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Captain Buttbeard's Gaming Corner



Currently playing
PlayStation 2: Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
Xbox: Phantom Crash; X-Men Legends
Xbox 360: Earth Defense Force 2025; Dragon Age: Origins

Vietcong: Purple Haze (Xbox)

Developers: Pterodon, Illusion Softworks, Coyote Games

Publisher: Gathering

Released: 2004

Genre: Tactical first-person shooter
Vietcong: Purple
Haze

2024/02/02
Syphon Filter 2 (PlayStation)

Developer: Eidetic

Publisher: 989 Studios

Released: 2000

Genre: Third-person shooter
Syphon Filter 2

2024/01/29
Second Sight (Xbox)

Developer: Free Radical Design

Publisher: Codemasters

Released: 2004

Genre: Action-adventure, stealth
Second Sight

2024/01/26
Shellshock: Nam '67 (Xbox)

Developer: Guerrilla Games

Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Released: 2004

Genre: Third-person shooter
Shellshock: Nam '67

2024/01/15
Sidewinder Max (PlayStation 2)

Developer: Bit Town

Publisher: Asmik Ace Entertainment

Released: 2000

Genre: Action, simulation
Sidewinder Max
So the unreleased PAL copy of this game called Iron Eagle Max leaked online a few years ago which made it possible for me to play through this series. There is not much about this either on the Japanese internet, just a simple guide on how things work which was actually helpful, and it might have been the first PlayStation 2 flying game? It takes place in a made up Mediterranean country called Eskara during a civil war, which is basically about the West vs butthurt former commies and you are part of the Fighting Birds squadron. You get the usual cool intro and there are CGI cutscenes too as there is a proper story and characters now. It has a shitty letterbox though and I think it bugs out when you try to skip cutscenes, and it froze after I was doing a training but just applying some OPL settings fixed that. You start off in a cafeteria where characters talk to you, it's just windows though you can't move or anything, you can set up a training which is usually a duel with another pilot, get info about the area from a girl, like so much shit about this fake country's history, and you can check out your squadmates data and the stats of planes and weapons. Then you go to briefing which is really detailed, like weather, terrain, what's on the map like rivers or cities, everything is explained and you can select an entry point, it's really impressive. But Jesus I had no idea how to control the plane, it barely wanted to turn and looks like cockpit view is the only useful one again so I played on easy because of that. What's cool is that other planes fight with you finally, in fact the squadron is an important part of the game and they are quite useful, they can have different planes so some only focus on air targets while other destroy ground targets, and they actually shoot down a lot of shit so that's pretty cool (but you can't give them orders which sucked). All missions have a 5 minute limit which was really weird, and machine gun only fires when you are close enough which I didn't understand first. You need to use chaff manually and switch between weapons, and you only have like 4 missiles and one bomb damn, it's not a simulator per see but they clearly went with a realistic direction, like you gotta watch out for the temperature too, you can't use afterburners forever, and different parts of your planes get damaged, like wings or engine and they affect performace too. You have to take off and land which is still a nightmare to do, thank god there was an option to make it automatic (btw your squadmates can die, and sometimes it happens while they land but I think those were scripted). I don't know if different weathers have any effect, like when you fight in a rain, but it's a kinda colorless game and the view distance isn't really good but it's a very early PlayStation 2 game, and the music was very similar to Seek and Destroy lmao. The missions though are so fucking simple, like even the first game had more variety. You destroy planes, trucks, tanks or hangars like 90% of the time, the only more unique ones are when you need to destroy a bridge, take photos lol (it's like a weapon you need to lock on to the target), shoot down paratrooper transport planes, or destroy a dam, and there was one where you are supposed to wait a minute before destroying a building but the briefing said it like it's a one minute mission time limit. Because of the time limit I only focused on the mission targets, but sometimes I had no idea how it works cause in like a few seconds they say mission terminated and return to base, and you keep running out of ammo so there are buildings you literally can't destroy because you don't have enough bombs together with your squadmates. And that's the weirdest thing, you don't have to accomplish your objectives, you can go on as long as you survive and there is no penalty or alternate route if you fail lmao, like what's the point? The worst part is how tons of the generic missions are repeating, like it feels like you are doing the same ones over and over again. There are 3 chapters, in the first you are just a normal pilot and you can't change anything, in chapter 2 the enemy advances and there is only one city left, that's when you become a squad leader and you can change planes, weapons, personnel, mission plan and request refueling which is completely useless cause you will never run out of fuel because of the time limit. In chapter 3 you get promoted to commander and you can manage aircrafts but you can't get new pilots anymore so they must survive, I didn't really understand how it worked, like you can renovate planes but it's like just replaces it with another type, you can switch planes too between squads, replace destroyed ones and shit like that, but you can't tell what kind of mission comes next so how I'm supposed to know what plane to get. The final missions were so lame, like they put the different kinds of missions together where you need to destroy planes, tanks and buildings too, then you get one last duel with your friend after the last mission lmao. The entire game was just lame eh, I didn't hate it and it wasn't boring but Jesus this was like fucking nothing, the sequels better have some fun missions after this.
2024/01/14
Headhunter Redemption (Xbox)

