Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Big Summer Sale

I'm looking to do some travel later this summer. In order to make that goal happen, I will need to sell most of my gaming collection (international travel is expensive.) My loss can be your gain however, so if you are interested in getting some great deals on some rare games then check out the link below. And yes, this picture is hilarious.

Click Here!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Random Screenshot 30: Total Recall

Total Recall (NES) Interplay 1990

The movie, Total Recall, is generally considered to be a descent sci-fi action flick starring Schwarzenegger. However, the NES game is generally considered to be one of the worst NES games ever made. What went wrong? Pretty much everything. This screenshot highlights one of the recurring enemies that you may not remember from the film: purple jumpsuit wearing midgets. These little bastards run away kicking Arnold in the nuts and are just one of the annoying enemies that makes this game a nightmare. Bad music, nonsensical driving sections, and trash can midget ninjas (WTF!) mean you need to avoid this turd and pretty much any licensed game from the NES era. Rare "un-fucked" the licensed game genre with Golden Eye quite sometime later, but that's a screenshot for another day.

Bad Box Art of the Week: Karnaaj Rally

Awesome Box Art of the Week: Harmful Park

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

10 RPGs to Play Before You Die

There is a near infinite list of RPGs that could fill your gaming backlog from now until the end of time. As a big RPG fan, I have spent (and wasted) plenty of time playing 40-100 hour long games, so I have a pretty good opinion on what you should and shouldn't play. Most players know Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, but what about the more obscure RPGs out there? Well, here is a list of 10 RPGs and a few honorable mentions (some of which are obscure) that you need to play before you kick the bucket. Keep in the mind, that this list is in no particular order.

10. Final Fantasy 6  This is one of the best games for the SNES and a fine start to this list. Great music, fun battles, and tons of party members make this Final Fantasy a wonderful jewel in Square's crown.

9. Earthbound  This quirky cult classic is comical and challenging. Another one of the SNES's finest games at work.

8. Mother 3  The GBA sequel to Earthbound is even better than the original. An amazingly well written script will keep you hooked to the bitter end.

7. Final Fantasy 7 One of the first "modern J-RPGs", this game has great characters and a well designed world. The best Final Fantasy on Playstation.

6. Chrono Trigger  One of the finest RPGs ever made with one of the best soundtracks in gaming history. Time traveling has never been so fun.

5. The Witcher  A PC-only RPG that tells a very adult story with stunning graphics. If you love fantasy tales, then this is a must play.

4. Final Fantasy 4  Another Final Fantasy that is well worth your time. This game has great villains, awesome music, and epic battles...what more could you want?

3. Dragon Quest 5 A wonderful RPG that tells the story of a hero from his birth to the time he has his own children. This game is considered to be the pinnacle of the DQ series.

2. Persona 4 The best Playstation 2 RPG, it features a cast of high schoolers entering an evil dimension inside of a television set, searching for a local serial killer. Awesome adult story and charming graphics make this game a winner.

1. Mass Effect  This series continues to re-define the RPG and the way science fiction can be told. These games are amazing, and deserve to be at the top of your backlog if you haven't played them for some reason.

Honorable Mentions:

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
Brave Fencer Musashi
Ys Seven
Tales of the Abyss
Growlanser Generations
Persona 3
Persona 2 Innocent Sin

Monday, May 16, 2011

Old Game Commercial 04: French Mega Man 2

Apparently Japan wasn't the only one making really crazy gaming commercials during the 80s. In this French ad, a freaky looking Mario announces Mega Man 2, and then a clawed silhouette of Dr. Wily rants about...well who knows. To top things off, Mega Man looks like Ultra Man standing in the flames of Hell, then Mario farts. Enjoy!

