Friday, May 1, 2009

Mad World, Shenmue

Hey guys, Hows it goin? Here again to bring you s'more groovy reviews. 

There are very few good games for Wii. Between Nintendo having their heads up their asses, only giving us a new super smash bros, zelda, or an actually good Mario when they come out with a new console. and giving the consumer & their hardcore fanbase a shit storm of Mario Party, Mario Sports, & ports of older games. and the fact the most third party developers are making games that take five minutes to make. the Wii is in incredible need of not only great, but original games. Luckily, Sega & Platinum Games delivered and gave us the awesomeness that is Mad World.

When I heard about Mad World and saw trailers and gameplay videos of it. I hoped so much that this game would not be shit. It would be such a waste if it was. But luckily, from its graphics to its gameplay. Mad World is not only original, but fucking good too.

Story: The opening cinema starts off with the a place called Varrigant City, being cut off from outside world. its bridges Leading out are blown up, the People's Cell Phones are disabled, and they have no way of contacting the outside world, and vice versa. and the people on the outside's only theory on what's happening to Varrigant City is Terrorism. 

Eventually, you find out that whoever is behind attacking Varrigant City has turned the city into a game show called "Death Watch". The rules are simple, Kill people to become the winner, or die. 

In the game, you play as Jack. Who just so happens to find a way into Varrigant City. Jack is your typical bad-ass main hero. but unlike other similar characters, such as Dante from Devil May Cry, or Marcus from Gears of War. Jack actually gets away with being a bad-ass, in my opinion. He doesn't try to act like he's cool, or be a total Macho ass-hole. I think he might be kinda like a cross between Wolverine from X-Men & Marv from Sin City. but to put it simply, Jack is definitely a character you can stand to play through the game.

after Jack makes his appearance, and Impresses a mysterious man named Agent 13. A russian sounding man in his fifties. And a private contractor for Death Watch. Someone who provides weapons and supplies for the contestant in exchange for bets placed on said contestant. He sponsors Jack and gets him into Death Watch.

although the game's story looks like it has as much depth as man-hunt's. it actually goes pretty deep. You find out about the origins of Death Watch and who's behind it and funding it. and Jack's true motives for being in Varrigant City and who he is. It's good. It's story is definitely not on par with Metal Gear Solid on Depth. But it has a good story, which surprised me a whole lot.

Gameplay: It's bloody, Gory, and downright brutal. And damn do I love it! Not just because I love throwing a tire over someone, shoving a street sign through there head, and then rapidly impaling them on a spike wall multiple times. But because everything in the game works really well. 

The game is definitely a brawler. but how you play it makes it different from other generic brawling games. Instead of many of the linear fighting games you see today. Picture almost every level in the game to be like a level in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. The whole level is open up to you to explore, and find all the interesting ways to kill people. In each level, the goal is to kill as many people as possible in the most gruesome ways. Giving you points depending on how many people you kill, and how you did it. The combo I described earlier would have gotten you a few thousand points right there. you could probly go through the game using just hand-to-hand combat or your chainsaw arm. But not only would it take a long ass while, but its so fun ( and satisfying ) to kill your enemies in the most brutal way possible. Seriously, it's like Mortal Kombat but you have the ability to do fatalities from the moment the level starts.

as your being to rack up more points. Weapons or Onions( Jack's favorite food that heals him completely ), will become available for use. another thing thats available when you get enough points is the BloodBath Challenge. which are mini-games that you do to really rack up the points. And you'll also get an introduction about the challenge from probly the most cartoony character in the game, The Black Baron. A pimp who comes and tells you how to play the game. And then some woman comes (probly his bitch) and kills him in the way he described to you how to play the game. It's always funny to have that girl come on screen and have him act like she hasn't killed him before, and have her using a golf club on him, with his head being the golf ball.

When you first play the game. the main enemies are pretty easy. there not there just to be cannon fodder, they've definitely killed me before. but they start you off pretty easy. Even the bosses are a bit easy at first. But as you progress through the game it builds up s'more challenge and gets a bit harder. You also unlock a hard mode after you first beat the game. Which I heard was definitely a bitch.  

One thing that really adds the comedy to the game. is the announcers in the game. two announcers ( who's names I forgot ). Talk as they watch you fight and slaughter your way to victory. one of the announcers is voiced by John Di Maggio, who was Bender in Futurama, Marcus in Gears of War, and Wakka and Kimahri in Final Fantasy X. And Greg Proops, who I haven't really heard of. But they both did a wonderful job as the announcers for the game. hearing their vulgar banter is funny. they don't have a whole lot for each level, so your bound to hear some repeated pieces dialogue alot. But is it just me, or do all announcers in games suffer very repeated dialogue? Either way, they did a great job with it, and it's definitely won't ruin the game. It just might annoy some people.  

They did a good job with the controls. Balancing the use of motion control and the buttons. you use the buttons for your fists, getting your chainsaw arm on, grabbing people/objects, locking on and using the camera. motion controls are for your using your chainsaw. using weapons/objects on people, backflips to dodge enemies attacks, and executing people or doing the final blow by moving the wii remote in different ways. the only complaint I have, is that its a little difficult to lock-on to people, taking a few seconds to get locked onto the person. I heard to that some people don't like the camera control in the game. But I've played games with worse camera setups (*cough*SimpsonsGame*cough*), and it doesn't get in the way for me. 

Presentation: It's no secret that Mad World has Sin City style graphics. and shit, they did it really well. sure, the graphics won't be as good as Metal Gear Solid 4's or Flower's. But the fact that they got the style of the graphics down to perfection makes up for it. Frank Miller would definitely approve.

