GameStops started selling their cheap PS2 games in paper sleeves. I'm really happy about that because this game has a lovely cover. It looks pretty cool but is also a sort of holographic image, which is extra neat to look at in comparison to most other covers.

Anyway, the game itself has terrible voice acting, but not so much that it becomes funny. Everything just seems so dull and lifeless. The game itself is totally great though. You take control of the ship Silpheed and can choose what kind of guns you want for the vehicle. Beating more levels unlocks more options for this. The only downside is they don't really tell you what each gun does so you just have to jump into battle and test it out.

Another issue I have with the game is after dying if you select continue you start up at the very start of the leve again. Obviously, this is really a staple of most shmups and many retro games in general but I've never liked it. It's much more noob friendly when there are checkpoints throughout a level. Aside from that though it is a solid and pretty game (especially for coming out in 2001).

Would I play again? Sure.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Have a good weekend folks! I'm off to see Wicked and spend some nice time with my partner :).

PS: This video absolutely kills me. In a good way, of course.

Some Reviews I Did This Week

I'm doing my best to get on track with this blog, but there's still a lot of writing to be done for other sites. As of late, the games I've been posting on here are certainly new to me (and my collection) but the main purpose of this blog is really to dig through my older stuff. The main reason the newer games have been added at all is because of reviews I had to do, of course.

When I'm in the mood I'll post little blurbs here like usual off those review copies, but I can't do it for everything. As such, this post is just going to serve as a small link bin for the other stuff I wrote this week on other sites. It's a good way for me to keep track and let curious eyes take a peek. Something that reviewing for sites has reminded me of though is how much I hate game review scores. I understand their point and purpose, but when everyone quantifies the only suitable games as being rated 7 and higher it is stupid. So we've got 6 degrees of crap? Personally any game rated 5 to me is still totally worth playing if you are a fan of  the genre or something. Maybe only a 1 or 2 would be devoid of gameplay value. Waaaah I'm becoming part of the system I hate...

Wee, now I feel better. I picked up a bunch of games this week too and am contemplating posting about my PS2 purchases. That way, I could start being kind of like famicomblog where that fellow is trying to collect all Famicom games. I' have been working to do the same with PS2 so it might be a neat aside. We'll see!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stuff I Want This Week

One of my worst habits is probably how often I go check out various online shopping sites for video game stuff. Thankfully, I rarely ever actually hit the bid or buy button but it sure is so damn alluring. For whatever reason, I figured it'd be nice to post about some of the stuff I've got my eye on currently but don't intend to pick up. If only I had an egregious amount of spare cash!

Alice: An Interactive Museum PC game
Had you asked me a week ago I would have no clue what this "game" is. But it came onto my radar just this morning and looks like neat. I really like the first forays into CD technology where there were mostly just discs that had prerendered images/areas that you could sort of maneuver around through. They're not actually games, but more of just semi-interactive experiences.

PlayStation 10 Million model
I've been lusting after one of these things for a few years now. Like it says in the description, these came out to commemorate Sony managing to sell 10 million PS1s. Supposedly there are only 100 in existence and someday I must own one. At the very least, I hope to get my hands on a Net Yaroze unit because those are pretty sweet too, although nowhere near as rare.

Silent Hill Sound Box [Konamistyle Limited Edition]

Silent Hill is probably my favorite series of all time. I have a small little shrine to it on my shelves and definitely own the same damn games multiple times. The music itself is fantastic and so you have to bet this set of all the tracks really gets me going. It has a couple soundtracks which were never released on disc too, which is doubly exciting.