Developer: Amuze

Publisher: Sega

Released: 2004

Genre: Action-adventure
Headhunter
Redemption
I'm not playing 3 Vietnam War games in a row lol so I put this one ahead. I kinda forgot what happened in the first game so I watched the cutscenes again before playing this finally on Xbox. It takes place in the future after the virus and an earthquake fucked everything up, the world is now separated in two parts, Above is a dystopian city for the elite and Below which is an underground shithole for criminals and shit. In the opening cutscene Jack saves a girl called Leeza from her dad who wants to kill her, 20 years later old Jack catches her trying to steal some data, he recognizes her and tries to help her by recruiting her. Most of the time you are playing as Leeza, but you gotta play as Jack too, especially in the second half of the game. The gameplay is kinda the same, you still need to avoid guards or kill them, they aren't as dumb here and you still need to use lock-on, which needs some time to stabilize. You can't really jump so you need to climb up and down with a button which was awful when there are enemies shooting at you. To be honest it's still outdated as fuck but you can finally use the second stick as camera which just made everything so much better. And no more pointless motorbiking thank god, that shit was the worst part of the first game. You have some new tools, a scanner you can use to check things out and get a description of them, some things you need to scan first before you can target them though and later an enhanced vision which is like thermal mode and you can see through doors with it and see invisible mines. You have a code breaker too which you use to break security codes to get access to new areas by solving these sequence based puzzles, most of them weren't that bad. You can only save at terminals and you unlock stuff as you progress, like concept arts, pics, audio ads (no more cool TV segments eh), arguments you hear from apartments lol but for some reason you need to go to the options and save the settings manually or else you lose them, I had to restart the fucking game because I didn't know this eh. You have the standard pistol like in the first game but it doesn't have infinite ammo, I mostly just used that or the machine gun, there is a shock weapon you need to use on generators too or rocket launcher pistols lol, and at some point you can build one using a blueprint and drawing up its pattern lmao, there is also a sniping section where you need to shoot robot bugs to protect the chick who helps you. The inventory size is rather limited first but you find some belts that increase it, and you can find like two weapon upgrades too. There are a few Azume emblems to find but I don't know what they do, maybe they were needed to unlock everything (the last few unlockables are just dumb shit like a Jack mug shot, him selling the bike lol, drunk Jack, and Leeza knocking him out lmao). Enemy guys wear masks now (they are forced to down Below) but there are robot bugs you fight too from small to giant ones, they are all the same though just gota keep shooting. The boss fights weren't that simple though, I had a hard time at the beginning with the controls, rolling around and shit, but some of them were really unique like that insane dentist or that fucked up boss fight near the end. The story was pretty interesting too and really dark with a lot of twists, Jack and Angela had a son who died when he took the kid to some shitty area and a robot bug took him (what the fuck was he thinking) and they aren't together anymore (that Redwood guy's son also shows up lmao). The game starts with investigating colonists from Below, where they get the weapons from and their leader called The Man Who Walks With Machines, and you find out not everything is as simple as it looks and it's all part of a large corporate conspiracy. There are some pretty cool locations, like that Entertainment colony area where they have shows and you go through a Western set lol (and need to line up slot machine symbols to open doors), a gimp suit porn set lmao, a cheap scifi set with the Moon landing, and a horror set with a mansion where you can pick up a herb lol, clear reference to Resident Evil. And when you're imprisoned you take part in a deadly game show avoiding lasers and killing tons of enemies and then big spider bugs. After that you are mostly playing as Jack trying to save her (the things the poor guy goes through...), going to some fucked up research facility where the insane dentist experiments on people, creating these cyborg hybrids, then you find out what Liberty really is where the people who served their sentence in Below go to. Then there are more twists as you learn who The Man Who Walks With Machines really is and what everything really is about, and you have to take an IQ test wtf, I'm so utterly mindbroken I couldn't even understand them, by the time I finished reading them and understanding what I'm supposed to do most of the time already passed, finally after so many tries I could pass them but only by remembering the solutions cause that's the only thing I have, my memory... Anyway the last level with the supercomputer was creepy as fuck, and that fucked up boss Jack had to fight damn, I can't believe they put that in a game. The final boss was brutal with the lasers you had to avoid and then pressing the correct button combinations in time. At the end all tech is turned off and it feels kind of anticlimactic but still I would say it's better than the first game in every possible way, even though the controls are still clunky it's not that big of a deal with a functioning camera, and I thought the focus on computers and AI to the first game's focus on viruses and genetics was a nice contrast (although I can understand if someone prefers the campiness of the first game, this was more fucked up). I just wish the world didn't feel so empty still, it's just you and the enemies, I wanted to see those colonies and shit, and the game bugged out on the subway level but it was still a fun game with a really cool concept.
2024/01/05
Ape Escape (PlayStation)