The music is pretty good too. An interesting combination of  rap and rock. A nice touch to the game that makes it that more interesting. 

When Nintendo Failed to bring its people hardcore games and just gave them Wii Music. Their ex-rival, Sega brought the goods and gave us Mad World. If you can stand the tons of violence. the game is a must have for the Wii. It's just a shame that hasn't sold that well. Only selling around 66 thousand copies. It kinda reminds me of another game that Sega made that suffered from the same thing, but to more of an extreme. what was that game again....oh yeah, it was shenmue! 

Shenmue. Probly one of Sega's most interesting
Games. It did things that were very new for its time. Making it part adventure/life sim. But I'll get to that later. but to put it simply, Shenmue was another one of Sega's original games, that Received much praise and positive reviews. Unfortunately, the game was one of the reasons of Sega's downfall. Costing 70 Million bucks to make. Sega got no profit from the game it costed that much to make. IGN said that each dreamcast owner would have to purchase the game twice for Sega to make a profit. And even though I'm a big fan of Sega. There's no way in hell I'd pull the cash out for two copies of the game! But the game definitely is worth getting. Let's take a look.

Story: The game starts out when the game's hero, Ryo Hazuki. Coming to his home\Dojo to find that a black car is parked out front. He rushes inside and to the dojo to find his father fighting a strange man. ( He's the guy on the right on the cover. ) whoever he is, he wants something of Ryo's father and ends up beating the crap out of his dad, and Ryo, to tell him where it is. Eventually, the man gets what he wants, which is some Mirror thing and Leaves. and Ryo's dad gets beat down so hard that he ends up dying. Ryo, being the rather generic action hero that he is. Decides to find out what the mystery man got that was to kill for, and find him so he could avenge his father. 

The story to the game might seem a bit generic. But its big, and still pretty entertaining. When you play the game you'll always be wondering what happens next. 

Gameplay: Now I didn't get a chance to really do everything in Shenmue. There were somethings I did to past the time between events. But I could have probly done alot more exploring about the world. I just kinda blazed through the main story. But I'll explain this as best as I can. 

When I first got into the game. I just kinda assumed that it was gonna be pretty much like a free roaming, fighting game. but I was off. There are three different parts to the gameplay of Shenmue. The main part to it. Is the investigating. You'll go around town, talking to people and triggering events that will give you leads on what to do next. It's not what I was expecting to do when I first got the game. But that part of the game was pretty fun and well done. Just get ready to hear alot of repeated dialogue coming from Ryo alot. at the beginning of the game. Get ready to hear the sentence: "Do you know what happened on the day of the incident?" about over nine thousand times.  

the second part of the gameplay is the QTE( Quick Time Events ). This part is just like playing Dragon's Lair. Press the right button when it tells you to, to get past obstacles & people. one thing I like about this is that you don't immediately fail after missing a button once. after Ryo would fuck up or get hit in the face, the scene still goes on until you've fucked up two or three times on that part. And the scenes that go along with the QTE are pretty cool. They either consist of quick, yet cool fights, or chase scenes. Just be ready to hit the buttons immediately when it pops up. and when I mean "Immediately", I mean right at that millisecond. Because sometimes the time they give you to press the button can be very, very short, even for a Quick Time Event. Luckily the only punishment you have to suffer is just starting the QTE from the beginning. thats another thing about this game, you don't have to worry about game overs or starting from when you last saved. when you fail a QTE or a fighting scene, you just have to start over from that scene. which is pretty nice.

and the last main part to the gameplay is the fighting. this part is kinda....okay. it just passes for being good. the problem with it is its kinda setup like a one-on-one fighting game. your always locked on and looking at one guy until you move far enough away from him and closer to another guy. it would be nice just to be able to move around freely and focus on whoever I want easier. Throughout the game you learn fighting moves that you can use in battle as you progress though the story and talk to people at the right time, which is pretty cool at first. but eventually it got hard to do the moves that the people were telling me how to do them. it got to the point where I had to look up how the moves where done online, and even then at the very end it became a bitch to perform them the way they tell you too. 

And now, for the side parts of the gameplay. Stuff you don't have to do, but are still fun and bring more depth to the world of Shenmue. 

One of the things I really liked to do in the game was goto the arcade and play the mini-games their. Their pretty cool. Two of them were just QTE in mini-game form. Others were dart games. In these you didn't control where you'd Aim the dart, Ryo would. you'd only control when you'd throw it. in the first version I played of it, it was pretty easy to figure out where the dart was gonna hit. the other one I played, called: "Neo Darts". It was a bit harder because he was holding a bit differently instead of straight. Either way, both versions are fun.

The other games I played were ports of the old Sega arcade games, Space Harrier, and Hang-On. for those of you who haven't heard them. Space Harrier is 2D-3D-ish shooter game where your some guy who could fly around and shoot with his gun. and Hang-on is a racing game, that was kinda like pole position, but with bikes. you have a time limit and if you didn't reach the finish line and to the next stage in that time limit, it's game over. these are probly my favorite games out of all that I played. I learned after I beat the game that there was a billiards game that I missed the chance to play. So I don't know whether or not its good. 

early on , you have a chance to take care of a kitty that lost its mommy when it got hit by the bad guys car. you can feed it food, pet it and talk to it. He won't die if you neglect it. But everything is better when you have an adorable kitty in the game. 

there's also a lottery for the game in certain shops if you buy something. the only thing you can really win are just figurines though. but, its still kinda cool. 