PlayStation card case
If it hasn't become apparent yet, I'm a big Sony fan. I can't even imagine how people might react to seeing business cards carried in something like this, but honestly who even cares? It looks professional enough for me! Speaking of which, there's another businessy Sony item I'm currently eying. I'll post about it if it does come into my possession.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

38 - Scooby Doo! Night of 100 Frights (PS2)

Genre: 3D platformer
Rating: E
Developer: Heavy Iron Studios
Publisher: THQ
Platform: PS2 (Also: GC, Xbox)
Release date: 2002

I've never really liked the show Scooby Doo. I can't put my finger on why but it just seemed too silly. I've been  a fan of horror for a long time but somehow the comedy horror route of the show wouldn't appeal to me. Anyway, the game seems to be a pretty good recreation of the feel of the show. The intro for the game is the same for the show and there is even an in-game laugh track. The laugh track annoyed me for a while before I figured this was just part of making the experience as authentic to the show as possible.

The game itself isn't as bad as you might think. It feels a lot like Jersey Devil on PS1 simply for the fact that a lot of the time the environment is so empty and dark. There's some mystery guy who talks to you occasionally in areas and gives you information, but he's nearly as creepy as the nothingness around you. There's monsters too, but they mostly seem silly (as per usual) so they in fact hinder the scariness of the environment.

As far as the gameplay goes, it's surprisingly solid. I must admit it was also pretty funny to see Scooby do his signature scardeycat run as well as see him carry Shaggy around on two legs. Speaking of which, before playing the game I never realized how much of a stoner Shaggy seems like.

So yeah, the game was actually pretty fun. I never even died! What happened to make me stop was just as I was feeling good about the game I sent Scooby bouncing around the level with his newfound double jump ability. Unfortunately, somehow I managed to make Scooby jump into a tree. Once inside the tree's geometry there was no way back out. It seems I always manage to luck into game-breaking glitches.

Would I play again? Sure (to beat it).

37 - The Powerpuff Girls: Relish Rampage (PS2)

Genre: Action adventure
Rating: E
Developer: VIS Entertainment
Publisher: Bam Entertainment
Platform: PS2 (Also: GC)
Release date: 2002

I've probably watched The Powerpuff Girls twice in my life. For one, they weren't exactly part of my "time", and secondly, I didn't have Cartoon Network for a damn long time. For some reason, this surprises the hell out of my younger friends, as if cable is something necessary. Either way, without watching the show I know enough about it and decided to have a night playing children's games.

While this game was probably designed for a young audience, it's surprisingly hard. There's not a lot of thought put into it or puzzles or anything... it's just designed with an annoying button layout and finicky controls. So really, it was the developers who made this game a lot harder to play than it should be. I lost within the first minute or so because I couldn't gather what the game wanted me to do.

Because I felt my gamer cred slipping away by losing so quickly in a cartoon-based game I forced myself to play it more. I beat the first episode and then went on to the second. The second episode had to do with space pickles taking control of the citizens of Townsville. Anyway, all was going pretty well and I figured out a good way to cheat the game but then there was this horrible mission of protecting a vehicle for an extended period of time. I always hate these kinds of missions so when I lost at that one I figured that was enough for the game.

Overall, it's not a very good game at all but what can you do? I thought the idea of having the game play out in a couple episodes was cool, although it could have just been one extended episode. Beating smaller complete stories is probably a lot of fun for kids though and does give a sense of accomplishment. Also of note, every time I go to write Powerpuff Girls I keep wanting to write "Powerful Girls". It makes me feel like I'm an old fogey calling Pokemon "Pogeymans".

Would I play again? No.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

36 - Yakuza 4 (PS3)

Genre: Action adventure
Rating: M
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: PS3
Release date: 2011

I love Yakuza. When it was going to come out in the US for PS2 I was pretty damn hyped. It looked like a really neat beat 'em up with deep storyline all based in Japan. At the time, I was a big fan of everything Japanese (well, more so) so this was gonna be totally awesome. Initially, I got it in less than legitimate ways. However, that was pretty useless because the game seemed impossible for anyone to rip properly. There were always massive slowdown issues and glitches galore.

