Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Break...START!

My college exams will soon be over, and Christmas break will begin. I am looking forward to a vacation from school, and some time to see my family and friends. The holiday season will also bring some downtime to play the games I have been neglecting like Ys: Oath of Felghana and Fist of the Northstar. I will probably not update the blog for awhile due to my travel plan over the Christmas season; so everyone have a Merry Christmas. I also wish all the gamers a great new year.

Here are some great reasons to look forward to 2011:

Mass Effect 3

Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

Metal Gear Solid Rising

Devil May Cry 5

I can't wait to play these games, what about you?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cave asks "Do you like fat chicks?"

It is a strange question, but Cave's shooter, "Muchi Muchi Pork" involves girls who were turned into pigs. What does this have to do with anything? Cave decided today to make its combo shooting pack," Muchi Muchi Pork and Pink Sweets:Ibara" region free. This means that you can play the Japanese game on your Xbox 360 in America or Europe.
I played both games at Magfest, and enjoyed them. While the theme for Muchi Muchi Pork is slightly annoying, the game play is typical Cave bullet hell madness. Pink Sweets is super hard, and it is more like an old Raizing shooter than something like Mushihime Futari. It is up for pre-order at Play-Asia and Amiami. Amiami is cheaper. The first print has a free DLC card inside.

Pink Sweets action.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Shopping for Hardcore Gamers

Shopping can be stressful around the holiday season. There is so much stuff out there to buy that it can be confusing and time consuming to find the perfect gift. What do hardcore gamers really want? I have complied a few awesome ideas for the gaming obsessed friend or family member in your life (or even for yourself.)

GamesSNES PowerPak

The SNES PowerPak is a magical device. It can back up your entire SNES or Super Famicom collection on one cart. The cart saves games and looks pretty spiffy. If you love classic gaming, then this is a no-brainer. It can play FX chip roms, and even the huge Star Ocean rom with English translation. This cart can be found at Retrozone.


Ys: The Oath in Felghana - Limited Edition

Ys is a long running series that most hardcore gamers are at least familiar with, and the PSP is the new home for the series. Y's: The Oath in Felghana is an awesome action RPG and the limited edition includes the incredible soundtrack. XSeed did an outstanding job on the localization, so this is another no-brainer choice for anyone with a PSP.


Mega Man: The Wily Wars

The Megadrive game, Mega Man: The Wily Wars, never officially came to the US. It was on the ill-fated Sega Channel, but that is long gone. Game Reproductions has saved it from obscurity by placing the awesome, English rom on a Sega Genesis cart. It is a fun "lost" Mega Man game and this is the best way to play it in the original form.

Super Mario all Stars: Limited Edition

Super Mario All Stars: Limited Edition is a Wii re-release of the SNES classic compilation of Super Mario 1-3 and Lost Levels. It is not the version with Super Mario World included, but the package has some great extras to make it up for this flaw. The game will include a History of Mario booklet, and a music CD that holds a song from every main series Mario game ever released. A nice treat for the life long Nintendo fan or Mario lover in your life. The game is budget priced at 29.99.


The History of Nintendo

The History of Nintendo Volume 1 chronicles the long history of Japan's gaming giant. The book tells the history that many gamers do not know, Nintendo was once a Hanafuda card game maker and toy company as far back as the 1800's. The book is 240 pages, and packs some amazingly rare information with over 2000 pictures of Nintendo's older products. The book is being published by Pix N Publishing.


Arcade Mania: Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers

This amazing books covers the wacky world of Japanese arcades and the history of it's game centers. Each chapter covers a genre of arcade games from claw machines to music sims, and it is filled with cool interviews with arcade legends, like Street fighter's Daigo "The Beast" Umehara. This is a must have for fans of Japanese culture or arcades. The books was written by Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft.



Tilt: The Battle to Save Pinball

Taken from the description:
The SITUATION facing the pinball designers at Williams Electronic Games in 1998: come up with something new, or see the world's largest pinball manufacturer be shut down forever.