One thing that I think is still pretty amazing to this day. Is the way they setup the world in the game. The game start off in late november, and as each day passes by. The month will change, the weather will change, people get ready for holidays when they come around. And everyone has their own agenda and things to do. It really is a detailed world. It may not seem quite that impressive with the games we have nowadays. But back then, that was never done in a game before. 

The voice acting for all the characters in the game is definitely not the greatest. It goes from being okay to just bad. And Sega must have put alot of money in it because each character in the game had their own individual voice and the voice cast list in the credits was pretty long. I wouldn't be surprised if that was one of the reasons the game took so much to make. But all in all, the voice acting in game is tolerable. 

Presentation: This had really great graphics for a Dreamcast game. It comes really close to being on PS2 par graphics. There aren't any flaws at all I see here. 

The Music in the game is good too, ranging from Rock or Jazz-ish music, to more ancient japan style music. it fits well with the game.

Shenmue may not be perfect. But you know what, its still a pretty fucking good game. I'm definitely gonna get the second one sometime in the future. And I'm gonna hope that Sega will get around to finishing out the trilogy and start working on the third installment of the game. If you have a Dreamcast that you play occasionally with no new games to play on it. Definitely give Shenmue a shot. Its worth it.    


Monday, April 20, 2009

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, Phantasy Star 2

Hey, guys. I'm back to bring you some more groovy reviews.

Of course you know that I take an interest in old games. And I'm a fan of Sega's games. So when I heard that they came out with a Collection of old Sega genesis games for the PS3 and 360. I thought to myself: "Hey, that might be worth buying.". And man, oh man, was I right. Let's look into it. 

Now this probly isn't going to be that big of a review since it's just a collection of old games. but I have to say. this is the biggest, nicest, and most in-depth game collection I've seen. I've played Namco Museum and Midway Arcade Treasures. And I've never had this much fun with an Old game Collection such as this. (And yeah, I know the technology difference between the old arcade games and the Sega Genesis is big.) 

The menu in the game is good. You can organize the game list alphabetically, by year, Genre or by which ones are your favorites. there's also a museum section for each game. giving you a basic description of the main story for each game. and a couple history bits about the game which are pretty neat. 

one thing I really like about the Genesis Collection is that it has secrets that you can unlock. which I haven't seen before in a game collection. pretty much all of the secrets are either interviews with the creators of the some of the Sega games. or other famous Sega games that weren't on the Genesis platform. such as Phantasy star 1 for the Sega Master System, or the Arcade version of altered beast. none of the secrets will take alot of work to unlock. some you'll unlock just by starting to play a certain game. but they definitely add some more stuff to do in the Genesis Collection. they also have trophies in the game too. they don't have as many trophies as I thought they would. they have about one per game, and not all the games have trophies I think. but they have a decent amount. some of them are a bit more challenging to get then the secrets. so if you wanna get all the trophies. that will add even more time you'll be playing the game.

I don't have a HD TV, so I don't know how well the graphics look in HI-DEF. the only thing that bugs me is that the game doesn't take up the entire screen. they have this background thats behind the screen of the game your playing. the background differs from game to game. and also you can adjust the screen of your main game by going into the video settings and getting it so it covers up the background. 

the collection includes all the games that the Genesis was know for. You have all the sonic games. Colums, Comix Zone, Vector-Man, all the Phantasy Star games before Phantasy Star Online and over thirty other games on the Collection. 

Even if you have a Genesis. (like me) This is worth 30$. You get so much in this Collection. and I'm sure some of the games on there are hard to find and cost an ass-load of  money to purchase. so I think You'll be getting your money's worth with this. 

Now I'm gonna review one of the games I've fallen in love with on the Genesis Collection. Phantasy Star 2. 

Nintendo had Final Fantasy. and Sega had Phantasy Star. My history may not be completely accurate. but I know it took a while for the Final Fantasy games come out in north america. it took them three years to release Final Fantasy 1 in North America. and by the time we got to play Final Fantasy. Phantasy Star 1 was out on the Master System, And Phantasy Star 2 had come out three months earlier. Phantasy Star 2 was a big RPG game. Big enough that it even came with a player's guide. Whether or not it covers the whole game, I don't know. but it goes to show you that Sega was going the distance to make sure gamers enjoyed this game. 

Between Final Fantasy coming to the states, and the Fact that the Sequel to Phantasy Star 2, Phantasy Star 3, sucked ( that's what I hear at least ). I wouldn't be surprised it got in Final Fantasy's shadow and got overlooked by many gamers back in the day. but that doesn't mean it was a bad series that should be ignored. Phantasy Star 2 I think is probly one of the best pre-Super Nintendo Games out there. so, enough about the history of the game. let's check it out.

Story: The main character in the game is Rolf. And it starts out with him dreaming about a woman fighting a monster. I can't tell if that's a reference to the first game with the game's main Female character, Alis, or something in Phantasy Star 2's story later on, but that doesn't matter a whole lot. so after Rolf wakes up he goes to his hometown's central tower. and is given a mission to go to a far off Research Lab to find out what has caused the recent outbreak of monsters throughout the world. Your Friend, Nei, Joins the party when you goto your house to get ready. throughout the game, you'll find out about what's happened with the whole monster problem. and realize, like in pretty much every RPG game, that the whole world is under a big threat that must be stopped. 

Gameplay: Gameplay for roaming around town, the world or dungeons are pretty simple. one button brings up your stats/inventory menu, the other examines stuff and talks to people. each town has an item shop, weapon shop, teleport station, save house, and a cloning station for if your party members die. of course that farther you get through the game the more expansive the stuff in item or weapon shops get. the other places such as teleport, healing and cloning stations are pretty cheap to use. though I think if you try to revive a character at the cloning station thats not dead. the owner will get pissed at you and raise the price for resurrection by alot. 

