Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Even More Collection Updates

This weekend I went all out with video game shopping. Unfortunately, 3 of the better local game shops closed down... I guess it should be expected that with GameStop stores about as prevalent as McDonald's here there isn't room for many others. Still, I found a nice deal from the surviving store and, yes, even a few GameStops.

GameStop in particular had a buy 2 get 2 free sale on PS2 games. I have a feeling these sales will become more prevalent in the future as GS is hoping to condense and then finally rid themselves of PS2 games all together. GS no longer accepts Xbox, GameCube, or GBA games and it becomes increasingly harder to find these games in stores at all. So, onto the games I picked up...

  • .hack//MUTATION
  • .hack//OUTBREAK
  • Atari Anthology
  • Battle Engine Aquila
  • Black
  • Capcom Classics Collection
  • DICE - DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises
  • Forever Kingdom
  • Fugitive Hunter: War on Terror
  • Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows
  • Giants: Citizen Kabuto
  • The Great Escape
  • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
  • Heavenly Guardian
  • Inuyasha: Feudal Combat
  • McFarlane's Evil Prophecy
  • MDK 2 Armageddon
  • Mercenaries
  • Metropolismania
  • Resident Evil: Outbreak
  • Ring of Red
  • Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends
  • The Sims
  • Soul Calibur III
  • Taito Legends 2
  • Tetris Worlds
  • Total Overdose
  • Virtual-On Marz
  • We Heart Katamari
  • The X-Files: Resist or Serve
I tell ya... the life of a collector is an expensive one. Although, to be fair I'm still extremely glad to have gotten all these games for the price I did (like, $80). Just think back to when each of these games was going for $20-$50 to start and it's great to see most games go down in price over the years. There was even more I could have picked up but this should tide me over until Black Friday, haha. Damn you PS2 for having such a massive library of games!

Friday, August 26, 2011

TGIF: Suda 51 Edition

I'm going to be off having adventures this weekend but couldn't forget to post a nice TGIF thing here. I've been working on a two-part Goichi Suda retrospective piece over the last couple weeks so I've got Suda on the mind... Goichi Suda, in case you don't recall the name, is the guy behind Killer7, No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, and others.

This is the intro from one of his older PS1 titles: Moonlight Syndrome. I like it because it's super engrish-y. Make sure to pay attention during 1:22 when my favorite line of the intro pops up. I have both Twilight and Moonlight Syndrome games but since I'm not well-versed in Japanese can't play them without aid of friends! Maybe someday I'll work through one...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Collection Updates - August

So, I've really been slow on picking up PS2 games as of late. I've found myself busy playing over newer games either for reviews or just to stay on top of things. It's funny how writing about games has reinvigorated my interest in the current generation!

There haven't been many sales lately so I've been relegated to picking up PS2 titles at thrift stores. However, I walked into my local GameStop today to find the Buy 2 Get 2 Free sale was back. It's funny because I've seen nothing of that mentioned online so perhaps it is as specific locations only... or will be this way until the games are all gone. When my store still had Xbox games they were on constant B2G2 sale until I suppose the last sports games were thrown out.

Here's the stuff I picked up:

  • Armored Core: Nine Breaker
  • Army Men RTS
  • Dawn of Mana
  • Dead or Alive 2
  • Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland
  • Lemony Snicket's: A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Rez
  • Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven
I'm most proud of my Rez acquisition. I've skipped over buying an English copy on multiple occasions, due to price. Once I found it for $2 but in a generic case so I decided I would keep on waiting. A little over a year later and my waiting has paid off (lol). Of course, the Trance Vibrator that came with the Japanese version still escapes my grasp... 

I'm looking forward to playing Harvest Moon since apparently this version is very different from the normal games. Don't know why I continue to buy Armored Core games though as they're all pretty tough. Either way, this looks like a good haul to me and this weekend I'm going to hit up all the local non-GS stores. Yay!

Friday, August 19, 2011

TGIF: Terrible CGI Edition

This post actually has no real relation to video games but, hey, this is my blog! Every once in a while I stumble upon videos where people who probably shouldn't be messing with CG graphics are... Eventually I hope to assemble a bunch of these types of videos into a big "video mixtape" and give it out to friends. As it stands though I'm just sharing the short little weird bursts with folks. Hope you get some amusement out of the video.

