Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sega Fanart

Here is some nice Sega fanart from the talented artists of Pixiv:
On a semi-related note, Virtual On: OT is on sale on XBLA for 800 pts. Woohoo!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Best Games You've Never Heard of: LSD (PSX)


LSD is a very offbeat and elusive import for the original Playstation. The game is not mentioned hardly ever, but consists of one of the coolest concepts in gaming. LSD was released in 1998 in Japan as a dream simulator. The product was one of the three released at that time, the other two being a music CD and book, which described the dreams of an Asmik Ace staff member who kept a dream journal for ten years.The "game" puts you into a random dream design based on a large number of basic level designs with 500 patterns of background music used for each dream sequence. The dreams can be really surreal and creepy with one part of a dream taking place in a dark city where the only other person in sight upon approach has their head fall off (wtf) then this leads to the next dream where you are running through a small maze from sumo wrestlers. You can end the dream early by falling off a cliff, though they rarely last past ten minutes anyway. When the dream ends you are presented with a chart of where your dream puts your state of mind at the time. It is pretty awesome and strange at the same time.LSD is a very rare game, but one well worth tracking down. It is a novel piece of software that gives you the chance to look at dreams through someone else's eyes. The graphics are very primitive and most of the music samples lean toward sheer madness, but something kept me coming back again and again. Also, don't believe what you read elsewhere, LSD does have an ending. You simply need to trigger every dream FMV that can occur in the game. It is a long process, but I played it for around a month, and I was able to do it. Check this weird game out, just don't do it while on drugs, that sounds like a nghtmare in the making.
For more info: http://www.mac.kadath.org/Media.html

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Resonance of Fate Fanart

Resonance of Fate (aka End of Eternity) just released, and it is pretty awesome. To celebrate this underdog release here is some nice fanart from Pixiv. Enjoy.








Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Deadly Premonition: Xbox 360 Review

Deadly Premonition got a bad rep almost instantly from IGN. The site gave the game a 2. In a "challenge" of sorts, Destructoid gave it a 10. Neither of these two scores represent an accurate reflection of the value of this game; so I am going to break it down in a semi-professional review style.

Deadly Premonition was initially shown at TGS in 2007 as Rainy Woods. The game was created as a homage to the old show, "Twin Peaks." The homage went a little too far and the creators had to change a few things to avoid a law suit. What we get is the somewhat edited version of their dream project which comes out as a weird hybrid of Shenmue/sandbox game/horror/murder mystery. These elements combined make a pretty unique game that is well worth the $20 admission fee.
The game was released with minimal advertising as a budget title. I picked it up after seeing the controversy at Destructoid regarding it's score. The story follows FBI agent Francis York Morgan (York to his pals) and his alter ego, Zach, through their investigation into the red seed mystery and the "Raincoat Murderer" in Greenvale. The investigation involves questioning suspects, finding clues, and searching haunted areas where the killer lurks. In between these events, the player can choose to goof off with fishing, random fetch quests, and darts.

The graphics aren't going to win any awards. They look very primitive compared to games like Gears of War or Mass Effect, however they do have a certain charm to them. The graphics would be perfect on PS2, but not the 360...four years into it's lifespan! I never saw the graphics as a huge flaw, but do not go into this game expecting an awesome tour-de-force of visuals; you will be largely disappointed.

The music ranges from offbeat to "why the hell are they playing this now?" I can't recall the music ever truly being consistent in one scene, as it will go from a serious sax and piano song for mood purposes to a whimsical tune with whistling in seconds. This can break serious tension in the game's more climatic scenes, but often times you don't mind as the dialogue is just as unusual and campy. My one big issue with the sound is the music often overpowers the character's voices, making some scenes hard to understand. I attempted to fix the audio levels, but it didn't seem to matter.The action gameplay itself is messy. The game starts off on the wrong foot with the first hour being a boring zombie hunt through a dark forest. This crappy area will give you an idea of how the later haunted areas play out: dull and predictable. York wanders through zombie infested areas filled with monsters and crates as he searches for clues to his case. One cool (but overdone) part has you running from the Raincoat Killer, the main antagonist. These sections break the monotony and keep you on the edge of your seat kinda like the Clocktower games.

The detective gameplay is a little better. You drive around the town like Grand Theft Auto, talking to fellow cops or suspects for leads. You can choose to eat dinner and sleep, as you have a meter for both of these things. They will never piss you off as there is always ample power ups to stake off hunger and sleep deprivation (Hello black coffee!) Deadly premonition offers plenty of mini games and side missions for those who get bored with the main storyline.

The controls are pretty bad as well. The controls in the action scenes control like the first three Resident Evil games, oldschool tank controls. While I never died over poor control issues, some scenes could be annoying when the camera reversed (reversing the control scheme with it.) The driving sections also control pretty badly.

You maybe curious now, why do I like this game? The insane characters and really weird story are awesome. Detective York has a split personality which he talks about 1980's films pretty often, one character is secretly a crossdresser, one guy always wears a gas mask, and another dude makes everything he says rhyme at the end of his sentences...the list goes on and on; the characters are very memorable in that "Twin Peaks" sorta way. The story has so many turns, you will never know who the real culprit is. Also the campy dialogue that seems straight out of an Ed Wood movie had me laughing pretty often. I would give this aspect of the game a perfect score.

A few boss fights occur toward the end of the game. These fight are pretty cool and are a definite change of pace from the four other enemies in the game. My only complaint is the heavy use of quick button press sequences to dodge attacks, it is very annoying. Also the final battle is a little too easy in my opinion.