Battling is a bit weird at first. to start off, you don't get your characters to target a single enemy. instead, you have them target groups of enemies. so say your in a battle with one group of enemies of that monster type, and another of a different type of monster. you could only get one of your characters to attack one of those monster groups. which one it attacks is random. which I guess isn't a bad thing. I'm just used to targeting single monsters in RPGs. 

Another thing thats interesting is the way you give orders to your characters. its kinda weird. once you setup who's gonna attack what enemy or who's gonna use what spell. its set to keep going in a loop till you or the enemy dies. luckily, you can "intervene" as they call it in the manuel and press any button or move the joystick in any direction to stop the fight from being automatic and make a different strategy for you party. 

one thing I like about the fighting in this game is that the monsters have a good challenge level. unlike games like Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. the monsters in those games would either go from too easy, to too hard. in Phantasy Star 2. the battles will have some challenge to them when you step into a new area or dungeon. but not so hard that you'll have to go back to an earlier area to level up. 

with alot of old RPGs back in the day. you'd have to spend a good portion of the game building up your characters and getting new equipment for them. and Phantasy Star 2 is no exception. you'll have to do your fair share of level building and equipment buying in the game. and the more characters you get in your party, the longer it will be to get everyone at a good level and get everyone their best equipment.

pretty much every time you reach a new town, or a special event happens. thats a sign to teleport back to Rolf's hometown and goto his house and a new character will join him and help him out. the only problem with this is, all new characters start out on level 1. so it takes them a while to get up to speed with the rest of the groups level. but once they do, they become useful characters. 

Presentation: for its time, I think the game had great graphics. the soundtrack to the game might be kinda small. but all the music to the game I think is really good. where it lacks in quantity, it at least makes up for in quality. 

Phantasy Star 2 may not be perfect. You'll find yourself doing quite a bit of leveling up and equipment buying throughout the game. But alot of old RPGs did that. when the couldn't fit a story onto the cartridge the size of Final Fantasy 7, 8 or 9, which would span up to four discs. they had to do something to increase gameplay length. so, they made the monsters tougher and the equipment expensive. and the difference between the other old RPGs and this, is that I'm finding doing all of that stuff worth it to continue on with the story. and you definitely don't have to do it as much as Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. So if you feel like checking out other old RPGs besides the famous Chrono Trigger or Breath Of Fire. Give the Phantasy Star Series a try. I definitely plan on beating it. And playing through the other games on the Genesis Collection. It's definitely a series I've begun to really like.     

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Current Gen Consoles, Old Gen Consoles

Without game systems, video games would just be CDs that nobody could use. And the video game console has evolved alot over the past twenty years. We've gone from using cartridges to store games, wired controllers to play on, and the only way you could play with someone else is if they were in the room. Now look, our games our on DVDs, even blu-ray. you can play a game with your controller from over thirty feet away. and a great part of video gaming is about being able to play online. and buying add-ons for games or downloading games. and having hard-drives inside our game systems has made memory cards a thing of the past. to put it simply, game systems have changed. and I'm dedicating these reviews to the systems we have today. and the old-school systems that I thought were the grooviest of them all.

I never owned a 360. but my brother did. and I got to play one at a friend's house. So I think I got a good idea of what the 360 is.

Game Library: When I first played the 360. the first game I tried out was Oblivion. and it was damn good. being a complete Improvement from Morrowind. Oblivion was definitely a great game to have while its was exclusive to the 360. another great game was condemned: criminal origins. which was intense and scared the shit outta every time I'd play it. one of my old time favorites, dead rising. was another great game. being stuck in a mall with 50,000 zombies and being able to use anything as a weapon I thought was a grand idea for a game. gears of war was awesome. but not all the it was hyped up to be in my opinion. the whole, "fighting aliens that wanna kill all of mankind." thing has been done before. and all the characters were all just your generic badasses who walked around in a suit of armor that no real human could fight in. it would be like trying to walk around with a tank on your back, you just could not move that fucking fast in it like they do in the game. Halo 3 was probly the most disappointing game in my opinion. maybe it was the fact that I never got into Halo 2 a whole lot. but it just felt like it lost something that the other halo games had. the weapons felt crappier. the level designs didn't feel as amazing. none of the new vehicles they added were that awesome. it wasn't a game I'd wouldn't have with like I did with Halo 1 or 2.

Online: every time I'd play online. it worked great. I spent alot of time playing Gears Of Ear at my friend's house. And it worked well and bearly lagged or crashed the game. the only problem I see with it is: It's not free. If you want Xbox live account you'll have to pay for a subscription to it. which is kinda a drag. 

Hardware: This is were the 360 fails the most. you have dreaded "red ring of death". which will probly make you have to take your 360 into repair many times. I know people who have had to get their 360 repaired 5 or 6 times because his kept on breaking down. 

The Xbox 360 is a good system. Maybe not the best one ever made. but you'll get some fun outta it. now, onto the next system. 

When I heard about the Wii. it was still called the "Revolution". and I thought that was an awesome name for a system. and I thought its motion control scheme was a groovy idea for games. But then I had to go hear one of the things that was one of the many disappointments. The change of the name's console from the "Revolution", to the weird as hell, "Wii". Why the fuck would you change the name from something as awesome as the "Revolution" to something as fucking dumb as "Wii". It's like if Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid changed his name to "Anus Fairy". It just doesn't sound as awesome. But enough ranting about it. Let's see if there's anything else about the system, besides the name, thats wrong.