And Williams' designers did come up with something amazing: a brand new kind of pinball machine—"Pinball 2000"—that fused video with classic pinball gameplay, preserving what was great about pinball yet opening up all-new po
ssibilities for a product thought to be on its last legs.

Yet soon after its successful and highly-profitable launch, Williams pulled the plug, leaving behind unanswered questions and abandoning one of the world's great design organizations. TILT: The Battle to Save Pinball is a documentary that tells the story behind one of entertainment's most mysterious failures.

Not just for pinball fanatics, TILT tells an account that any follower of technology, design, or business will find fascinating. Seen from the perspe
ctive of the designers that created Pinball 2000, TILT is a story about personality and passion, of bold success dizzyingly followed by stunning failure.

Link: King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Taken from the product description:
In this hilarious, critically acclaimed arcade showdown, a humble novice goes head-to-head against the reigning Donkey Kong champ in a confrontation that rocks the gaming world to its processors! For over 20 years, Billy Mitchell has owned the throne of the Donkey Kong world. No one could beat his top score until now. Newcomer Steve Wiebe claims to have beaten the unbeatable, but Mitchell isn't ready to renquish his crown without a fight. Go behind the barrels as the two battle it out in a vicious war to earn the title of the true King of Kong.


NIER Gestalt and Replicant soundtrack

One of the most underrated games of 2010 has an amazing soundtrack. You can buy the CD from import specialist, Play-Asia. The CD is 29.99.


Rock Man 10 Official Soundtrack

One of the best retro soundtracks of the year came from Rock Man 10. It has some great classic tunes for the old school gamer. The CD also has a really great cover as well.


Zed Blade Sountrack

Here is my gift to anyone who reads this page, the obscure soundtrack to Zed Blade: Operation Raganorok. It fuckin' rocks, enjoy.


I hope this list helped someone. Happy shopping folks!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Castlevania Fan Art

One of the best gaming series dating back to the NES era is Castlevania. I love the official artwork for the series, but I was curious of the artwork fans had produced. Here is some fan art I collected from Pixiv. Enjoy.

If you like Castlevania, check out the fan game:Koumajou Densetsu - Scarlet Symphony. It is a Tohou doujin title that uses the characters from that series in a 2-D action game similar to the more modern Castlevania games on DS. It is a cool PC game that you can buy fairly cheap online, and the artwork is simply amazing. I put a sample of the art below.

Here is a link for more information on this unique title:

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Ten Most Epic Boss Battles part 2

Here is the follow-up to my countdown of awesome bosses:

4. Luca Blight (Suikoden 2)- Luca Blight is one of the most evil bastards in gaming history. He loves being brutal to his subjects, and kills without any regard for human life. Luca is very powerful with a blade and magic as well. In one of the best RPG showdowns ever, your entire army faces one man. An ambush is the method your generals decide on for destroying Luca Blight, and he doesn't go down without a fight. He will wipe out most of your army without much effort, and even when you think he is beaten he wants more. Luca demands a one on one battle to the death with the main hero after your army is done with him. The bad part, if you lose the one on one battle; then you have to restart the entire ambush and that can be very time consuming. Here is a nice little quote courtesy of Mr. Blight: "You can round up a million maggots to try to defeat me... but you'll still all just be maggots!"

3. The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3) - Big Boss's mentor is a tough cookie. Early in the game she field strips your pistol and proceeds to kick your rookie ass. Later on, the player finds out The Boss is basically a mother figure, battle guru, and love interest to the young Big Boss. To make things worse, it is unclear why she defected to the USSR. In the game's climatic ending, she declares her true intentions ( she was following secret orders), and challenges Big Boss to a fight to the death. It is a sad and beautiful fight in a field of flowers; one of the most unforgettable moments in any game. This is Hideo Kojima's series at it's finest and most poignant.