What I'll never understand is why CG is an excuse for people to make the weirdest stuff in the world. I guess it's easier than trying to edit reality into this sort of Frankensteinian creation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

60 - El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (PS3)

Genre: Action adventure
Rating: T for Teen
Developer: Ignition Entertainment
Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Platform: PS3 (Also: 360)
Release Date: 2011

El Shaddai is a game I hoped I would really enjoy. The screenshots looked stunning and it just seemed to be a game forging its own path. As it turns out, the game certainly is different from everything else coming out these days. However, that doesn't make it good.

Basically I really don't like the game because the main "game" portion is devoted to fighting enemies. There isn't a very large variety between then and the fighting mechanics themselves are extremely dull. Apparently you can switch weapons to gain a tactical advantage over enemies but the game never tells you what works best against what. The game barely tells you ANYTHING. While I'm sure some will be pleased the game doesn't hold their hand I wasn't. I'm playing on "easy" so I expect things to be, well, easy!

Even when I think I figured out the best tactic it ends up not working at the next encounter. Either I'm continuously doing something wrong or there are slight variances between the 5 or so enemy types. The game is kinda cool in that if you mash buttons right when you die then you don't lose. However, sometimes it's hard to tell if you're "dying" or not so you don't know to start pressing them.

As for the story I couldn't even tell you what's going on beyond the very basest plot that was established at the start. Characters babble on and say important-sounding things but they mean nothing to me. It's such a shame the game is so incomprehensible and dull. If you're interested in the game though be sure to play the demo as it gives you a sample of the gameplay stylings.

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Picked up El Shaddai Today

Despite not really knowing the first thing about El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron I picked it up today. Normally I wouldn't make such a gamble but it was $20 cheaper at a local store so I decided to go with my gut. Honestly, I don't even know what "El Shaddai" or "Metatron" even mean, so that should tell you this was a choice made at near random. I know there's some religious meaning or what have you but that's all.

Anyway, I'm already regretting my purchase which is too bad... The game LOOKS fantastic but beyond that the play isn't very spectacular. It's extremely dull, but maybe that will change later. I guess we'll see. Either way, I should probably play it through to completion after downing a good chunk of money for it.

For those of you on the fence about the game I would highly suggest playing the demo. It should give you a taste of the lovely locales but completely underwhelming combat. Or perhaps it will feel different for you! If there's one thing to be thankful for this console generation it is the wide library of game demos available.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Sims...

Back when The Sims first came out in 2000 I couldn't get enough. I was a lot younger back then and with less responsibility I was able to play the game for hours on end. I practically would play from morning to night whenever humanly possible. While my mother wasn't pleased by my addiction-like propensity to play the damn game, at least I wasn't typing up the phone line for hours on end (by using dial-up, not chatting it up).

Every single expansion pack that came out was gobbled right up. I remember distinctly going into EB Games time and time again to buy the expansions the day of their release. I think when I got the first one I wasn't tall enough to see over the counter. Boy, what changes can happen in 11 years.

I lost interest shortly after The Sims 2 came out however. It was due to the fact the game wouldn't run on my aging PC. Since then, I played it a little when I did get a new computer and even tried out The Sims 3. However, it felt like my days with the series were done with. It just wasn't that much fun. This all changed last week when The Sims Social arrived on Facebook.

A fan of Facebook games I am not. However, I wanted to support one of my old favorite franchises and in general was just curious to see what it had to offer. Immediately I found myself hooked. Like most Facebook games, you can only do so many actions before you must wait a set amount of time to do more (unless you pay money). I would keep the game up in a tab and come back to it as soon as I had credits again. It was the strangest experience I've had in a while, but it was exhilarating all the same.

After a few hours of glorious playtime then things went wrong. The game would refuse to load and later that evening the game went back into closed beta. It still is that way for many users, including myself. I'm still not sure when it'll be back. I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted to play the game though so I decided to install The Sims 2. What harm could it do?

I've found myself completely addicted to the game. If it were possible for me to still play for an entire day I would. This, to me, is really shocking because I had thought I was completely over the series. It looks like Sims will continue to haunt me and I might as well enjoy this while it lasts. It's just too bad I had to go and get all crazy about a game again right before school starts.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I've Actually Played a Lot of Games Lately

I've been neglecting to update my blog with posts about games I've played. However, it wasn't until just now when looking over a list of things I beat last month that I realized I got a fair bit of stuff done. I played and completed Batman: Arkham Asylum, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Spy Fox: Dry Cereal, Spy Fox 2: Some Assembly Required, Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Catherine, and most recently Trauma. That doesn't include games I just played but didn't beat like Rule of Rose, Lunar Knights, and others.