Game Library: like any system. It has some good games for it. Zelda: Twilight Princess was a great launch title. No More Heros is a FUCKING GOOD game. Zack & Wiki is a nice puzzle game. and Super Mario Galaxy is a great breath of fresh air from all the fucking mario sports games and the 100th fucking Mario Party game. But other then that. It doesn't have an amazing selection. You'll probly just find ports to old gamecube games or other systems. or games that took less effort to make than wiping your ass after having a nice shit. I really thought when I first got the system that It was really gonna have games that really had you use the motion control to its fullest potential. but all I found were games that made you flick the Wiimote in some direction most of the time. which I found to be rather disappointing. 

Online: It sucks. Badly. the whole friend code bullshit makes playing with other people a pain in the ass. not to mention the whole Nintendo Wi-Fi thing just doesn't work 90% of the time. Even when you do find someone to play with the chances of you starting a game without it crashing is fucking low. I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I got Brawl for Wii and tried to get it online just to find out that starting a game was just as difficult as fighting someone in it. seriously, Its a fucking bitch.

Hardware: I'll give it one thing. it hasn't broken once. the only time its freezed up on me was when I'd try to play red steel. other then that, the controllers work, the system functions. its all good. 

Wii might be cheap. But it is for a reason. It doesn't have a great selection of games. but it doesn't mean I don't hold hope for it. No More Heros got me to play my Wii again after a long while. I'm holding hope that Mad world will be as fucking awesome as it looks. and even House Of The Dead: OverKill. looks like an interesting game with its style similar to that of the Grind House Movies. So even though it may be in the shitter right now. I'm still holding out some hope that Nintendo will get on the Right track. 

 The PS3 has been the system that has truly kept me happy. I don't mean to sound like a fan boy. But the PS3 is the most ass kickin system. It took me 6 months to save up for it. and it was worth every fuckin penny. here's why.

Game Library: It has franchises both new and old that are solid and just plain awesome. may it be older games like the Ratchet And Clank series or the Metal Gear Solid Saga. Or newer games like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune that has the story of a good adventure movie and the solid gameplay combining the fighting of gears of war and the Platforming/Climbing of Tomb Raider. and Little Big Planet. A truly Original platformer with possibly the best level editor I've ever seen for a game. they'll be series you'll enjoy. 

Online: Its free and it fucking works. There might be games where you get the occasional lag or crash. But its going to work 90% of the time and you don't have to pay for any of it. now I know I haven't talked about the Xbox live Market Place or the Wii Virtual Console. but I find the PSN to work damn well and it has good shit to buy from it. and it doesn't have any point system you have to do to buy shit. you can do it all straight through a credit or debit card. 

Hardware: I've had the PS3 for over two years and it hasn't broken once. The controllers and the Motion Control work perfectly. The only gripe I guess I have is that I have a 20GB hard drive for my PS3 and with all the add-ons and data utility for games can take up alot of room on a hard drive. but they got PS3s with bigger hard drives. 

The PS3 may be expansive. But if you got the cash to fork over. You'll know where that extra money went. 

but now, I wanna take you to an earlier time. where game consoles where much different then the ones we have today. and the first console I wanna review is the first one my family ever got.

Ah, yes. The Sega Genesis. Every time I hear music from the old Sonic The Hedgehog games. it brings me way back. *sigh* so many good memories. anyways, onto the review of it.

Games Library: Sonic The Hedgehog Originated on this system. so, of course. probly his best games are on this console. but that's not all it had. probly some of the best games in the genesis's library are either the platformers or the fighters. You have Kid Chameleon. where your a bad-ass kid in a leather jacket who can transform into things such as a samurai, someone who would look like Jason from the Friday the thirteenth movies if he had an axe instead of a machete. and even something resembling a Nazi thats in a tank that shoots skulls. then you have Streets Of Rage. That was to the Genesis like Final FIght was to the SNES. an awesome fighting game where you wonder around kicking crime in the ass. I could go on, and on. All I'll say is that the Genesis has an awesome library of games. and definitely had some advantages to the NES, and even to the SNES.

Hardware: They came out with two models to the Genesis. I have the first one. It had everything a game system needed back in the day,  two controller ports, a head phone jack, and a reset button. the system has never broken down on me. the only gripe I see with the first model is that I have to really push down one the cartridge to get it in. It sometime feels like I'm about to break the system trying to get it in. 

When Sega had game systems. It brought some good competition against Nintendo. and I can see why. With Sonic as its mascot and other good games in its library. it was definitely a system worth getting.

Even the Genesis was the first system we ever got. my earliest memories was playing Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo. This, in my opinion, was when Nintendo was in its prime. it was a time when Mario wasn't horribly franchised and Mario Party or Mario Golf didn't exist yet. and they just focused on making Mario games for what he was famous for. platforming. let's take a look.

Game Library: Super Mario World, Zelda: A Link To The Past, Chrono mother fucking Trigger. these were few of the many majestic games that were in the SNES's library. and just when they couldn't get any better. they added two other games which put SNES at the top. the first one was Donkey Kong Country. A game that had amazing graphics, great music, and just wonderful & Original platforming fun. The other game, being Super Mario RPG. This was one of the best Mario games in my opinion. when you put game companies Square & Nintendo together. you get an interesting battle system and the awesome characters Mallow and Geno. And it was the first game where Mario teamed up with his arch-enemy bowser. which was pretty amazing back in the day.

hardware: Shit, I don't see anything wrong with this system's hardware. you got of course, your two standard controller ports. they Included an eject button so you could easily pull your games out. the controllers are A+. and haven't broken or worn out at all in my time of playing on it. and best of all, I've had the thing for years and it has never broken on me. which amazes me. nowadays with the 360. it breaks down all the time. and yet, here's the SNES which is indestructible practically.

the Super Nintendo is legendary. Its library of hardcore games is 10 out of 10 awesome. And I've never had as much fun with a game system like I did with the Super Nintendo.

this here's the last system I got. so get ready.