From that, I never actually ended up playing Yakuza 1 or 2. I remembered my initial awe with the idea of the game later on and pre-ordered Yakuza 3. Playing that game was one of the best gaming experiences I had all 2010. The story was taught and perfectly executed along with addicting gameplay.

Yakuza 4 is also a pretty good game. Somehow, it doesn't feel as good as 3 did. On various forums, it seems most people feel the opposite about the two games. Oh well. Something interesting is that the hostess bar minigame stuff was brought back after being removed from the english version of 3. Playing it made me realize why Sega took it out before. Even though the entire game is very Japanese this minigame is crazily Japanese. Dressing up your hostess with outfits, accessories, makeup and hairstyles is probably something most gamers would find appealing (especially when there aren't tons of slutty outfits). It's not like you can just dress her to your liking either, as the goal is to get her to be perfect for the patrons who visit. Still, I'm glad to see Sega put it back in for people to try out.

After playing Yakuza 4 I feel like playing through all the games. I need to play 1 and 2 since I missed out on them, but they all deserve a playthrough one after the other. Somehow I think I'll lose steam before accomplishing that, but at least playing the first two titles is doable at sometime in the future.

Would I play again? Maybe.

Feel free to check out my more in depth review of Yakuza 4 here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

35 - Ys I & II Chronicles (PSP)

Genre: JRPG
Rating: T
Developer: Falcom
Publisher: Xseed Games
Platform: PSP
Release date: 2011

Never before in my life have I played a Ys game. For one, they were never as in my face as the likes of Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, and others. To be fair, I was never a huge JRPG player anyway so it makes sense they weren't really in front of my face much. However, from time to time they would get mentioned and I would wonder why the hell they called it Ys.

Apparently you sound it out more like Es but what the hell does that even mean? Playing through the game didn't really help me much to decrypt the meaning. However, I found out that the Ys in question were some sort of magical tome scattered around in dangerous places. Lovely.

What really was too bad about this game was that I died so damn fast. The health bar is very small and very unobtrusive. So much so in fact that I didn't realize I was losing life at all until it was too late. Upon discovering that I made sure to check it out when ramming headfirst into enemies but still ended up dying a lot. Apparently, there is some strategy to this although at first it appears there is none. You see, your character auto attacks so it seems like it would be a game of chance. After spending enough time with it though I realized hitting the enemies from certain angles was the way to do it. Then I stopped dying so much.

The game was pretty charming and had some pretty hilarious text. Whoever was at work at localization did a fantastic job. However, these types of games just aren't my thing. They're also pretty short which seems weird considering RPGs of any variety typically take dozens, if not hundreds of hours. I'm not complaining though. I barely could muster up enough interest to beat these.

Would I play again? Nah.

Feel free to look at my more serious review of Ys I & II Chronicles here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

34 - Bioshock (360)

Genre: FPS, Horror
Rating: M
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Platform: Xbox 360 (Also: Mac, PC, PS3)
Release date: 2007

When this game came out I was super psyched. It looked like an incredible shooter with horror elements. What mostly made it seem so fantastic to me was the style. The world of Rapture was a dirty, crazed art deco dream and I wanted to live in it. God damn if those initial preview videos and screenshots didn't tantalize my younger gaming self. This was without me having ever played the System Shock series, which it was a spiritual successor to. The game just looked damn great.

I can't say I remember too much about playing it those few years ago. All I really recall is the gaming audience at large shouting about how creepy the game was when my thought was "you call this scary?". Obviously everyone takes to "scary" stuff differently but it was anything but. Despite that dismantlement, the game was a dream to control. I still feel that way about the controls. They're very tight and responsive for being a console game. Maybe the difficulty is toned down, but it's not very hard to nail shots.

I still enjoy the backdrop for the game and the controls and the voice acting. The story however leaves much to be desired. I couldn't really care less about what was going on with Andrew Ryan and Atlas and whatever on earth else. It just doesn't seem a very pressing tale - and why am I helping anyway? FPSes generally aren't renowned for the tales they weave, so Bioshock can be forgiven on that count.