Developer: Japan Studio

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Released: 1999

Genre: Platform
Ape Escape
This was the first game designed to be played with the dual analog sticks in mind, in fact you can't even start it without the DualShock, and I always liked the concept so I wanted to play it. The PAL version has LibCrypt so I played the NTSC version, but that's not the only difference as they have different translation and voice acting. The story is about this little white monkey called Specter who puts on a helmet that makes him a genius lmao and of course he becomes evil and wants to conquer humanity by traveling back in time with his army of monkeys who he made helmets for. You go after him from the professor's lab who gives you gadgets that help you to catch monkeys, the controls are so different from anything I'm used to, you switch between gadgets with the face buttons and you do pretty much everything else with the right stick. Like you start with a lightsaber lol and if you push the right stick up it hits the monkey but if you rotate it you start swinging the weapon, and after you stun the monkey you need to switch to your net and use the right stick again to capture it and send it back to the lab. It doesn't sound complicated but I could never get used to it. Capturing the monkeys isn't that easy most of the time, they run away or hide, or attack you but you can play dead if you press the right stick lol I thought that was funny. They are hilarious though, like there are monkeys wearing sunglasses with Uzis lmao, or doing dumb shit like riding dinosaurs and sharks, or playing pool and arcade games lol. Your health is cookies lol and there are these coins you can collect (the hollow ones worth 5 coins) and after 100 you get an extra life. There are also these Specter Coins hidden on levels, if you collect enough some minigames open. When you get the required number of monkeys the stage just automatically ends and you are teleported back to the lab even if there are more monkeys on that stage. You can save there, practice your gadgets or play the minigames, or you can check the monkeys you captured in a book and they have names and little info about them lmao, like handstands for days, sleeps in water, needs clean underwear, ate yellow snow lol, gangsta rapper, so much dumb shit lmao. I really like the graphics and the art style, it reminds me of Pokémon (which I thought was just a cartoon series, I didn't even know there are games, btw everything after the original 150 looks soulless dogshit) and the music was awesome too, I don't know what style it is but I loved how weird it was. As you go through the ages you unlock new gadgets, like in the dinosaur ages you get a water net to catch swimming monkeys but swimming was so hard Jesus, and a monkey radar you can use to locate them lol. In the jungle temple ruins age you need to use a boat but you need to rotate both sticks to use the paddles but fucking hell I couldn't figure out how to do it at all, it took me forever to get anywhere. And there is slingback shooter, you pull back the rigth stick like it's a real thing lol and you release it to shoot the enemy, it was pretty much impossible unless I was in first person mode, and you can use it to activate switches and it has different ammo types too. Then between worlds you get transported to some race against your friend Specter kidnapped and turned against you, but it was literally impossible because of the swimming part and I lost lol. The next world is tropical beaches with monkeys building sandcastles lol and you go inside the mouth of a giant monster where you hunt them in his stomach lmao, and here you get the super hoop thing which makes you go fast and smacks enemies but you need to rotate the analog stick fast and it's so fucking hard to do with this dogshit controller. In the Ice Age snowy levels you get the sky flyer thing you can use to fly up, but again with rotating the stick it was so difficult, took me so many tries to get to platforms and shit, and in that hot springs level it was a nightmare to do. Then another impossible race, followed by the Medieval age with European and Japanese castles and the first boss fight with a big robot. The monkeys then invade the future lol and you go through the city and factory, and get an RC car you can move around to get to hard to get switches, sometimes you need to follow it around and it's a really cool concept but it was so difficult too. And you need to drive a tank which was the worst shit to control. The last world is some theme park Specter made with a circus, roller coaster ride (like in Tokobot lol), a Western themed town, a big RC car boss fight lol, and then finally going up to his castle in space, but all these levels were a fucking nightmare to go through with all the platforming, and the "final" boss fight was pretty hard too. You get a fake ending as Specter escapes, and now you gotta go back to all the previous levels to catch the remaining monkeys (and do the races again to finally win). You get the last gadget, some magic punch box glove thing which breaks barriers and kills armored enemies. I only really got used to the controls by this "second playthrough" but I still couldn't master them. Anyway I finally caught the last monkey but the final boss fight didn't unlock, and I checked the monkey book and it said I'm still missing one despite all the monkeys are clearly there, it literally bugged out right before the end wtf. Luckily I found a save online with the unlocked final boss, which was literally the easiest fight lol, you catch him after you beat him up and you see pics in the end credits as they return him to the zoo as a happy little white monkey lol. I checked out the three minigames, there is skiing, boxing and some space shooter but they are lame as fuck lol. And there is time attack to 100% the game but yeah fuck that shit lmao. Anyway it had a really cool aesthetic and fun gadgets and monkey chasing, normally I would complain how frustrating it was but it has such unique controls it's more like I just couldn't get used to it, but it got better when I went through the levels the second time so I'm gonna play the other games too for sure.
2023/12/25
Conflict: Vietnam (Xbox)