I never paid a huge amount of attention to the DreamCast when it first came out. but I fucking wish I did. Not only did it have some groovy games on it. but just the design was godly. just the name, "DreamCast" was so cool. it wasn't the Sega Genesis 2 or the saturn 360 or some dumb shit with numbers. no! They used a new name for their console. and Unlike Nintendo with their names like "Wii". Sega's names fucking Worked. 
The DreamCast logo you got was when you first turned it on was cool, and the system's menu screen was nicer even then the PS2's. but anyways. lemme get on to the system review.

Game Library: When it first came out. it of course, had Sonic as one of its launch titles. Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 was one of the last good Sonic games to come out. Power stone was like Sega's super smash bros. Hydro Thunder was awesome. house of the dead, even with its bad voice acting, was still fun with a gun controller. And Crazy Taxi became one of my favorite Arcade game ever. and of course, the DreamCast had one of the most original games ever made in my opinion, Jet Grind Radio. A game having Cartoony, cel shaded graphics, and involved you going around spraying graffiti and taking other gang's territory.  

Online: This was the first system I think to have online gaming. you could even surf the internet on your DreamCast if you had the web browser disc. thought it was kinda difficult without a keyboard. it was still pretty awesome to surf the web on a game system. as for online games, the only online game I know about is Phantasy Star Online. And I only played that on the game-cube not online. But it was a really fun game. I'm sure it was awesome when you could play it online with other people.

Hardware: Just like all the other old consoles I've reviewed. This one has never broken on me. And I had this since the day it came out. so that's saying alot. It's system was small and compact, and looked very nice. The Controllers felt perfect, even if you had just one analog stick. They too, haven't broken on me.

after the unsuccessful Sega Genesis add-ons. and the Saturn, which didn't do so well I think. I've bearly heard about the system, so I don't know. But what I do is that the DreamCast was a very successful system. Its unfortunate that it was Sega's Last system. Nowadays I wonder what the gaming world would be like If Sega was still making consoles. Would they still be as good? Would Sonic be better? Would they still think of cool names for their systems? I guess we'll never know. Anyways, that's all for today. I hope you've enjoyed my review, And I hope you guys keep on reading more of my blogs.   

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Resident Evil 5 demo + Resident Evil 1 PS/GameCube versions

Hello again people. sorry if it's taken me a while. but I'm finally back, with some reviews you should enjoy.

I've been a huge fan of the resident Evil series. and when I saw clips of RE5 in action. I didn't know what to think, really. it just looked liked RE4 set in africa. but the game did seem like it would have potential. 

last night I got to play the demo of the game at a friend's house on his PS3. and here's what I have to say about this IT.


okay, maybe I wouldn't take it quite that far. but that's how I felt when I first played it. I was horribly disappointed with the demo. here's what I have to say about it.

Gameplay: to start off. the gameplay is practically the same as RE4. even the flaws the were in RE4 were in this one. like the fact aiming your gun is slow and kinda difficult. or the fact that you can't switch which shoulder your aiming over. and you still can't move around while you aim your gun. you think after games like uncharted where it allowed you to do that, they could have added stuff like that to the game. 

the only real new thing I can really see they added to them game is that you don't have to pause your game to change your weapon and use items. you can this menu pop up while the game is still going on and you switch weapons and use items through that. which I guess makes things a little intense when you have to switch weapons when a mob or people are cornering you. 

the next thing that bugs me about RE5, is the fact that it has no fucking fear factor whatsoever. RE4 didn't have much of one either. but at least I got scared at some points in the game. but I can tell just by playing this that they've gotten rid of the whole idea of scaring the hell outta of you in this game. 

to start off, both levels in the demo are set in broad daylight. you can see everything thats coming at you. nowadays, we have games like Condemned or F.E.A.R, that actually utilize the darkness as best they can. where pretty much your only source of light, is either a flashlight, or the dim, flickering lights that you would occasionally see in some areas of a level. in this, you don't get any dark rooms or areas. everything is completely lit because you happen to be fighting monsters on a clear, sunny as fuck day. 

next off, the enemy AI in this game is just dumb as hell. especially the chainsaw people. I intentionally left myself open & vulnerable for the chainsaw guy to attack me so I could see myself die violently from the guy. and when the guy finally was up close enough to hit me. he didn't swing his chainsaw until like, 3 or 4 seconds had passed. another enemy ended up hitting me and moved me outta the chainsaw guy's way by the time the guy swung his chainsaw.

next thing that bothers me is, who the fuck is this chick with Chris Redfield?

now this sounds like a stupid thing to complain about, I know. but this girl just bugs me for some reason. she just doesn't seem like she's gonna be that memorable of a character compared to the main RE cast. her name is Sheva Alomar, and she's is a special agent tasked with investigating the epidemic in africa. now, do we need another character that just happens to be another special/secret agent. over half the cast is part of some organization or agency. how about some character with a bit more originality?

the other thing is that she even makes the game even less scary to play. having a partner thats constantly by your side is not gonna make me feel more scared. yeah, with RE4 you had a partner that you had to work with too. but she couldn't attack, and you had to spend most of the time protecting her from the monsters.  and she wasn't with you all the time. in RE5, she fights just as much as you. and the game has co-op gameplay to it. so I'm guessing this chick is gonna stay by Chris's side through the whole game. 