Now, Putt-Putt and Spy Fox aren't the most difficult games to finish or anything but I still think this is a relatively sizable list for about a month of playtime. And yet I didn't get to writing up a "test drive" post for any of them! At the very least, my time management skills are improving so I hope that means my blog will become more regularly updated in the coming weeks.

Friday, August 12, 2011

TGIF: Chickens

If I had posted a TGIF post last week this would have been the accompanying video. It's fun and shows the Zelda world through the life of those cute little chicken creatures. That's really all there is to say.

I wish I had the dedication to work on something for more than 10 minutes in Flash to do something like this. Maybe one day... I'll just need to get super excited about the project at hand.

Silly "Treasure Hunters"

Lately it seems that shows about buying and selling stuff have been really popular. You've got Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Storage Wars all vying for collective attention. Personally, I've always been a fan of this sort of thing so these shows are pretty excellent. Well, at least the first two as I'd actually never watched Storage Wars before.

That all changed today when I saw an episode of Storage Wars where someone found a NES system. The guy apparently has some knowledge of eBay as he spoke about the famous time a year or so ago where a NES sold for a boatload of money. The story for that system was that a mother was cleaning out the closet and happened upon the system and 5 games. One of those games was Family Fun Fitness which is one of the holy grails for NTSC NES collectors. However, the guy who happened upon this NES believed that particular auction to be representative of all NES auctions ever. Oh boy.

So he goes spouting off to his storage bidding buddies that he has hit the jackpot with this "NES-001". It's also hilarious to hear him talk about the system as if he knows everything about it: "This is the first Nintendo DS". Yeah, you keep thinking that. It's equally entertaining to see his dreams squashed with a healthy dose of reality when he takes it to a game store to try and price it. I wish the game clerk had been a bit more informed himself though, as he didn't even know of the auction.

Ah well, I'm just glad that was put out there for everyone to see. I just wish everyone who grossly overprices their stuff on Craigslist could watch the show. By the way, if you want to see the episode then click here. This may only be open for US residents though and the NES sequence starts at about 15 minutes in.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Catherine, Catherine, Catherine!

So, I played and beat Catherine over the weekend. I'll probably do a little blurb about the game here later, but for now I just wanted to pimp out stuff I wrote about it. First, there's my review. It's not my best work but I'd like to think it is a relatively unbiased and helpful review.

Tonight I just published a small opinion piece about one small snippet of the game. It contains spoilers for the 7th day though so if you don't want to know what happens then it might be best to skip this. Basically, the piece is about something that happened on that day in the game that pulled me straight out of my enjoyment of the title. It's rare for a game to do that to me.

Unrelated, I'm a little annoyed that Atlus called the "Love is Over" edition of their game extremely limited. Special edition game collectors are saying that the set is actually put together on demand, meaning, it is not limited at all. It's definitely sneaky marketing on the part of Atlus and actually turns me off to them a tad. That's just the crazy collector inside me talking though.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dammit Blizzard

Diablo III looks like it is shaping up to be a good game but with annoying business decisions behind it. It should have really been expected when Activision came into the picture. Either way, now there's no single-player offline mode for the game.

Back in my Diablo days I would very often hit up a single-player game just to explore and learn. I would level, level, level on my own and then finally brought myself out of the woodwork when friends from school invited me to online multiplayer. The same held true for Diablo 2 when I finally got it. At the very least you can still set up a single player online match, but then, it still has to be online!

From what I've read it also appears that every online game is being verified through Blizzard's servers. That means the continuation of locational servers for people (US-West, US-East) which is common in online games. This has always bothered me though since I have many friends who are not local. Hopefully they didn't remove LAN play or else I'll be a lot more displeased.

Back to the servers though, it seems really annoying how Blizzard wants to have constant authentication that your game and characters are legitimate. They never seemed to care before! Back for the older games there was Open BattleNet which was basically a free-for-all alongside the more closed BattleNet servers. What is wrong with having a free reign mod Open version again alongside the structured one? People had tons of fun in Open and it's not like any true harm is coming from it.

Oh, I know why. It must be because hacking would screw up the auction house and people now that auctions go for REAL MONEY. Who thought that was a good idea? Because it will pay out REAL MONEY people are definitely going to work even harder to abuse the system.

Basically, I hate all the directions Diablo III is going. I already hated the Real ID stuff that Blizzard pulled on their other games but this just hits me harder since I actually want to play this game. Despite all the ways they are making me angry I still intend to put down my money day one. Now I understand why people rally against things online but are seen playing them days later. It's tough to stand up for what you believe in when you're the biggest fanboy in the world for the property.
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