Developer: Pivotal Games

Publisher: SCi Games

Released: 2004

Genre: Tactical shooter
Conflict: Vietnam
I don't know what the fuck was going on at that time but the next 3 games all take place during the Vietnam War and they all came out within a couple days of each other lmao so I had to change the usual order a little bit. Well this one feels different from the rest of the series as they finally added a proper story with cutscenes and characters with personalities who shit talk all the time lol (no fucking subtitles of course). You are supposed to play a rookie medic but of course the core of the gameplay is still the same and you can switch between characters anytime. The movement is still janky but they clearly improved it a little bit at least so it wasn't as bad as in the previous games. And you can finally see your weapon when you switch to first person mode, the graphics are still not the best but I liked how colorful the jungle was. You start in a camp where they play famous Vietnam War era music on the radio, you can talk to people and you can listen to the conversations they're having, it's sort of like a tutorial level where you go around the camp talking to people or doing simple tasks, you will see the new compass which shows where your objective is, and you can do bonus objectives for extra points. The orders are now context sensitive so it's easy to just say go heal that guy or pick this up with just one button. And enemies drop their weapons when they die and you can pick them up so you don't have to look around for ammo which is a huge help. Your skills don't automatically level up, you earn skill points and you can assign those points to whatever you like which was cool, but you can't check them during missions and I didn't remember who is good with RPGs and shit like that eh. The game takes place during the Tet Offensive, and first you are just patrolling in the jungle, clearing out villages and shit, the combat can be really chaotic though because it's mostly just tight jungle spaces, with enemies hiding in trees and shit and it's hard to see them anyway and sometimes they pretend to be dead then drop a grenade, and there are trapdoors too and boobytraps you need to avoid or disarm so at least they nailed the Vietnam aesthetics lol. You crash land in a rainy jungle and then you start looking for a radio, avoiding napalm strikes, then find a boat which is an on-rails level as you go through the river, then you arrive in a village where the elder promises you a radio if you get their sacred statues back, that's where you need to escort villagers too and can use a crossbow for silent kills. Then you defend a hill against waves of enemies, and there is a POW camp mission here too lol with the Russian roulette scene lmao, and meet up with some Aussies and help them to blow a tunnel, then go to a town where you drive a tank, followed by another on-rails level on a helicopter and finally you assault a city which was a nightmare when you control that missile launcher vehicle. You see them with whores at the end lol and then what happened to the characters after the war, like the sniper joined the Black Panthers and got killed, their lives turned to complete shit (and again no credits wtf is up with these developers). It's clearly the best in the series with a story finally and with all those improvements but it's still clunky and I just preferred the simplicity and the big open levels of the first game. The next game looks more like a third person Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six so it will be interesting to see how different it plays.
2023/12/12
Burnout 3: Takedown (Xbox)