Speaking of easy though, this game is terribly so. Yes, I am playing on the easy difficulty but sometimes even then in other games I'll meet with an unfortunate end from time to time. There is just constant opportunity to revitalize your health that it's not worrisome. They really could have just given you health that automatically recharges and it would have been about the same. Overall, I really like the game and am about 3/4th through it right now with no deaths. I'll get back to it after I polish off other games.

Would I play again? Yes (to beat it).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More Updates

So, this week I have 3 games on my plate to try and beat and review. Four if you include the Bioshock I'm just doing for fun for a little site. But 3 are pretty time sensitive and I'm curious as to how I'll be able to finish them off by Sunday or Monday. Well, thankfully there's not too much on my plate the rest of the week so I can dedicate myself to GAME PLAYING. Unfortunately this means more lack of mini reviews for this site. Presumably there's still other gaming things I can write about, so that'll be kept in mind during down time.

Today I got to play the 3DS. It was a compact and attractive system, which pleased me. However, the 3D effect was really strange. It made my eyes feel all weird and I couldn't "focus", it felt like. I toyed with the slider and slowly cranked it down from full 3D, to 2D, and back up. Without being on full 2D I really felt none of the other settings worked for me. After a while with the slider at around 75% 3D I was able to finally start focusing again and see what I needed. The 3D effect was still palpatable, but didn't really seem so impressive. I gotta say, it kind of saddened me that it wasn't some godly little 3D fantasy box for my eyes.

In other news, the games I'm playing for review purposes currently are Ys I and II Chronicles, Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle, and Yakuza 4. Right now Yakuza 4 is taking up all my attention because that series is godly. Hopefully it clocks in around 20 hours so I can knock that out in a couple dedicated gaming days.

That's most of the gaming stuff that's gone on around here. I've also been re-organizing the game room with the addition of new shelf space. Everything isn't perfect yet, but it's getting there. Of course, for me, nothing is ever perfect enough. It's still worth the attempt!

Monday, March 14, 2011

33 - Beyond Good and Evil HD (XBLA)

Genre: Action-adventure
Rating: T for Teen
Developer: Ubisoft Shanghai
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: XBLA, PSN
Release date: 2011 (HD)

You know what's an awesome game? This one. Like, oh my goodness I haven't played something this fantastic in a while. The PS2 is one of my favorite modern consoles by a landslide because it was just brimming with excellent games. While I got to experience many as they came out such as various Silent Hills and Metal Gear Solids I totally ignored this one.

Yeah, I knew that it had a cult following. I heard all these people always giving it tons of praise but for whatever reason never went to actually try and play through it. However, I did buy it the year after it came out or so for pretty cheap on a Black Friday sale. Sometime around then I popped it into my console too but only played for maybe 10 minutes.

From those initial 10 minutes it really seemed like a hokey game. There didn't seem to be anything particularly special about it and so I figured everyone must have been crazy and put it back away. However, upon playing the XBLA release I was forced to get past the intro (to review it for a site) and fell in love almost immediately after the first few minutes. Despite games rarely grabbing a hold of my attention this one did it with insane force. I fell right in love.

Damn, there's really no way to express how much I love this game. The experience was wonderful and never too frustrating to play. There were some weird glitches at times but usually it was all good. If you've never played this one I really suggest giving it a try, especially now that's available for a fair price. If you want to check out my actual review thing then you can click here.

Would I play again? Yes!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Updates...Or lack thereof.

Sorry for the bit of silence, folks! I've been down with the flu for a while now but I think it's finally clearing up. It was too much trouble to get on the gaming consoles for very long at all. However, I did manage to play through and beat Beyond Good and Evil HD. For whatever reason I didn't end up playing it when it first came out (despite owning it for years). It was a goddamn excellent experience and anyone who hasn't played it before definitely needs to check out the HD version. Also, where on earth is that sequel we were promised?!