2. Gannondorf (Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time) - Gannon always came across as a fat little chump to me in early Zelda games. It was not until the N64 game that I learned he was a crazy elven shape shifter. It is an awesome moment when adult Link climbs the staircase to face his nemesis, Gannon. A dramatic organ tune grows louder and louder as Link gets closer to the top. Once he finds Gannon, he is playing the organ in a cool and dramatic fashion. Then all hell breaks loose as he transforms into a giant demon with swords. It is a really bad ass fight with moody music, that takes place in the flaming ruins of Hyrule. The fight feels very adult, and gives long time players a sense of pride in seeing Link through to his toughest trial. This is simply the best boss battle of the Zelda series to date.

1. Claus (Mother 3) - Mother 3 is a powerful game. It is funny, weird, and even sad. In one of the most depressing final boss fights ever, Lucas has to fight his brain washed brother, Claus. The entire game has Lucas searching for his twin brother, and when he finds him, it is too late. Pokey destroyed the boy's mind, and all that is left in him is hate. The voices of their mother and father chime in throughout the battle to remind the boys that they are brothers and beg them to stop the fight. Eventually the fight does end, Claus remembers Lucas; but he is on the verge of death. After their one on one duel, Claus dies. It is hard for a video game to evoke emotion, but I remember tearing up during this showdown. This battle is well written and transcends being merely a boss battle. If you haven't played this game, please is a wonderful experience you will not forget.

That is the list folks. I love many other bosses for being hard like in Cave shooters or Contra...but none of them particularly stuck out to me like these fights did, they were all very special in someway. I hope you enjoyed this, and feel free to tell me your favorite boss battles in the comments.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Ten Most Epic Boss Battles Part 1

Almost every video game has bosses to defeat. They represent progress, and beating a hard one feels rewarding. I love a cool boss character, sometimes they can make an average game seem better than the sum of it's parts. Here is a look at the ten most epic boss battles in gaming history:

10. Alien Mothership (Metal Slug 3) - Metal Slug 3 is a hard game. It is a balls to the walls tour de force Contra killer on steroids. The real challenge comes in the form of the final level, as it is the longest and toughest of the Metal Slug series. At the end of the level awaits a massive alien mothership. It is so large you are forced to ride on top of it as you fight it. The music is really good during this fight, and it feels great when you finally defeat this boss. As a cool tribute, this boss returns to help your crew in the final stage of Metal Slug 6!

9. Wiegraf (Final Fantasy Tactics) - Final Fantasy Tactics is one of the better tactical RPGs released, but many of the boss fights feel pretty underwhelming; with the exception of one man. The villain, Wiegraf, is a rebel knight you fight many times during the course of the game. He represents the opposition to the nobility, and becomes Ramza's true nemesis. He trades his soul to the devil halfway through the game, and turns into a Zodiac monster. In the final battle with Wiegraf, he pulls out all the stops. The first part of the battle is a duel between Ramza and Wiegraf in his human form. After losing the duel, Wiegraf decides to become a demon for his revenge. This is the hardest battle in the game as he summons a crew of high level beasts to help him win the fight. This battle forces you to use every ounce of your tactical mind, and overcome an insanely difficult enemy and his cohorts. His Cyclops summon can wipe out your party in one turn. Wiegraf really sticks out in FFT because his Zodiac form is way harder than the final boss of the game, and the frightening music for this boss fight makes it even more intense.

8. Bowser (Super Mario World) - For the Super Nintendo outing of Mario, the familiar foe, Bowser, really steps up his game. Mario comes to the end of the final castle, and enters what appears to be an empty castle rooftop. This quickly changes as the music amps up and Bowser appears in a mechanized clown balloon. The fight changes and grows more difficult as you do damage to Bowser, and the Princess even pops out to encourage Mario with power ups between attacks. The game suddenly takes a cue from the Super Mario 2 rule book in the final area, as you can only defeat Bowser by throwing his mecha cohorts back at his head. It is a nice reward for the long time Mario player at this point, to use every skill that has been learned in the series ( from the NES era) to bring down the Koopa King in his first 16 bit outing.