Developer: Criterion Games

Publisher: EA Games

Released: 2004

Genre: Racing
Burnout 3: Takedown
Man I can't believe it's finally here, I was so excited for it I thought about playing the demo before I get to this game lol. I actually wanted to play another racing series and I tried Need for Speed: Underground but the driving was so fucking terrible I could barely control the cars, and I hate the tuning shit anyway. I found a strategy guide for this game lol but it feels so pointless for racing games. Also I realized I'm supposed to set the FTP to binary when I transfer the games lol, this game would be broken otherwise. There is no training mode, it's just videos so you can get right into action. The first thing you will notice is the music, there is an actual soundtrack now with a DJ lol, mostly punk songs from the 2000s, it was kinda weird first but I really liked some of them. The "campaign" is the World Tour mode, you get a world map with tracks in the US, Europe and Asia, and now the Crash mode is integral part of it too. There are a lot more barriers and shit you can crash into (and some other EA games billboards lmao) and some of the tracks reminded me of the ones from the previous games, but it took a while to get used to the incoming traffic being on the other side in Asia lol. The graphics are so much better looking, and there are so much sparks and shit and the way your car gets wrecked is so much more detailed. The cars are still just generic ones, you play through tiers as you unlock more cars and tracks, but there are barely any colors now eh and there are only two stats now, top speed and weight so I couldn't really pick a favorite that's good for everything. The controls are still fucking awesome, I don't know why can't other shitty driving games get it right, and the sense of speed is fucking insane especially in those F1 cars. You can boost anytime now, and you can increase the max size by doing takedowns which are the biggest new addition (and crashing takes away chunks of it). Finally you race against 5 other cars and you can destroy them by slamming them into walls or incoming traffic, the game slows down and shows it to you, first I thought it will be annoying and I will crash accidentally cause I want to focus on the driving but no it was pretty cool actually. When you crash you can use Impact Time where the world slows down and you can move your car to crash into other racers, this recharges your boost bar so you can go right back into action lol (I just wish you could move the camera to look around cause most of the time you can't see them in time). There are Signature Takedowns on every track, you gotta do the takedown on a specific point of the track and you get a polaroid pic as an accomplishment lol. There are a lot of new game modes, all part of World Tour, Burning Lap is essentially your time trial and you gotta beat the scores to earn a medal but you can only do that if you boost constantly and with the fastest, hard to control cars these were a fucking nightmare and I hated every single one of them. In Road Rage you gotta take out as many racers as you can and your cars get damaged when you crash until it's totally wrecked, these were hard especially when you need to do like 20 something of them but I kinda figured it out by the end. In Eliminator the last placed car exits the race after every lap, this one was kinda easy. Face-Off, Grand Prix and the normal races are still the same, and there are some Special Events which are the same shit as Burning Laps but you earn a postcard after beating them lol. The Crash mode is really different, there are tons of pickups like score multipliers, medals, instant boost, instant explosion lol and Heartbreaker which reduces your score so you gotta plan ahead to get the gold. In the previous game I just tried to get at least the bronze but here I went for the gold (well only because it's part of the World Tour so I had to lol) and actually they were fun, there was so much fucking destruction sometimes lol. And I finally figured out how to boost start lol but it only really helps in the Crash mode because races start with your car already moving. If you do enough damage in some tracks you get newspaper headlines and there are trophies you can earn by doing certain tasks like do aftertouch takedowns or triple takedowns etc, some of these are absolutely insane and would take months of playing to get all of them. And in fact this game is so much fucking harder than the previous two, I almost always finished first in them but here I often had to restart, and the last two Grand Prix events with the F1 cars are absolutely insane, I got stuck in there for ages so I just started playing another game lol, then I figured out it could be my fault and it's actually bad to boost all the time cause the AI just catches up lol so I just did little bursts to get to max speed then drived normally and then it was easy to do eh. On paper almost everything in this game is better, the graphics, the music, the driving, the tracks, so it would be easy to call it the best one right? Well not really, the problem is the World Tour mode sucks ass cause there is barely any focus on the actual racing. First of all there are a lot more crashes than any of the other events combined, I mean I liked them but still that's not what I want from a driving game. But the worst shit is the time trial bullshit, there are so many of them and I fucking hate that shit in every game, it's just way too fucking frustrating. And I didn't care for Road Rage either, I just want to race and finish first without worrying about getting enough takedowns... So I just can't say it's better than the second game but I wouldn't say it's worse either cause it's still really good and destroying cars was fun. The next game is on the PlayStation Portable and I will play it during the usual summer heat. Btw Insignia finally added support for Burnout 2: Point of Impact which I've been waiting for since the beginning even though it's leaderboards only cause I was really curious how good my best times are and turns out they are really good, I was number 1 for a while lmao.
2023/12/02
The Mark of Kri (PlayStation 2)

