So i've got a big suprise for you. I was thinking recently about videogames. Radical concept on this website, but bear with me. What came to mind was the stuff that i will probably never but would love to own (for various reasons, be it rarity, space issues or the money thing), and i've come up with a top 5 list of em. Take a look.
5. Arcade Cabinet with Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Now, this one is every gamer's dream. Having your very own arcade cabinet with your favourite game in your living room. This is something that i already sorta own (the cabinet lives at a friend's house currently) so its not too far fetched of an idea. For the record, i have a 1 slot MVS machine with King of Fighters '98.
The problems involved with this one don't really lie within getting the cabinet. Even if i didn't already have one, arcade cabinets go for abour 100-200 bucks these days due to arcades taking a big dirt nap. The problem lies with getting a copy of Garou: Mark of the Wolves. I've never even seen this game in arcades and I've only ever played it via an emulator, but i know its out there. And i also know that it goes for a pretty penny.
4. Boxed Copy of Final Fantasy Completely Intact
Now before you start screaming "Dickey you magnificent retard! FF1 Boxed isn't hard to get at all!" I know. I have a friend who has a copy, boxed with all of the maps, and everything in it.
Except for the stickers.
Those that know a little bit about games know that FF had a sticker sheet in it, and every kid who played Final Fantasy stuck them on their chest / forehead / brother's wang etc. I want to find one with the stickers in it and however unlikely that is, I'll buy one on the spot if i ever find it.
3. A Gun Con Arcade Machine. Any of them.
Well, not any of them. Specifically, i want one of the iterations of House of the Dead or Time Crisis. They're fun as hell, and some of my fondest memories are blasting the crap out of whatever's put in front of me with a buddy. The games are just fun as hell. Also, i had this little habit of dual weilding the gun controllers if i was alone. Got pretty good at it too.
Why wont it happen? Two reasons. Cost, and unavailability. At last check, i can't for the life of me find someone selling a Time Crisis machine. All of the House of the Dead machines i've found are pushing $3,000. I want one, but not THAT bad.
2. King of Fighters 2000, Last Blade and Samurai Showdown MVS Carts
This one is probably the most likely of all of them to happen. MVS cartridges aren't too expensive, and i'm pretty sure KoF2000, Last Blade and Samurai Showdown were pretty plentiful around here. I'm actually hoping to pick these up as soon as my arcade cabinet makes the journey into my humble abode, which should be before Christmas so if any of you wanna get me a gift, you know what to do.
Anyway, these are probably my 3 favourite MVS games. I've spent too much money kicking the crap out of my friends(and getting my crap kicked out of me) at these games. I have especially fond memories of KoF2000, because they had one at the small arcade in college and we used to skip class and waste our money on it all the time.
1. Virtual On Arcade Machine
This Is probably my favourite arcade game of all time. Better than the fighting games, better than the rarities...This game has got to be the most fun game i've ever played in an arcade. The control scheme is set up in such a way that you really feel like you're in a massive Gundam battle. I want this. Bad.
What are the problems with this, pray tell?
Well, for starters they're pretty rare. At last check, only one person was selling one, and he was in California. For those that don't read too good, I live in Toronto Ontario Canada. Too far for a casual jaunt to Cali, if you catch my drift. That goes hand in hand with the second point, which is the pricing issue. The machine is suprisingly cheap (about $500, believe it or not) but the shipping on something like that would be astronomical. I'm not willing to pay more than something's worth in shipping alone.
The last thing revolves around the fact that i'm extrordinarily lazy. What i mean by that is this machine weights a fuckton, and I live at the top of some "Better not come home drunk" hardcore 45 degree incline british style stairs. I mean, i dont even know if my stairwell is big enough for the machine to fit, let alone get it up the stairs. This one is probably the most impractical of all of em, but one day...
Maybe one day I'll live in a barn and have lots of room.
So i beat the first act of Doom on XBLA the other day. Keep in mind that this wasn't the first time i had done so; Doom's been out since the early 90s. This was the first time that I picked it up for any length of time since then, and I was pleasantly suprised at how well it held up. And no, i'm not talking about graphically so put down the torches, ya flamers.