Presentation: I'll at least give the game this, it has really good graphics. they are definitely above par quality. as for the music, I was to busy hearing the sounds of screaming from the hordes of people after you & gunshots to really pay attention to the music. 

Resident Evil 5 has officially strayed from the survival horror path in my opinion. and has become pretty much just another action game. which might satisfy some people, but for people like me who want stuff that the old resident evil games had, which was some grade A fear. then I think some people are gonna be in a for disappointment. now I know game sequels don't have to bring a ton of change to a game series. after all, the early games constantly used the same gameplay style. but they added some different weapons you can get, different monsters, and original puzzles, so you were doing more in the game the just shooting and killing. RE4 was a really fun game when I first played it. and did a good job on the different style of gameplay. but the puzzles became way too simple and made you do no real thinking. and after you defeated the first few hordes of crazy assholes. nothing else in the game really scares you like the other games. and RE5 is just the same, showing even less fear in the game and no real original monsters. 

now, I'm gonna show you guys what I thought a true Resident Evil game was. back when the people who made it knew what fear was, and actually cared about showing it to gamers.


Resident Evil 1 for playstation came out in 1996. it may not have been the first survival horror game with the same style, Alone in the dark beat them to it. but Resident Evil 1 was not only THE resident evil game to play. but its probly the first game that people think of when they think of survival horror. this game made the survival horror genre, and made me, and probly many other kids terrified of the dark at night. 

my favorite version is probly the Game Cube version. but the original PS version of it is really good too. and is still scary to play, even today in my opinion. but I'm gonna tell you about both versions.

Story: The story to both versions are pretty much the same. you play as one of the two main characters game. Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield. both of them are with a special agency called S.T.A.R.S(Special Tactics And Reconnaissance Squad).  they are sent in with three other members of stars to investigate bizarre murders that have been happening around raccoon city. when Investigating the forest and a helicopter crash. your team is attacked by a pack of dogs and one of your team-mates gets killed. seeing that some fucked up shit is going down. you and your team run from the dogs and make it to a nearby mansion. and of course, you should all know how it goes down from here. they investigate the mansion. and bump into zombies, Giant Spiders, strange agile amphibious creatures called hunters, along with many traps and puzzle throughout the whole mansion. 

both main intros to each version of the game do a great job of setting the tone for it. but are done pretty differently. the first game, using real footage and actors for the game. and the game-cube remake using CGI. 

GamePlay: the gameplay to both versions of the game was solid. depending on which character you decided to play as. you'd have a slightly different game. such as what weapons are available and how much room you had to carry things. Jill was the easier character to play as since you had access to a grenade launcher. and If memory serves me right she could carry up to eight items. and she had Barry, who was pretty much your assistant. giving you an item or two usually when you'd bump into him. Chris's game was a little bit more difficult. you could  only carry up to six items. didn't have access to a grenade launcher, and the other person you work with, Rebecca. isn't that much of a help if I remember. 

the main gameplay consisted of you roaming around the mansion, fighting monsters, and finding key items to help you solve puzzles around the mansion. and figuring out where these monsters originated from and getting the hell outta there. you'd even fight bosses along the way such as a giant snake or a huge mutant plant. 

the original game was rather short. probly spanning to about five or six hours through your first time playing it. the remake to it added alot more content in it. from more locations/rooms, to more monsters and bosses. even the zombies were smarter in this one. they'd make they're way into others rooms and bust they're way through windows. and then, they're were the crimson heads. tougher versions of the zombie that would come back if you didn't kill them right(destroy their head, light the corpse on fire). they were faster, stronger and tougher to kill.

unlike RE4 and 5. you didn't have a huge source of ammo. in RE4 you'd could get ammo from the monsters you killed. which gave you a good constant source of ammunition and supplies. in this, you had to really go looking for it in rooms throughout the mansion. making ammo and supplies rather scarce in the game. making you ration your supplies and use certain weapons/items only when you really had to. 

presentation: for its time, the original version of RE had really good graphics. the voice acting might have been bad. but at least it bad in a way that it was funny to hear the people talk(especially Albert wesker). the Music for original I thought was great. it really set the tone for the game and some of the music alone sent chills down my spine. 

the remake definitely Improved on the graphics. making it probly one of the best looking Game-Cube games. and the voice acting improved as well. it maybe isn't the most memorable acting in a game. but it's good enough that the characters can be taken seriously. the music in the game wasn't exactly as chilling as the original. but still does a great job of setting the tone for the game.

if you ever decide to take interest in the Resident evil series. forget about RE4 and fuck RE5. the first game is where you should start. I can't tell you how many times I've played RE1 over. it's that fun of a game to play. after you play it, you'll know why it's become part of video game history.  


Thursday, January 15, 2009

my first review

Hey everyone, before I begin. lemme tell ya a bit about myself. I, of course, am a gamer. and I'm a big fan of the video games of today, and also, the video games of yesterday. the games I used to play when I was a young dude back in the 90s. so I decided to start my own blog, and start reviewing games. some game that are new(or new-ish), and the old games of the far away past. so, here we go. and I hope you enjoy hearing what I have to say.

Okay, so as the first review for my blog. I think I decided to talk about the most recent game I've gotten. Resistance 2. 

Now when I first got my PS3, Resistance: fall of man, was the first game I bought for it. and I loved it. the weapons felt original compared to other game's weapons like halo. where you just had a basic assault rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, etc. in Resistance. you had weapons like the auger. a weapon that could go through walls and cover, and that could shoot out shields for cover as an alternative fire. or the far-eye. a sniper rifle that could slow down time so you could pick off your targets with perfect accuracy. even the more basic weapons such as the carbine(assault rifle, pretty much), or the rossmore(shotgun). were awesome weapons. and there was no limit to how many weapons you could carry. your main guy had practically an arsenal of weapons by about halfway through the first game. but, enough about the first game. let's start talking it's sequel and see how it compares to the first game.