Developer: San Diego Studio

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Released: 2002

Genre: Action-adventure
The Mark of Kri
I think I saw this in a magazine or maybe in a video a year or two ago, it has a Disney cartoon style but in a brutal game and I thought it looked cool. I wanted to play this for a while but I was never really in the mood and I heard it's hard but there aren't many early games left so by default it was the next game to play. The story was a bit hard to understand because of the weird words (without subtitles of course), I think there was some ancient evil symbol called the Mark of Kri that was broken up to six parts, and apparently everyone in this world is born with tattoos lol and this cult called Kasai is collecting these parts but you don't really know about this until the end, you are this big dude called Rau who is going on adventures and you accidentally help them to collect these tattoos and by the end it becomes personal and of course you gotta save the day. You have this tiny hubworld as the inn where you talk to people and pick up the next mission, you can talk to your master and do some training to explain how to use new moves and weapons, or talk to this sage with dogs lol to do challenge arenas or view concept arts you unlock. The combat is interesting, you rotate the right stick to circle around enemies and assign them to a button, but that means you can only select 3 enemies at first, later your better weapons have bigger range so you can have more enemies to a button but at that point I just selected one enemy and did one of the insta kill combos (which you can't do when you assign all buttons to enemies). It's not easy though, like there are hordes of enemies sometimes and you can block most attacks but still they can gang up on you when your weapon gets stuck in wood or bodies (you can get stuck in everything too, movement was kinda weird). The only way to survive is to use stealth as much as possible, you can only do that when you don't have a weapon equipped (that's how you disarm too but I rarely used it), you can take out multiple enemies too with the correct button combos, or take them out with your bow from far away (especially the archers they can fuck you up). Sometimes you need to use your environment to distract enemies, like shoot at an animal who runs away and they keep looking at it, or a gong to make a noise. You also have a raven you can send out to look around, and he can bring you back items like save scrolls you need to use to save the game, or activate switches with him, or use him to chase away other birds to distract enemies (I'm pretty sure he narrates the cutscenes too which are just drawings). You can increase your max health with items but they only apply to that specific level and there is this Tuku shit you can find on every level but I don't know what it unlocked lol, there are a set of challenges given you by your master, you need to do certain combos or number of stealth kills, shit like that to unlock the arenas, I think I got all of them but it doesn't matter because I couldn't complete any of the challenges lmao so I just watched the unlocked stuff on YouTube (there are some funny costumes). The levels look really nice, the first couple ones are forests with some cool ruins, the third level with the giant trees and the tree houses reminded me of Endor lol, there is a snowy mountain one where you wear a fur coat lol, nice Greek themed ruins then a volcano, and a desert fortress with waves of fucking zombies which feels so different because you can't really use stealth there but you get an axe for that level which is really powerful, and it has an annoying new enemy that steals your weapons, but there were so much archers and shit everywhere it was really fucking hard. Honestly I expected a brutal hack and slash game but instead it's more like a hardcore stealth game lol except for that last level and with only one way to pass through areas but it was alright, it has a sequel which I'm gonna play one day for sure.
2023/11/30
Quake II (PlayStation)