The gameplay in Doom is still the top notch superviolent splode-fest that its always been. In a world of complex mechanics and high concept FPSes, it was really refreshing to sit down and just blast the everloving piss out of demons with a shotgun a set of iron balls. Also, i found that the 360's controller is really suited to it (duh) and it took me a while to get over the novelty of being able to strafe easily in Doom.
Mind you, i did find that the game DOES show its age a fair bit. I found it really annoying that i couldn't jump, or look up and down to aim for that matter (although the game automatically makes you shoot enemies above you). You do get used to that kinda stuff quickly, and it doesn't detract from the fun.
Now, i'm not a "retro gamer" by trade, but this is one of those games that i remember sucking me in as a kid and pulling me into the whole "videyagame thingy" we all enjoy so much. It also makes me think that people that bitch about the most minute little details in the AAA titles of the day need to bite it and take a look into the past. Things are light years ahead of what they used to be, and they've only gotten better.
This is starting to turn into a "you damn kids" rant, so i'll wrap it up. Take a shot at an old school game from your past and see how it stacks up. And even if the mechanics are old, the concepts are a bit lame and the graphics outdated, take a second and remember what brought you to the dance in the first place.
I'm going to start doing a weekly XBLA review thing. Most of these games are going to be already reviewed, but i'm going to do some new titles as i see fit. Like this one.
So i recently downloaded Penny Arcade's new XBLA / PC / Mac(?) foray into the world of episodic gaming, and have played through it nearly to completion. With that in mind, here is my take on On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 1
First of all, I want to talk about the style of the game. The graphics of the game holds true to the feel of the Penny Arcade comics as it damnwell should, and that's something i love. It plays like you're walking through the panels of a PA comic, with all of the humor, wit and idiocy (in a good way) that comes with it. All of the dialog (which i assume was written by Jerry Holkins) is bang on. The characters banter well, and all of the pre-fight threats are quite funny. The story that's being told while you play through is also suitably rediculous but it really just gives you a reason to be there and i didn't find it life-altering or anything.
The mechanics of the game are pretty standard RPG fare. Its got the ATB-style turn based thing that most Final Fantasy games use, along with the interesting quirk of how the characters use special attacks. You always have the ability to use one of your special attacks, but in order to gain access to it, you need to wait about twice as long as you would for a regular attack. These special abilities are upgraded every so often, and consist of some sort of minigame to pull off full damage (mash the button to fill the bar etc.) which reminds me a lot of Sabin's Blitz attacks in FF6. Also, there's a Chrono Trigger-esque mechanic in which if two or three characters have their special ability at the same time, they will perform a combo attack. This is something that i really enjoyed from Chrono Trigger, and i'm glad they've implemented it here. There's a bit of strategy involved with the combat, with stuff like "Enemy X is weak / strong against player's x/y/z attack", which has been pretty standard in RPGs since the dawn of time. Also, I found a lot of the enemies throw debuffs, so you have to counterbalance that accordingly with buff items or use debuffs on the enemies that you're facing. Basic stuff, but it works well.
One thing that i liked a lot about the item system (specifically the healing items) is the fact that all of the healing items can ressurect characters once they've been defeated in combat with varying degrees of health when brought back to life. It eliminated a lot of the "Oh shit, Tycho died and i dont have a Phoenix Down...but i have all of these health potions" moments, which is something that really bugs me about RPGs in general. Also, the item timer is the first one that is ready, so you can always bring a teammate back quickly, provided you have the items.
In the game, there will be a number of quests that you have to complete (as is the modus operandi of RPGs) ranging from "Go find me this stuff" to "Kill x number of whatevers" which i found to be rather standard, some of which (especially the kill quests) seemed very WoW-ish. This may turn some people off, but since I'm a WoW addict it didn't bother me too much. I did find that the pacing of the quests was kind of strange. You will aquire a bunch of quests through your travels in a certain zone, and most of them will resolve very close to the resolution in that zone (Boss Fight, what-have-you). I found myself wanting the quest resolutions to be a little more spaced out, so i could mentally gauge my own progress.
One of my only gripes about the game in general is how you interact with items strewn about the world. If there are a lot of items in the same place it can be kind of difficult to interact with the item that you want to interact with. I'm reminded of one specific instance in which i needed to speak to someone, however i kept on selecting one of the three items that were right near him which was somewhat frustrating.