Story: the story for Resistance 2 starts pretty much right after the first game. with the main character, Nathan Hale. getting picked up by a squad a soldiers in a helicopter and being taken to join a special team of american soldiers that have been infected by the Chimera. now I don't wanna spoil any of the story for you guys. but I would just like to point out that the story didn't really seem to anywhere really at first. it just kinda felt like I was just going around blowing up aliens and their space ships. and nothing out of really out of the ordinary was gonna happen. but eventually the story picks up more and gets you pretty hooked into it. 

Gameplay: we have both the single player campaign and multiplayer. I'll tackle the single player first.

single player: to start off, the controls to the game are well done and easy to get used to. they even made use of the motion control. every time you shake the controller you do a melee attack. which feels strangely more satisfying then just clicking on of the joysticks. 

my main gripe about the game, is that it got halo-ish. which isn't necessarily a bad thing. and when I mean by halo-ish. is that its using game mechanics similar to that of halo 2. such as the fact you can now only carry two weapons at once. and instead of having a life bar, you have the thing where when your about to die, you just go hide somewhere and wait for your life to heal up. now as I said, its not a bad thing that Resistance 2 has some stuff similar to halo 2. its just annoying because it feels like every single FPS games is doing those kinds of things, hell, even third person games are doing them to. and I just want to see some games where I have to find some med-packs or health kits. or games where I don't have to switch out one weapon for another, and just have my main character store all his/her guns in some space that I'm not privy to seeing. it just feels like games like those are really scarce nowadays. but anyways, enough ranting about that. 

the fighting in the game is really good and intense. and it feels really satisfying when you blow some chimera up with a grenade and see them blow up into bits. you also have newer types of chimera to deal with. such as the grims, fresh chimera that just hatched and wanting to rip your head off. and usually you have to deal with these guys in huge hordes. you also have the chameleons, big and invisible, and jump at you when you least expect it. making you have to act as quick as hell or before they kill you. they're a nice addition to the game, though they feel kinda cheap since they're practically impossible to kill the first time you run into one of them. there's also some huge monster you'd have an epic battle fight with in each location. each one posing a good challenge and giving a trophy for each one you kill.

online: this I think is probly the game's strongest point. if the game was just the online part,  I would probly still get it just cause its that awesome. especially co-op. thats like an entirely different game. having you choose between three different classes of people, soldier, medic or my favorite, special ops. soldier is pretty much for assault and for when you wanna take a butt-load of monsters down. medic is pretty much a must-have it feels like, since they can not only absorb life with their gun, but heal others with it. and special ops can hand other people ammo, along with themselves. which is useful cause finding more ammo without them is hard since their scarce. co-op also has an RPG like factor. with you gaining EXP along with leveling up and getting new gear. which probly helps make the game alot longer.

competitive: I haven't played as much of this as co-op. but what I have played has left me 100% satisfied. I haven't bumped into any extreme lag. and the 64 player matches are a groovy and hectic experience to be a part of.   

Presentation: the whole presentation to the game, music, graphics. and are all great, but not ground breaking. I can't notice a huge difference between the graphics to the first game and this one. and the music is good, but pretty much no different from the first game it feels like. 

all in all, Resistance 2 is well done game. it may not be ground breaking or revolutionary. but it will defiantly be worth the 59.99$( 69.99$ if you get the special addition) you pay for it. 


now. for the first old game review I'm about to do, is a game that I just recently began playing again. so I think it would probly be the best choice for this. the game is called: "Kablooey". for the super nintendo.

I first played this game when I was probly seven. I don't know how successful the game was. but I picture it being one of those games that people just didn't pay a whole lot of attention to. which is kinda unfortunate, because this was actually pretty good puzzle game. let's check it out.

story/goal: there isn't much of a story to the game. your character basically is a giant blue, retarded potato that goes around setting off bombs in a kind of overhead levels that uses tiles. you blow up all the bombs in the level without dying to proceed on to the next level.

 you have about five different kinds of explosives in the game. small, medium and large bombs that you have to detonate. small bombs can blow up only one tile. medium blowing about four tiles. and large can blow up to six spaces at once. then there are bombs that detonate all the others of that kind when you set one of them off. and land-mines. and all these bombs can be set off either by standing on the tile its one and setting it off with the B button and stepping off the tile. or having a bomb that goes off or a explosion right next to it. they add some other things to spice up the game a bit more. like switches that make more tiles or bombs appear. crack tiles that disappear after you step and get off them. sliding tiles which makes you slide uncontrollably across. and even enemies. which were just basically balls. one was a huge bouncing ball that you could walk under if you timed it right. another was just four spinning balls that were a single unit that move around the level.

presentation: the presentation is probly what hurts this game. the graphics aren't what you'd call great. and as for the music, it gets very annoying once the main game begins. before you start the level. there's a female computer voice saying "PLAYER ONE, GET READY!"(player two if your playing with a friend). and the main music is just a bass line and drum beat with the female voice constantly saying "get ready!!" all the time. and the one, probly 40 second track is in all 130+ levels in the game. making it really annoying to listen to after a while.

Kablooey may not be a legendary game. but it is a game worth checking out least. if you happen to find this game at the flea market or a yard sale. it'll probly be worth the five bucks you'd probly have to pay for it.