Developers: id Software, HammerHead

Publisher: Activision

Released: 1999

Genre: First-person shooter
Quake II
I heard of these id Software games relatively early, I mean they were huge it was hard not to know about them (of course I played Wolfenstein 3D when I was a kid but I didn't know about developers at that time), but I never really thought about playing the Quake games (or Doom). I knew there was a PlayStation port that's supposed to be pretty impressive except the analog stick controls are absolutely fucked, like you move and look on both on them lmao but recently I found out there is a patch that adds the proper two stick controls, and that only Quake II and Quake 4 are connected so I don't have to play the first game (which is just too ancient and fuck PC, apparently there is some fan port on Xbox but it's just random levels so who cares, and the third game is just like Unreal Tournament so it doesn't matter) so I wanted to try it out. I wasn't sure if it would play it from a disc cause I heard the PlayStation 2 can't always handle patched games so I used that shitty emulator, and apparently it's one of the few games that works perfectly there. The story is about this mutant cyborg alien race called Strogg which keeps attacking Earth and convert people to their soldiers, to stop them humanity comes up with a plan and sends an army to their planet to infiltrate and sabotage their base and kill their leader. That's pretty much the story and you only learn it from the manual, there is an opening and ending cutscene (where you can barely hear anything) and that's it, otherwise you get objectives like establish communications, take down security rig, destroy power facility, shit like that. It's a really impressive port, the graphics aren't wobbly which is rare on a PlayStation game. The patched two stick controls are really good but there is no auto aim and I heard it's a hard game so I played on easy (can't change the buttons though, I hated how R1 was the fire eh). The music is just some badass metal but I didn't care for it lol. You can only save at the beginning of the levels, and they have a bunch of hidden secrets you can find like more armor, powerups like more damage for a short period of time, and you can increase your max health and ammo permanently too. Besides the usual machine guns and shotguns there are some nice weapons like a hyperblaster or a big fucking gun 10k lmao, and you don't have to reload weapons which was pretty cool. The enemies are like weird mutant creatures like dogs and spiders, cyborg dudes, some walking mech mutant dudes lmao, flying drones and shit like that, you gotta watch out though cause some of them can still shoot after they fall down. You can do dumb shit too like torture prisoners with laser lol. The final boss was insane, took me a lot of tries to kill him, then you destroy the base and escape with a ship. There is multiplayer too but you can't play alone so I couldn't try it. The game was pretty short but that's a good thing for this game without a proper story, anything longer and I would have been bored (and it's longer on PC so I bet it's actually a better game here). So it was alright I guess, now I need to decide if I want to play Quake 4 or not, apparently the Xbox 360 version has bad framerate so I'm not sure yet.
2023/11/16
Assassin's Creed: Revelations (Xbox 360)

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher: Ubisoft

Released: 2011

Genre: Action-adventure, stealth
Assassin's
Creed: Revelations
I didn't want to wait years again to play the next game so right after Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood I decided next year once the insane summer heat is over I go straight to this game. Originally I didn't even want to play this and Assassin's Creed III because I heard they aren't good, but I still had some discs left (that was before the big purchase) and I didn't know what to burn, so I just said fuck it I love these games. Desmond is stuck inside the Animus because his memory is getting fucked, he is on some test island with the memory of Subject 16 who tells him he needs to play through Ezio's life in order to synch it or he will go crazy or something. Meanwhile in a really nice CGI cutscene old Ezio travels to the castle from the first game to find Altaïr's library, which he finds out the Templars are after too. You need 5 keys to open it, they are hidden in Constantinople and they already found one. It was nice to see the old place again and you will play as Altaïr too as the keys hold some of his memories. The game is more cinematic, there are some interactive cutscenes too with lots of different camera views. The graphics look a lot better too, and there aren't many texture pop-ins like the previous two games which were really annoying. Constantinople looks really nice, sometimes it gets foggy too but it doesn't rain or have any other weather effects. I don't know if it's bigger than Rome but it doesn't have any countryside so it felt a bit smaller and with less stuff to do, there are random events that happen around the city, you can beat up dudes and help merchant by carrying boxes and shit, and there are the collectibles like the treasure chests, memoir pages which unlock the only secret location in Hagia Sophia (but to be fair there are more but they are part of the story) where you can find the Ishak Pasha armor with a badass armored mask lol, and the Animus Fragments which unlock these first person missions inside the Animus. There are 5 of them and you play through Desmond's memories in weird futuristic looking blocky rooms, it's basically first person platforming lmao, you need to add blocks to navigate through the rooms and it gets harder as there are fields that move you to different directions or ones that disable your blocks, lasers to avoid so it's tricky, it has multiplayer emblems you can collect but I have no idea what are those for and if you beat all 5 you unlock a skin that makes Ezio look like Desmond lmao (somehow when I started these missions the XGD3 bullshit triggered and wanted to authorize the disc, I had no idea it could happen after you start the game so I just kept running the mp3 which I replaced with an hour long blank audio file so it doesn't take away from the experience lol, I hope it doesn't happen in other games). It isn't really that different from Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood but it has a lot of new stuff that improves the game a lot. Like now you have a hookblade, you can use it to slide down on ziplines, make longer jumps and climb up faster by launching yourself up, it made everything so much easier, and you can use it to jump over people too lol. And there are all kinds of grenades you can craft, there are these new chest types you can loot for ingredients and you can make the usual smoke and deadly ones but there are poison grenades, a smelly one that makes enemies stay away from an area lmao, one that just makes a loud noise to distract guards, or stupid shit like a coin launching one lmao to attract crowds. There is this Piri Reis dude who gives you bomb missions too, they are more like tutorials to teach you how to use them and then unlock them in his shop (I loved the poison one the most, just made them with a large radius and you can kill so many guards with it lmao). It's harder to get rid of notoriety because there aren't any posters, you need to bribe heralds or kill some Byzantine dude to lower it, when it maxes out it can trigger these Den Defense minigames which are like tower defenses, you are on a rooftop and you can add crossbow- and gunman, barricades you can upgrade to slow down attackers, cannons you can fire, it's actually not bad but I only did 3 of them (plus the tutorial mission) for a challenge because I always try to get rid of notoriety. The assassin recruits are a little different, some of them aren't just random encounters but actual missions, and you can level some of them up more to do these Master Assassin missions after you assign them to a den as defenders, and when you complete their missions it locks the den and it can't be attacked anymore and when you complete them all it unlocks a new armor set which I kept using for most of the game. You can also conquer cities in the Mediterranean Defense minigame and then upgrade them and assign assassins there permanently so you get more money and ingredients back. There is a new faction, gypsies lmao they distract guards like the prostitutes did in the previous games but it's weird how there was only two faction missions in the entire game. You can buy books (or find them in some easy missions) which show up in your hideout and you can read a short summary of them, but the last few ones were really expensive I spent days just grinding money to afford them lmao. Combat felt a lot better, I actually felt like I finally mastered it, there are some new moves too like counter stealing lmao, and there are these Templar assassins too that can attack you out of nowhere so you gotta look out. The story itself is kinda weak compared to the previous games and the real life stuff is basically nonexistent, however this is the first game where I achieved 100% in every mission (which felt easier actually) and collected everything, the only thing I didn't do is all the challenges. I didn't like how the Byzantines were the bad guys and the Ottomans were good lmao it made zero fucking sense it should be the opposite but whatever. There are some really funny missions though like when you dress up as a bard or whatever it's called and play on a lute singing about your adventures lmao, and some badass ones too like when you got to use a Greek fire to fuck the Ottoman navy up so you can escape to Cappadocia, which was another city inside a cave, it looked really cool. The Altaïr memory missions were kinda short but it was nice to play as him again in a good game lmao, you see what happened right after he killed his mentor, how his wife died, and you got to play him as a 80 and 90 years old dude too lol, he limps and coughs when you try to sprint and he can't climb lol but you fuck some Mongols up with the Apple lmao (you unlock his old skin after you complete them all). The final boss was some horse carriage shit which sucked in the previous games too but you then follow it with your parachute and can execute dudes by striking them down from the sky. At the end you see the past civilization and how it got destroyed, the ending doesn't really have that wow factor the previous two had it more like just hypes you up for the final showdown. Gameplay wise it's clearly the best in the series so far but the story and the setting was kinda meh so Assassin's Creed II is still my favorite. The multiplayer has a story too so I had to watch the cutscenes on YouTube, it's about a Templar dude who is training in the Animus and the objective he gets in the final cutscene is to kidnap Desmond's father. The DLC is first person platformer stages of Subject 16's life where you learn Lucy was a Templar (lmaoing at the psychiatrist part, it was very accurate about those charlatans). I found out about the two movies which I didn't know about, Assassin's Creed: Lineage came out before the second game and it's live action prequel about Ezio's father, I really liked this one (I actually had a dream where I was an assassin after watching it lol). Assassin's Creed: Embers is about old Ezio with his wife he met in this game and some assassin girl from China asks for his help but this one was lame as fuck, the animation style was bad and he died like a bitch. Apparently there are some comics too so I will check those out too. The next game is Assassin's Creed III which is apparently the end of the trilogy, and I will do same as with this game, when next year's summer ends I will see if it's really as bad as everyone says.
2023/11/15

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