7. Seven Force (Gunstar Heroes) - Anyone familiar with Gunstar Heroes will immediately remember the mine cart stage. The boss here is the rogue Green's mecha known as Seven Force. It has seven unique forms it takes before going down. Treasure pulls out all the stops as he goes from a giant gun, to a crab, to a green robot, etc. He only takes all seven forms on the higher difficulty settings, because Seven Force is not for the inexperienced player. It almost seems like a combination of many old Konami bosses rolled into one super boss. Seven Force returns in the shooting stage that appears later in the game to wreak havoc on unassuming players once more. Treasure loved this boss design, as he also cameos in different forms in Alien Soldier.

6. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy 7) - The long haired villain of Final Fantasy 7 has alot of things going for him. Sephiroth has an amazing battle theme called "One Winged Angel", it is basically a crazy orchestra piece with his name being chanted over and over in an operatic tune. Next, he has one of the most epic attacks ever: Super Nova. This minute long attack shows a Super Nova literally destroying the galaxy before it hits your party. Sephiroth also doesn't go down for the count until Cloud lands him in a one on one duel after this battle and finishes him with the super powerful Omnislash technique. It really feels like you are settling a personal vendetta with this boss, making the payoff seem very personal for the player.

5. Mother Brain (Super Metroid) - Samus's showdown with Mother Brain is a key part in most Metroid games. Super Metroid ended the original trilogy with a bang, as the young metroid that follows Samus like a child defends her when Mother Brain is on the brink of winning the fight. Mother Brain kills the metroid causing Samus to go into a super powerful form that allows her to defeat the diabolical bitch, and escape the planet before it explodes. This is simply one of the best boss fights of the 16 bit era.

Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halo 2600 on eBay

I am selling a very rare game to help me pay some bills. Halo 2600 was sold in limited number at the PAX show, and a second run was made available only through contacting the head of Atari Age to be placed on a waiting list for the cart. I have assembled a cart, official box, and a custom manual for the complete deal. The proceeds will help me pay the dentist. Root canals costs way too freakin' much in America.

Check out the link:

Mini Duke Togo approves!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Yuji Naka is a Jerk

After saying the quote above he said he was joking of course. I would buy ten of that shitty game to get a new Dreamcast. Very cruel sense of humor, Mr. Naka.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rejoice! Mega Man Legends 3 Announced

One of the most awaited sequels has finally been announced: Mega Man Legends 3. Capcom will be bringing the title to the 3DS. The new Nintendo handheld system looks very powerful for it's size, as it is capable of real ports of Super Street Fighter 4 and Resident Evil 5. Let's hope the game shapes up to be a true gem with full voice overs and good graphics. I think Capcom needs to scrap Mega Man Universe, and focus on this one instead...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mother Series Fan Art

I beat Mother 3 yesterday. If you haven't played it, go find the English translated rom and do so; because it is one of the best games for the Gameboy Advance. Period. The game really brought back memories of Earthbound. I have gathered some really outstanding pieces of fan art today to show my love for this series. Enjoy, and if you like this stuff, join Pixiv. They have so many fantastic artists on that site. It comes highly recommended.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Potato Dono!!! NOOOO!!!!

I love Japan. They make great games, and wonderfully weird movies. Another treat is the almost infinite selection of insane anime shows. This is not game-related, but I was laughed my ass off at this clip and felt like sharing it. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Dreamcast of Your Dreams

Check out these amazing looking custom Dreamcasts. Each system was lovingly air brushed by artist Torsten Rachu. In a perfect world, these systems would be for sell. Shenmue's Ryo has never looked so good.

Here is a custom portable Dreamcast. I would buy one even if looks really ugly and dorky. It was modeled after the Stormtroopers from Star Wars.