Deadly Premonition is one of the strangest games I have played and beaten in a long time. The controls, graphics, and music are all kinda shitty. However the game's wacky nature gives it a "so bad it's good" feel toward the whole ordeal. After you beat the game, a bonus section opens up showing a photo gallery with pictures of the "real" Greenvale. The dedication they went through to make this game look like the town and give it the surreal feeling of a David Lynch film is amazing. I would recommend this game to people who love weird cinema, the Clocktower series, or cheap yet entertaining games. In the end, if I have to assign a number to Deadly Premonition it would be 7...but assigning numbers is lame, so I will just say: BUY IT, THE GAME IS 20 DOLLARS!

Randomness:

  • Be on the lookout for a scene that plays the full song of "Amazing Grace" for no apparent reason.
  • The original game had the two angelic children in the dream sequences played by two midgets in tuxedos and the main character looked very similar to the main character from "Twin Peaks." These cool David Lynch tributes were edited out of the final version.
  • Deadly Premonition aka Red Seeds Profile was released in the US before Japan. A strange move made even stranger by the fact that it will be released at full price in it's homeland.
  • I am ranked 74th in the Leaderboards for this game. Am I just that damn good or did only like 75 people buy it? You decide.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Best Street Fighter Fanart Ever... Seriously

I just had to give this artist some notice from deviantart. Here are some examples of his fine work:


Here is a link to his page: http://bosslogic.deviantart.com/art/Crimson-V-156061109

Monday, March 8, 2010

Kusoge: Crap Games

Kuso-ge is a Japanese term for shitty games. These games usually gain some type of cult following due to the nature of awfulness involved in attempting to play it. Some games even increase in value like Death Crimson on Saturn due to this phenomena. The categories of awfulness are as follows:

  • Extreme Difficulty: The game is really frustrating and hard...like "throw the controller through the window" hard. The game is by nature, designed to be brutal and unforgiving in all aspects. An example would be Takeshi's Challenge (Takeshi no Chousenjou) for the Famicom. This game can be seen as one of the most famous Kusoge due to it's affiliation with Japanese actor Beat Takeshi (of Battle Royale fame), a man who hates gaming. In his hatred he seemingly designed the hardest/shittiest game ever on purpose. The game requires such feats as: Singing karaoke for one hour straight, playing a flying game where you can only control a plane with the down button, and a patience stage consisting of not touching the controller for hours before proceeding to the last stage. If you want to see one man's effort to beat it and the hilarity that ensues, Google the first episode of Game Center CX.
  • Broken with Glitches and Bugs: Some games are not thoroughly tested before they are launched. In good cases we get patches these days to update the game and fix bugs, however in most cases the buyer is simply screwed, left with a broken game (say hello to Capcom vs. SNK Cardfighters on DS for me.) One of the worst examples of this is Big Rigs. Big Rigs was a truck racing game released for PC around '03. The game is so broken, you literally cannot race, as the rival truck never moves. The racing map has no barriers, so you can feel free to drive into infinity. The game is beyond broken, it is simply unplayable. It is so horrid, that the game's creator had an offer for people who bought the game to send in their copy with proof of purchase to receive a different game entirely. Beware of Big Rigs.
  • Too Weird: Some games are odd like Katamari Damacy or Gitaroo Man. Others are not just odd, they are borderline insane and make you wonder who gave the greenlight for the project to begin with. A prime example is the Cho Aniki series. The translation is something like Super Big Brother (although I think the name should be Naked Muscle Men the Erotic Ride.) It primarily deals with half naked musclemen flying around fighting ships shaped like naked men with robot penis weapons. No, I am not making that up. In fact Aksys is bringing the newest game to the States soon. If this type of game interest you, checkout Muscle March on Wii, it is also super gay!
  • Too Stupid: This is a pretty obscure category, but I can think of at least one that fits. Trio the Punch is an arcade game (and also a PS2 game) featuring three guys that walk around fighting stuff. This isn't too different from alot of games right? Well this one also has no story, bosses that appear at the beginning of levels for no reason, and one stage where you play as a sheep , once again for no reason. The enemies are weird, and the game is pretty much as nonsensical as it gets. Not a bad game to download for MAME if you are curious about kuso-ge.
I got started on this idea, because it seems Deadly Premonition has gotten a bad reputation after release. It is not kusoge, as it does not fall into one of the categories above. The game simply is an odd budget release. In America, we do not share the same love for bad games as our Japanese counterparts (the Angry VideoGame Nerd sure as hell doesn't.) I think it is cool to like a bad game or two. Heck I loved the original TMNT on NES, and it is freakin' awful. Anyway, that is my rant for today. If you are interested in some American kuso-ge check out this buried turd:

Fun Fact: This little winner was so terrible, it caused the game market crash of the early 80's!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Update 3/07: Illness Brings Laziness


I am sick right now, and I haven't felt like updating anything recently. I intend to get back to it soon though. While I am down with this nasty cold, I will be (hopefully) finishing Deadly Premonition, a very odd survival horror game on 360. I also hope to figure out the scoring mechanics in Espgaluda 2 soon. Somehow, I think I like Mushihimesama Futari much more, but I need to mess around with ESP2 a little more before I can justify that.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Heavy Rain Glitch: Madison Page in the Buff

video

A reader over on Kotaku found a glitch in Heavy Rain allowing players to walk the female lead, Madson Page, around naked. Here is the quote: "He says that following the love scene between Ethan and Madison in "On The Loose", in which he declined the kiss but ended up triggering the sequence anyways, he reloaded his save game later and bam."
The video is NSFW. The ERSB is not going to like this glitch one bit :-)