During the discussion of Diablo on our podcast, I remarked that the game, while mostly enjoyable, made we want to play more modern games inspired by the classic dungeon dive. One example of such a game, which I mentioned by name, is Dungeon Siege III, a title I purchased quite a long time ago, but had never even cracked the shrink wrap on. Having put the game back on my radar, I decided to finally give it try. Did the game satisfy the modern dungeon crawler urge that Diablo had lit within me? Let's take a look.
Continue reading Dungeon Siege III
I recently stumbled upon a game that surprised me with its presentation, cultural flavor, and overall fun. Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble for the Sony PSP was the perfect game to play after finishing Yakuza 5, as there are similarities between the two games, although Kenka Bancho is distinct in many ways. Though there are many entries in this series, this is the only one we've gotten in North America. Let's check it out!
Continue reading Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble
Image courtesy of Playstation.com
I've been a big fan of the Yakuza series since back in the Playstation 2 days. If you've never heard of them, the games put you mostly in the shoes of Kazuma "Kaz" Kiryu as he deals with the trials and tribulations of being a leader in the Tojo Clan of gangsters. Like the Persona series, Yakuza, while localized for American audiences, is baked in Japanese culture. The gameplay, contrary to popular belief is nothing like Grand Theft Auto but more like Shenmue only a thousand times more exciting and fluid. The series has spanned the Playstation 2 through the Playstation 4, and even has a few PSP titles that never made it out of Japan. I feel like I have to stress that for as much as I adore this series, it is certainly not for everyone. Only the first game has English voice acting so if you don't like reading subtitles, see you later! The brawler-style combat engine is not updated enough from game to game so many people have understandably criticized it for becoming stale. The graphics, while colorful and detailed, always feel a little bit dated. If you don't like long cutscenes you also might want to pass. They're not in the same league as the Metal Gear Solid series, but they're certainly in the realm of "put down your controller and watch for a while."
Continue reading Yakuza 5
This is going to be a follow-up of sorts to my previous entry. Writing that post was quite cathartic, and putting into words feelings which I had trouble identifying over the past year or so. A month later I realize how down I really was about my fleeting passion for gaming and I knew I would need to bounce back, or my interest would fade further. I was hoping that hosting The Secret of Mana for the community playthrough and playing it on original hardware would light that spark, but to put it simply, it didn't happen that way. Instead, a combination of a few things happened concurrently. I soft-modded a secondhand Nintendo Wii and loaded it with emulators. I did the same thing to my phone. I started playing games wherever I could in an effort to add games to my post in the "Games Beaten" thread to get my count up in January for a big start to the year. So far I've played a lot of handheld games (because they are shorter), and I'll tell you a little about them in a bit. First I want to mention the other project I'm working on that has fired me up a bit when it comes to gaming.
Continue reading On Sharing - A Follow-up
*pic from Mission17.org*
Towards the end of 2011, I had a discussion with my late friend Jesse about gaming in general, as this was typically all we ever talked about. We were talking about the age old balance of gaming versus collecting. At the time, I was all about collecting and spent way too little time actually playing games. I was persuaded and inspired by Jesse to start enjoying my collection for more than pieces of plastic that look nice on the shelf. I decided to lay down and follow some "rules" for myself for the year of 2012. I would play no more than two games at a time (this allowed me to play one console game and one handheld game concurrently). I would finish every game I started. Lastly, I would remove at least one game from my collection for every new one that came in. The last rule helped me trim a lot of fat in collection, but it's not something I strictly adhere to anymore. However, I still try to follow the first two rules to this day.
Continue reading A Year of Unfinished Games
I am on record cheering with unreserved optimism for the arrival of virtual reality to the mainstream. Technology that has been teasing me for as long as I can remember seems to finally be available in a way that legitimizes VR gaming as as worthwhile venture for both gamers and developers. As a console gamer, the peripheral I was most excited for was Playstation VR, which released early in October, 2016. Though it took me longer than I anticipated to finally give it a try, I spent a few hours with it last night, and I'd love to tell you all about it!
Continue reading Playstation VR
As with most Sony consoles, I purchased my first PSP solely for the purpose of playing the Metal Gear Solid title for the platform. It wasn't Portable Ops though, it was Peace Walker. This means I acquired my PSP pretty late in its life cycle. However, I have played it quite a lot and physical PSP games make up a nice chunk of my overall game collection. I recently added a second PSP to my collection and decided to spend some time with a few games I've never tried before. If I've learned anything from watching MetalJesusRocks on YouTube for years, it's that the PSP is home to many incredible racing games and rpgs. In fact, the first two games here have been mentioned by MJR so many times that once I got back into playing the PSP they were the first games I checked out.