Review: Game Dev Story

There is an overwhelming amount of games available on Apple's iDevice store, and most of them are terrible. However, Game Dev Story is a hidden gem, with many hours of joy for those with a little patience. The game originated as cellphone game from Kairosoft, but it was ported for iDevices last year. The game's concept is simple: run your own game company. Who hasn't ever dreamed of that?
The game allows you to hire team members like programmers, musicians, and directors that will design your products. In the early years, you will have weak employees, with little to no experience in game design. As time goes on and your company earns more revenue, you can hire better workers that can churn out higher quality products at a faster rate. With each completed game, you pick a title and submit it to a fake Famitsu magazine, who scores it. If you get good scores, then expect great sales.
The graphics are simplistic, but effective, as is the musical selection. What really makes Game Dev Story fun is the addictiveness of the "I will make a better game" system. With time and effort, your games can earn 9s and 10s from the reviewers, but expect the first few years to be hard. This build up to greatness makes the game very fun and creates the "just one more game" mentality before turning it off. After several years of game design, you can move to a bigger office and eventually design your own home console or portable.

Some basic flaws do exist in Game Dev Story. First, your early recruits will have to be fired in order to hire better staff members, so it is unrewarding to be loyal to your initial crew; which feels a bit cruel even though it is only a video game.  Second, once you do have a good staff, it is impossible to make a bad game; seriously I tried with a puzzle title about pirates. With enough money and experienced staff members, you can make the strangest game genre combinations work (ninja dating sim...woohoo), and still get very high review scores, which honestly seems a bit stupid. Also don't expect a Game Over screen, as it is not possible to lose.

Overall, Game Dev Story is fantastic, especially for an iDevice app. If you love gaming or have ever dreamed of running Konami or Sega, then you will love this cheap little gem.
 Make your own cheap knockoffs a reality in Game Dev Story!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Deathsmiles II-X Coming to US...But Only for Games on Demand

Cave has decided to release Deathsmiles 2-X in the US. The game will be sold exclusively through XBLA's Games on Demand store for 29.99. Sadly, it will not be translated nor will it have an actual physical release. While it is great for shooter fans that Cave is releasing a another game stateside, it is really lousy that this is the way it is being done. Aksys did an amazing job with the original game, so it is almost shocking to see how lazily this is being released.
Deathsmiles 2-X's release is being given very little fanfare or advertisement, so I don't expect this to bode well for Cave's sales numbers.  It would have been more practical to release a game with tiny ships like Ketsui or Dodonpachi Resurrection to test the waters as Americans know this type of game. As it stands, people are going to see an untranslated game about little girls fighting Christmas monsters this Wednesday. I hope it sells well enough to see more Cave titles released over here, but I have a strong feeling this plan will only come back to bite Cave in the ass.

Bad Box Art of the Week: Super Duper Sumos

Random Screenshot 29: Eschatos

Eschatos (Xbox 360) Qute 2011

Eschatos is a region-free shmup that walks the fine line between bullet hell and old-school shooter. While the action never gets as intense as something like Deathsmiles or Guwange, it does manage to get really difficult at certain junctures, especially the bullet patterns in the final stages. This game is a semi-sequel to the awesome Wonderswan shooter, Judgement Silversword. Eschatos shares similar enemies, attacks, and short stages with it's handheld brother; but it is also has some unique features such as a new power-up system and a different scoring system. The game's graphics are sort of simplistic, and the game can be beaten pretty easily with some practice. Of special note, the music is really great, as it sounds like something straight out of the glory days of the 16-bit era. Eschatos comes with two bonus games, Judgement Silversword and Cardinal Sins. Those two games really sweeten the deal, and make Eschatos a game worth importing.

I'm Back!

I'm finally back from the hiatus. School is out and I have my free time back, so expect more updates to the blog. I have been playing a few games in the meantime such as Dragon Quest V for DS and Bioshock 2 on 360, so those may get reviewed at some point. Also, be on the lookout in the near future, I wrote an in-depth article for Gitaroo Man, and it should be going up on Hardcore Gaming 101 within the next month. I am anticipating the releases of LA Noir and The Witcher 2 this week. Anyone else looking forward to those two games? They both look really amazing, I just hope the game play is up to par.

Awesome Box Art of the WeeK: Resident Evil 4 (UK version)