Tomorrow I'm looking to write up a real review for it, so it won't be posted here... There'll be a link at least or maybe one of my mini thought posts here alongside it. Today I rekindled my flame for Minecraft which probably isn't a good thing. Of all the times for me to get obsessed with a game this is probably the most hectic time to do so. :P

Once that review is written up and a few other things get taken care of I should be able to get back to a more regular posting schedule. No matter what, writing about games always is a good time so this blog actually is really fun to work on.

One more note: I'm hoping to pick up Yakuza 4 next week. Yakuza is an excellent series and if you are still longing for new Shenmue games this is basically the best you can get in the current gaming age.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Strange GameStop Happenings

I've been wondering about this a while but figure I might as well put it out there and see if anyone else has had similar experiences.

So, I go to GameStop quite often. It's not because I enjoy the store because lord knows I don't but Buy 2 Get 1 Free sales are way too appealing. That, paired with the fact they still sell PS2 games is my main reason for showing up at their various retail locations. This almost makes me want to go on a tangent about their "new" games being open and on shelves but that will be for another time.

The weirdness about GS lately is the games that are on the shelves and behind them. This Christmas, my partner received a copy of Mass Effect 2 from her mother. This was all fine and good except the game had a big 'ol UK rating circle on the corner. It was still in the shrink wrap and purchased at a local GS, but it wasn't a US copy. I can't even begin to understand how this happened. I assume someone could have bought the game as an import and then sold it still sealed to the store. However, doesn't the store have any precautions when buying games back? Don't they even LOOK at the cover? It's obvious that it's not like the rest and anyone with any semblance of ESRB rating understanding would instantly recognize this as odd. Thankfully, there are some 360 games that are region free, but many aren't so this could be a harmful gaffe sometime.

This isn't the only time I've seen this sort of thing happen either. At a few other visits to GS stores I have found used PS2 games from the PAL region. It's super easy to spot them because of their boring spines and blue cases. The blue cases are the main factor really, and there they are sitting on the shelf. They're just waiting to get picked up by unsuspecting gamers who won't be able to play them when they get home. I can more readily understand the used games coming in from a different region, but GS needs to start checking for that. The more games get region locked in the future the more harmful this sort of practice will become.

All this chatter about worrying about games being turned in reminds me of people pawning off pirated games. It's not so common with recent consoles, but Gameboy pirate carts have long since been traded in with no repercussions. DS games too are not safe from this, so be sure to check out your wares before driving on home. One thing that amuses me though is that the bootleggers never seem to be able to apply a label on a game perfectly straight.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

32 - Sub Rebellion (PS2)

Genre: Simulation
Rating: T
Developer: Irem
Publisher: Metro3D
Platform: PS2
Release date: 2002

Just from checking out the cover I really didn't expect much from it. Submarines are far from an interest so what fun would I really have playing a sub sim? Strangely enough, once I got past the odd button layout it started to become a really fun game.

The story is ridiculously silly and as such won't be touched upon. However, the game itself is solidly good. There seem to be various missions you must complete in your submarine. The first were based around destroying those underwater mine buoy things (I'm so skillful with the English language). After doing those basics there was some sort of submarine boss battle which was a lot neater than it sounds.

In fact the whole game seems a lot better than it has any right to be. It's simplistic but fun and to a degree reminds me of a very souped up version of one submarine game for Atari. Now, I loved that game so it's no surprise that this game also draws my interest. Still, it's pretty strange to me that I'd so quickly get into the experience of commanding my sub.

Something else of huge note was the music. It was damn wonderful. Something that continuously strikes me is how much good music there is in games that otherwise are nothing special. Who's doing this music? Unfortunately I wasn't able to find the music on Youtube but I'm sure it's somewhere out there. Overall, it was really surprising but awesome to play.

Would I play again? Sure.
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