All in all, Precipice delivers on its price tag, and is totally worth dropping the cash for. It's a solid 6-8 hours of RPG goodness and the writing is everything you'd expect from Penny Arcade. The gameplay is smooth; Not too complex, but good enough to keep you interested for the game's short length. If you're a fan of Penny Arcade, this is a must buy. If you're not, but enjoy games with excellent dialog, give it a shot as well. Either way, you wont be disappointed.
So about a half a year ago, i helped out a buddy with some college work. Took up a lot of my time and effort, and i would have been perfectly happy to do it with little compensation for reasons I wont get into. Anyway, this friend of mine seems to like collecting arcade machines, and as restitution for my long hours of help, he's told me that I'm eventually going to be the proud owner of a 1-Slot MVS machine with King of Fighters '98. Not my favourite one (I prefer '00) but it'll be awesome.
There are a bunch of reasons that this is awesome, not least of which is the fact that all of my favourite NeoGeo games come on MVS carts. The added bonus of this is the fact that NeoGeo games are STILL stupid expensive, and MVS carts are not (depending on the game of course, but i digress). Also, it'll make my apartment a sweet chill spot, provided my Fiancee doesn't bludgeon me to death with a bag of dicks because of how awesome (read: loud) the damn thing is.
I've thought up a library of games i want to acquire, and it is as follows, in no particular order:
King of Fighters '00 Samurai Showdown III Last Blade Last Blade II Puzzle Bobble (for the ladies) Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Now, my question is this: Anyone know any MVS games that may pique my interest? Lemmie know.
I have been awarded a dubious title among my friends. This title is well deserved and hilarious, but not entirely true. This title is "King of Stupid Death in GTA", earned for dying in the most amusing and painful ways imagined. There have been a lot of 150km/h forehead skids, Ferarri nosegrind to great balls of fire, rotorless helicopter flight at 200 feet, etc etc. Its probably the most fun I've ever had dying in a videogame ever.
Hilights from last night's session:
Using a firetruck to mow down pedestrians and summarily causing it to explode after a little while.
Picking off a dude on a motorbike at 50 paces with the pistol, stealing his bike and running him over.
Shotgunning multiple cops, and setting them on fire with a Molotov cocktail. This itself is not inherently awesome, but it was kinda odd because my roommate was cooking ground beef at the time which made for a very strange ambiance.
75 foot flight after crashing a motorbike into a car, and being impaled on a pointy fence.
After playing this for the first time, i feel like i did the first time i plugged into Halo 3 Multiplayer, without all of the suck that came directly after the first match. The other modes may not be superawesome, but Free Mode (henceforth dubbed "Fuckaround Mode") is a great way to have a blast with some buddies. And die hilariously.
So i was sitting here, thinking about what gear i'm going to waste hours upon hours i'll never get back when my Rogue dings 70 in WoW when it hit me. How interested am i in the endgame of World of Warcraft? From everything i've been told, the post-70 world is a lot of repetition, gold-farming, gear whoring, repetition and raiding with little bits of fun thrown in for flavour.
My main problem is this: I don't want to spend the rest of my life playing only World of Warcraft. There are so many more awesome games out there these days than ever before (like i really needed to tell you people that), and World of Warcraft is such a huge timesink. Right now, i'm playing WoW a lot because i'm goddamn sick and tired of not having a 70 after THREE FUCKING YEARS for various reasons, but there are a lot of things i really want to do with the games i already own. Things that WoWtime eats into.
I want to finish Mass Effect. I want to finish my achievements off in BioShock. I want to figure out messed up shit to do in GTAIV multiplayer. I want to grab Lost Oddysey and have the time to actually enjoy it. I want to finally beat Raining Blood on Expert in Guitar Hero III, although that last one is probably more of a pipe dream than anything else and if you think different, you're a mutant.
The point i'm trying to hit here is that World of Warcraft takes a lot of time to do anything that could be construed as fun. Yeah, there's a lot to do in WoW, but Daily quests, raiding and PVP can only get you so far. And lets be honest, most of the instances are pretty similar (Enter Raid, Kill Boss, Wipe, Kill Boss, Wipe on Trashmob, Kill Boss, Get Phat Lootz, Rinse, Repeat) so what's keeping me interested after 70?