Continue reading PSP Three for One
image from terapeak.com
I have always loved light gun games. All the way back to playing Duck Hunt on the NES as a child, I have always felt that light gun games were special. Though these games can sometimes be lacking in creative gameplay ideas because of the nature of the a gun peripheral, I love the pick up and play aspect of a light gun game, as well as the direct physical correlation between aiming the actual gun and the actions on the screen.
I remember finding out way back when that light guns do not work on high definition televisions. I was disappointed that I would no longer be able to use the light guns I owned at the time for the NES, Xbox, and Dreamcast. Luckily, the Nintendo Wii eventually came along to rekindle my love for the light gun genre. Let's take a look at a few of my favorites.
Continue reading My Favorite Wii Light Gun Games
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a fantastic game. At the time of this writing, I have put over one hundred and fifty hours into the game and I'm sporting a completion percentage of only 70%. I would write a full review of the game if it weren't for two things. First of all, I finished the story missions so long ago that some of them have blurred in my memory. Secondly, even if I did remember all the finer details, a comprehensive review would be more than I would be willing to take on. However, I was so excited to play this game upon release that I wrote my first blog post here about playing it with the rest of the world. Since it's almost been a full year since the game's release and that article, I wanted to talk about the game's lasting effects and why I am still playing it.
Continue reading Still Playing: Metal Gear Solid V
Last year I played through LucasArts' 2008 classic Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on the XBox 360. Like most people who played the game, I had quite a fun time blasting my way through the galaxy as Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Starkiller. That game also has one of my favorite opening levels of all time, where the player takes the role of Vader himself, slaughtering scores of Wookiees on their home planet of Kashyyyk. The Force Unleashed is a lot of fun, though I don't think it's perfect. There are a few frustrating platforming sections, a sometimes finicky camera and few aggrevating boss battles. In general though, I share in the overall positive critical consensus of this game.
Continue reading Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
It's been quite a while since I gave any love to my actual collection, either in real life or on RF Generation. In fact, after recently moving my entire collection for the second time in just under a year, I noted it to be quite burdensome, and I found myself wondering: "Why?" However, in organizing, setting up, and alphabetizing everything after the move, I realized I truly still love the hobby. Holding items in my hands, which I forgot I even had, renewed the sense that I am in fact curating a library of games and items that reflects my personal tastes and curiosities. The room I'm using in our new place is actually smaller than any I've put my games in before, but I actually think this is the best iteration of my game room yet for exactly that reason. The cozy, intimate setting takes me back to huddling around a garbage-picked CRT dinosaur in my parents' basement playing Super Nintendo with my friends and siblings. Let's be honest, the reason we collect is largely to chase that feeling.
As much as we try to organize, there are always odds and ends that fail classification and confound even the most obsessive collectors. Sure enough, after the move I discovered and took a second look at some of the eccentricities in my game library. I imagine we all have odds and ends like this, and they should be celebrated. They make our collections unique. Here's what I have.
Continue reading Collection Odds and Ends
The baseball season is in full swing and after a few years of my baseball fandom fading away, I've begun following the MLB and my beloved New York Yankees again for the 2016 season. The Yankees stink, but I'm also fortunate enough to live close to one of the nicest minor league parks in the country, that being the Dell Diamond of the Texas Rangers' farm club, the Round Rock Express. So as I rekindle my love for America's pastime, I've decided to take a look at some of the baseball games in my collection throughout the generations. Though I typically don't collect sports games, my game library is peppered with some of the better baseball titles from the past. I am by no means contending these to be the best baseball games from each generation, they are simply the ones I own because I happen to enjoy them quite a bit. Let's play ball!
Continue reading Talkin' Baseball
When I picked up Fire Emblem: Awakening in 2012, I had no idea I was about to play what would become not only my favorite 3DS game to date, but one of my favorite games of all time. I had never played a strategy rpg, but I was aware of the Fire Emblem series' reputation as both a quality franchise and also a brutally difficult one. I might not have gotten into Fire Emblem if it weren't for the controversy surrounding developer Intelligent Systems' decision to make the series' trademark permadeath completely optional.
Continue reading Fire Emblem Fates
The ERISAN UC40 in all its glory.
I was originally planning to review the cheap Chinese projector I recently bought for this article, but I immediately realized that I am not willing to scrutinize this seventy-five dollar miracle in a way that would satisfy even the most casual reader. I plugged the thing in, fired up Nazi Zombies, and instantly fell in love. The End.
But I realized that perhaps a lot of my readers have not discovered the joys of gaming with a projector, and having recently purchased my third one, I thought I could offer some advice for those on the fence, or those who have never even given it a thought. So, where to begin?
Continue reading Projector Gaming
Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico was released in 2005. It is an open world, third-person action game with driving and shooting. A lot of people refer to this game as a Grand Theft Auto clone, but honestly, I think that's being generous. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was released almost a full year before this game, and Total Overdose can't even hold a candle to Grand Theft Auto III. It is an example of a game that attempts to expand on an established formula, but falls short.
Continue reading Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico