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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

Splashdown (Xbox)

Developer: Rainbow Studios

Publisher: Infogrames, Inc.

Released: 2002

Genre: Racing
Splashdown
I wanted to find something similar to the next game that's on the PlayStation 2 (more about that on that review), a simple fast paced crazy extreme sports game (kinda like what Burnout is for racing games) that doesn't focus on tricks because I'm fucking retarded and I can't remember them. This game and ATV: Quad Power Racing 2 are the only ones I found that looked good enough, but the second one was a piece of shit with terrible physics so I deleted it. This one is a jet ski game, and while it wasn't really that fast paced it was simple enough to play through it. It has a nice looking water and some interesting locations, South America, Egypt, Venice, and some stupid shit like crashed planes, ships and a UFO too on the map lmao. The default controls sucked but luckily I could change it, and there is a tutorial that teaches you some of the moves like going under the water, blackflipping and shit like that. I wish there was an ingame trick list or something because I couldn't find a manual and just randomly pressed buttons to do tricks lol but actually that was fine, I didn't want anything complicated and the simple tricks were enough to get the speed bonus. You pick a character to go through the tournament, but later you can recruit more to your team and play with the one that's best for the map, the problem is you can't see the map layout before the loading screen and can't tell if it's a map where you need someone with better handling or speed. Every 4 races I think you can recruit someone by beating them in an arena race, but I thought you can only do that with the characters who are available, but nope this is how you unlock new characters too eh... The races are alright I guess, there are some obstacles to avoid, ramps, alternate routes, and these buoys which point to the direction where you are supposed to pass them or you will lose your speed. There are also these uniform colors you can collect but they are very hard to get to, you need to do some crazy jumps to get them so I only found like 2. It gets pretty hard by the end, that Venice level was especially frustrating. I liked the typical very early 2000s soundtrack with Smash Mouth lmao but it has very few songs unfortunately. The worst thing is probably the absolutely insane camera, I couldn't even figure out how it works it just fucks everything up and I couldn't see shit so I tried not to touch it lol. There are some other modes like the usual time trial and free ride, but there is Countdown mode where you need to collect different colored balloons before the time expires. It's a very simple game but it was alright, I will play the sequel on the PlayStation 2 because it seems like it amps up the craziness.
2022/09/12
Neopets: Petpet Adventures: The Wand of Wishing (PlayStation Portable)

Developer: Santa Monica Studio

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Released: 2006

Genre: Third-person action
Neopets: Petpet Adventures: The Wand of Wishing
This one is based on some browser game I think where you can raise pets or something? I don't know because I've only heard of the name before. But it looked like a cute simple game so I wanted to play it. It has isometric view though eh, I fucking hate that and I would never play a game like that on a normal console but on a handheld I can forgive it I guess. It feels like there is a story you are missing, like the opening cutscene is the end of some fight between two friends, a girl and an orc who got corrupted by evil magic or something. You are the pet of the girl and the orc wants to find some magic wand, and when the girl finds it and wants to use it the orc's pet takes it through a portal and you go after it and you find yourself in a world where animals are like persons lol. You can select what kind of animal you want to be, they have different stats but I went with the basic fox-dog looking pet lol (it's funny how he always smiles lol, characters make the same face all the time). I'm not sure what this genre is, I guess it's like a very basic RPG, you fight, find equipments, chests, do some simple quests, but there is no XP and it's very linear you can only go to one area. Fighting is very simple basically just pressing the X button lol, and you can have melee weapons, bows, wands that shoot magic, or spells you can use. You can also capture some animal with specific foods and they give you some stat bonus lol, shame they don't fight. There is not much to do besides going through the areas and fight enemies or buy stuff from vendors, but there are magic pools you can find that change your color lol. I thought the game was ridiculously hard, I kept dying to enemies and I had to evade them constantly and use hit and run tactics lol but I still kept dying like crazy. I thought it's because there are some areas where you can't buy better equipment but nope, it would have been still crazy hard. Then I found out there are these battledomes where you can train by fighting the bosses you already beat, now I thought you need the coins it shows on the right to use them but those are the rewards you can use to increase your stats and you just need normal gold to train there and then spend points on your strength, health, magic etc. Once I realized this the game got super easy lol and I just spammed arrows to kill everything in seconds lmao. It feels like they ran out of ideas by the second half of the game where you are just going through the same kind of areas with different elemental bosses to find, then at the end you fight all the bosses again and then the final boss. You can go back to the big city after you beat the game but as I said there isn't much to do, you can go keep fighting in the battledome to increase your stats but at some points you are gonna run out of gold (and I guess there was multiplayer where you can fight your friends there?). It's really nothing special, the gameplay wasn't great even after I figured it out lol, but the biggest problem was the insane slowdowns from moving the camera or even when you are just walking. But yeah, it's cute and simple I guess (if you aren't retarded like I am lol).
2022/09/08
Silent Hill (PlayStation)

Developer: Team Silent

Publisher: Konami

Released: 1999

Genre: Survival horror
Silent Hill
So obviously I knew about this series and I watched reviews of the first four games before and the movie too but I never wanted to play them because a) I'm scared as fuck of horror games and b) I thought it's like the early Resident Evil games with the fixed camera angles which I absolutely fucking hate and I refuse to play any game with that shit. But as I was watching some gameplay recently I found out it's not really like that, the camera mostly follows the character and I can move it, and I can just play it on easy so why not, so let's play through the first four games and Silent Hill: Origins, the rest I'm not sure yet but probably won't. I was actually really excited to play this, and it was in the middle of the insane summer heat so it bothered me a lot that I probably can't start it for months, but then it got colder suddenly so I immediately wanted to jump in and experience it (of course the weather forecast was wrong and the week or two cold only lasted for a few days and I had to wait sometimes for a week or two before I could play again for a day or two, I guess it's like the real way of watching a series too, like being excited for what's coming next instead of watching every episode in a row, I think it leaves a more lasting impact like that). I still wasn't sure though if I would like it or not so I didn't want to waste a CD, and I felt the PlayStation Portable screen would be too small to experience a game like this, luckily it works with that shitty emulator and I think it plays fine minus some slowdowns, but I noticed the flashlight's shadow was kinda blocky at some places, but it could be the game too because it has such a bad case of dithering lol. I played the PAL uncensored version which adds back the school kids and includes the missing document the American release doesn't have. The story is similar to the movie, but here you are a single father Harry who is traveling with his daughter to Silent Hill when he almost hits a girl and crashes his car. I loved the CGI cutscenes, they were really nicely made even though only the intro and the post credits scenes are long enough, the rest are just a few seconds long when they introduce another living person. You wake up after the crash with your daughter missing and the entire town is covered with a huge fucking fog (and later darkness) which definitely sets the mood and it's also a really clever way to mask the shitty draw distance of the PlayStation. I immediately got filtered by the shitty controls, it's tank controls but it was impossible to get used to it with the analog stick, so I tried the D-pad and it could have been much better but this fucking controller has such a terrible D-pad that I was struggling the entire time to move the character and avoid enemies. Anyway you end up in a café where you meet a cop chick who ended up in the town too, and you get a gun to defend yourself, a flashlight to see and a radio that starts making noises when enemies are around you (this was another clever way to let you know something is coming from the fog or the darkness) and you learn you can only save at notepads. You have a map and your character marks places where you should go but the thing is though without a guide I would have had no idea what to do and where to go after the very beginning of the game, I'm just way too dumb for this shit, and it gets worse with the puzzles, like I have no idea how people figure these things out, I couldn't even comprehend what I was supposed to do with the piano puzzle for example (that being said I enjoyed experiencing the game). Every once in a while you hear sirens and darkness covers the town, like you are being transported into an another dimension or a nightmare where everything is rusty and covered with chains and barbed wires and ritually murdered people hung up on walls, the visuals are incredible and creepy, although I think the music was the scariest part of the game, it's fucking awesome industrial music which I love. As you are trying to find your daughter you explore the school, the hospital and some other parts of the town and you discover some people who are somehow still alive and how they connect to all these supernatural events, and also you uncover some drug traffick related plot that was happening in the town before the whole insanity began. Near the end things just get more insane as you go through doors and end up in different parts of the town, and you will get one of the multiple endings based on the stuff you found and who you saved, of course I got the best ending with the guide lol. It's funny though that the final boss was the easiest one lol, but honestly the entire plot was so insane, I can't believe a PlayStation game could be this dark and fucked up. After the end credits you get a nice blooper style CGI cutscene with the characters like it's some movie lol it was awesome, and a report card but I don't know what the stars mean, I think I got 4 and a half or something like that. So yeah it's very impressive for a PlayStation game, but it made me think I would have loved to just discover the town without enemies more because the combat was kind of in a way to get fully immersed in this incredible world. I will play the sequel next year probably, I hope it has better controls though.
2022/09/04
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360)

Developer: DICE

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Released: 2010

Genre: First-person shooter, tactical shooter
Battlefield: Bad
Company 2
I was wondering how are they gonna continue the story after the first game ended with the team escaping with a truck of gold lol, but it's like nothing has happened and the war still going on with Russia invading Europe, China, South America and Alaska at the same time (lmao at this scenario, it was impossible to take this game seriously after what's been happening in Ukraine, I'm so happy to see these Russkie piece of fucking shits finally getting destroyed). The story is centered around a secret weapon that the Japanese developed in WW2, in fact the game starts with a WW2 tutorial mission where you need to escort a Japanese scientist with the superweapon before you all get killed when the Japs use it. In the present you are helping the CIA to find that weapon, traveling from Russia to South America, the locations are more diverse here, mountains, snow, desert or a jungle (actually the game has this Vietnam War vibe lol especially with the hippie helicopter pilot) and the graphics look absolutely incredible. I'm glad they addressed all the issues I had with the first game lol, like there are finally subtitles (but sometimes they have these random conversations that don't have any eh), you just need to press the sprint button instead of holding it, vehicles don't get stuck in everything, and I liked how things are more destructible, you can destroy almost everything which is pretty cool, but I didn't like how you have regenerating health now. And the game just feels different now, the first one had larger areas with kinda open worldy feel to them with vehicles you can use and decide how you want to approach a situation, here it's smaller and kinda linear and vehicles are more like a mandatory thing at some point of the mission. And there are no more artillery which I loved using so much in the first game, it kinda takes away the grand battlefield feeling. Although there is a mission where you are attacking with the military with tanks and planes destroying shit around you and you gotta use drones to guide missiles, that one still felt like the first game. But actually there are more cooler moments here, like waiting for a thunder in a storm to fire your sniper rifle so they won't hear you, or that mission in the cold where you are rushing from house to house not to freeze to death (Lost Planet: Extreme Condition vibes lol). Collectible weapons are shown on the map so it's harder to miss them (I still managed to miss one eh) and instead of golds you have these M-COM station you can blow up, and there are weapon crates where you can switch weapons and see their stats. It's a shame the game ends with a cliffhanger with Russia pushing into the US (again, what a fucking joke lmao) and we never got a third game, because even though they are kinda short I'm glad I decided to play them because they were fun to play, but I can't decide which one I liked more. Apparently the multiplayer was a lot better in this one but I couldn't try it out. I wish developers would add bots to every game for offline players and for the future when servers won't be available anymore.
2022/08/22
Tokobot (PlayStation Portable)

Developer: Tecmo

Publisher: Tecmo

Released: 2005

Genre: Platform
Tokobot
I had no idea this game exists, but it looked cute and interesting so I wanted to play it. However I wasn't sure where to play it because it came out later on PlayStation 2 too, and so did some other games. In some cases the PlayStation 2 ports have extra content too so it would make sense to play them there, but often times those ports had worse reviews and I realized why: these games were developed for the PlayStation Portable with its limitations in mind, and they wouldn't really work like a regular game on a normal console, so I think I'm going to play most of these games here (there will be some exceptions, like the Grand Theft Auto games and probably Burnout Dominator). The game takes place in a world where there was an ancient advanced civilization that was destroyed by some apocalyptic event and now people research the tech and the ruins they left behind (my favorite trope). This guy Bolt accidentally activates these small robots called Tokobots so the researcher girl and his boss sends him off to explore those ancient structures they left behind because he can get inside them using the robots. These robots can chain together to 3 different formations and you can use them to swing up somewhere, activate switches, fly like a helicopter lol or attack enemies. It's pretty cute how they are holding hands together to form these chains lol and you will find more of these robots along the way so you can throw or fly further which you'll need if you want to access some places on earlier levels. There are these parts you can collect which you need to activate Karakuri Combinations which are these big robots you can turn into, like a big robot samurai lol or a tank but I rarely ever used these to fight, but there are some that are required if you want to progress, like a train where you go on a ride and avoid shit, or a crane to grab some boxes and use it to solve puzzles. Unfortunately it's buggy as hell and the controls and the combat ruins this game, I can't adjust the camera and I can't align those fucking robots straight ahead so often times I couldn't reach platforms (this was the worst fucking shit near the end where you have to swing on these fucking rods and you have to time your jumps perfectly or you will die, I got stuck there for days and of course you can't skip cutscenes and you have to watch them over and over again when you restart) or they kept falling off or get stuck somewhere and had to go back for them (sometimes they teleport to you though), and the combat is a nightmare too, I kept dying because the enemies touch me and I can't hit them with the stupid robots. This can be really bad in boss fights but sometimes I had an easier time with them because they all work differently (at the end you gotta fight all of them again as a giant fuck you before the final boss). Finishing the story unlock the Original Time Attack mode where you can go through the previous locations with a timer and collect coins to get ranks, if you get the best ones you unlock concept arts and shit, but yeah no thanks lmao. Shame about the gameplay because it really is a cute game.
2022/07/30
Conflict: Desert Storm II (Xbox)

Developer: Pivotal Games

Publisher: SCi Games

Released: 2003

Genre: Tactical shooter
Conflict: Desert
Storm II
This feels more like an improved first game or an expansion pack rather than a true sequel. The location is the same and you get missions even though the war ended in the first game, they are more like just extra missions or something. They are more grouped together here but you don't carry your equipment and ammo over to the next one unlike in the first game. The graphics look better but not that much, it's like they are more detailed and colorful. It has nice CG cutscenes sometimes instead of just game engine ones which was nice, they looked kinda lame in the first game. It starts with a training mode too but this one focuses on stealth too. The gameplay isn't really that much different, which sucks btw because the way you moved felt outdated as fuck in the previous game already. You can roll now though, that was a nice addition. And maybe it's a bit harder to hit enemies and sometimes your characters get stuck in objects here eh. In this game they can't die though, so it's game over when it happens, but I didn't have any problems saving them. Finally you can repair vehicles here so they aren't useless lol. Missions are more complex and detailed (I liked the one where you are escaping from a prison camp starting with just your knife) but for some reason I enjoyed the simplicity of the first game more. But either way it's still a good game, with no end credits again wtf. It had DLC uniforms though, one of them was a fucking Santa outfit lmao. The next game takes place in Vietnam, I'm looking forward to that one but I really hope they do something with the controls.
2022/07/18
Driver (PlayStation)

Developer: Reflections Interactive

Publisher: GT Interactive Software

Released: 1999

Genre: Driving, action
Driver
I heard of this series of course, but I'm not sure when exactly (maybe when Grand Theft Auto III came out?). What I remember clearly is the Driv3r review scandal, that was a pretty big deal at the time. I knew it's supposed to be a proto Grand Theft Auto with the big open city where you can drive around and cops chasing you but that's about it. And that it can be insanely frustrating thanks to those cops so I didn't want to waste a CD on it. However it doesn't work on that shitty emulator but I still wanted to experience this series so that's where my PlayStation Portable comes in handy, it was released there officially with a built in manual, and you know it's pretty cool to play PlayStation games on it, like I didn't feel like it makes it less enjoyable. You are playing as Tanner who is an undercover cop working for ciminals as a getaway driver. To be honest I had a hard time following the story, you get your missions in your motel room on an answering machine (and you can choose between them and go through different paths which was cool, and also there are sometimes joke calls like someone tries to order food or some Arab or Indian nonsense lmao) and sometimes you get really bad cutscenes and it all sounds like they were actually recorded in a motel room because I can barely tell the difference between the characters or the voices and what they are saying lol. The first mission is a tutorial where you have to pull insane driving tricks in a garage to impress the criminals to hire you, and fuck it was so brutal even with practicing it in the separate training mode I couldn't beat it, so I read a guide carefully and watched the video in the training mode then I was able to beat it after a few tries. The game takes place in a couple different cities (Miami, San Fransisco, Los Angeles and New York) and it's pretty impressive how we can drive around in these big cities in a PlayStation game, but it isn't an open world game so there really isn't anything there to discover or pick up. But unfortunately that's all the positives, because this is genuinely one of the worst piece of shit games I've ever played. You can't get good at it, it requires no skill whatsoever, even if you master the car handling it doesn't matter because everything comes down to random cop and traffic spawns aka luck. And it has the most bullshit artificial difficulty I've ever seen too because the cars always try to turn the exact same moment as you or spawn right in front of you so you can't avoid crashing, not to mention bullshit like cops spawning right at your mission goal when your car is damaged as fuck or have barely any time left to complete the mission. Most missions are the same shit too, like driving somewhere in time, chasing someone or avoiding cops, only two of them were different and memorable enough, the one where you are driving a taxi and have to scare the passenger with doing tricks lol and when you are smashing restaurant windows. Ah and of course the infamous last mission which I can't fucking believe I managed to complete: you need to drive the US President somewhere, all cars handle like shit but this is even worse, and the entire fucking New York police force and secret agents are after you, crashing into your car like crazy and destroying you in seconds. So I'm sorry but I don't care how revolutionary those big cities were when the gameplay is the most rage inducing shit you can imagine. There are a couple other game modes too, a free ride mode where you can drive around the cities (kinda pointless because you can't do anything), dirt tracks, chasing another car and destroying it, trying to escape from hordes of cops, checkpoints and a trail blazer mode where you need to hit cones to increase the time limit (I tried to do this one but it was also fucking rage inducing shit thanks to the traffic). It also has a really detailed replay editor where you can make them look like car chase films which is cool I guess but I don't give a shit about these things, I never save or watch replays. You know even though it's seriously one of the worst piece of shit games I've played I still want to play through this series, and I have a feeling Driver 2: Back on the Streets is better simply because you can get out of your car and steal another one and I think it could solve a lot of issues with this game.
2022/07/09
Mister Mosquito (PlayStation 2)

Developer: Zoom

Publisher: Eidos Interactive (Fresh Games)

Released: 2002

Genre: Simulation, stealth
Mister Mosquito
This is the kind of crazy fucking Japanese game is why I'm glad I bought a PlayStation 2 too lmao. You are playing as a mosquito who makes this Japanese family's life miserable, I mean how cool is that concept? Before the levels start you see these cutscenes of the family talking in a huddle lmao and they speak with such a stereotypical accent that it would give bored first worlders a reason to be outraged about something if it came out today lmao. And they talk about the most batshit insane things, I swear the Japanese have no idea how people work lmao, like don't wear those clothes my fat bald dad or my rich upper class friend would find you attractive lmao wtf, or how that friend has never been bitten by a mosquito because she is rich lol, and one time she slides into the huddle when they are talking about her or when the dad bumps into the screen implying there is an actual camera in front of them (which we can see in the end credits where they all lean forward the floor to talk to it lmao). Obviously the goal is to suck blood, you have these blood tanks you need to fill (and you can find more hidden on the map) but you can only do that from suck spots lmao, and sometimes you need to do something to reveal them, like switching off the lights or turning on the radio and that was pretty cool. The bloodsucking itself is pretty hard, you gotta rotate the right stick either slowly or crazy fast, but the PlayStation 2 controller just ain't good for that. You gotta stop when they get too stressed by it or they will slap you and it's game over lol. The levels are just rooms in the house (except the last one where you fly around the entire house sucking blood one last time lol), and the situations are like the dad watching TV, the mom making dinner or my favorite the daughter having a bath and you need to suck blood from her titties lmao. Besides the extra tanks there are hidden hearts too you can collect to increase your maximum health, a different kind of heart to recharge your health or fruits that give you tips (most of them are completely useless shit like you collected whatever % so far). And they have some dangerous shit you need to avoid especially later in the game, like the AC and bug repellants everywhere lol. And the characters are fucking crazy here too, like the mom doing somersaults in the air when she is cooking or the dad throwing fucking fireballs at you during a battle lmao. Battles start when they notice you and you need to hit some relax points to end them, and if you can do that in a certain amount of time you unlock new mosquito skins (I unlocked them all, the last one was cool). If you fill up all the extra tanks too you unlock the second year and you can start over again with different situations I think. You get a report card at the end and I got a D rank lol even though I unlocked all colors and filled up all the tanks eh. Honestly gameplay wise it's nothing special but I just love this stupid fucking game so much lmao. I hope I can find more crazy Japanese games like this lol.
2022/07/08
Pursuit Force (PlayStation Portable)

Developer: Bigbig Studios

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Released: 2005

Genre: Vehicular combat
Pursuit Force
I downloaded the PAL version of this game first but apparently it was so hard that they had to add checkpoints to levels in the US version lol, and it definitely helps a lot because it can be frustratingly hard, I can't even imagine beating this game without checkpoints. You are playing as a cop in a city ruled by 5 gangs (mafia, mercenaries, prisoners, girl thieves lol and the yakuza) and they all have 6 missions (with the last being the boss fight vs the gang leader) but you can't just finish one gang and move on to the next one because they have rank requirements so you are gonna switch between them. Most of the time you will be driving a car or a motorbike and chasing the criminals, but there are third person firefights, turret sections and speedboat chases too. The coolest thing is how you can jump from one vehicle to another, like make insane long jumps and shoot at the enemies in the car lol, and then you have this Justice Bar which you can fill up by killing enemies (and it depletes when you hit or shoot a civilian) and when you press it while jumping it slows down time and you can finish them off before you land on the car lmao (otherwise it restores health), but you can also fall off while you are trying to take over the vehicle so you gotta focus on your balance too. And when you capture the car you get the criminal's gun which is usually more powerful (you can do the same when you arrest them in the third person sections). As you progress you unlock new skills like regenerating health or less likely to fall off from the top of vehicles, new game modes like races and time trials, and some pics and videos in the gallery. The new game modes are just extra time-wasters, time trial doesn't seem to add anything and I usually hate that mode anyway, but with races you can unlock stuff in the gallery by finishing first (but some of them are ridiculously hard). I have two big problems with this game, firstly there is no mission variety, you are doing the same shit over and over again. There is a mission where you are driving a bus that has a bomb and you can't slow down or it blows up, and you gotta get the passangers to jump off to cop cars - just like the movie Speed lol, I wish it had more missions like this. And the other thing is how ridiculously frustrating this game is, especially the fucking Vixens missions where it's usually just one big mission without sections and checkpoints, it took me forever to finish them. Still there is something about the gameplay and the insane jumps that made it really addictive, so I'm definitely gonna play the sequel.
2022/06/28
LocoRoco (PlayStation Portable)

Developer: Japan Studio

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Released: 2006

Genre: Platform, puzzle
LocoRoco
My first thought was what the fuck is this game lol. Normally I hate 2D games but I remember seeing the cover of Patapon a lot and I liked how it looked and wanted to play it. I don't think I knew this game exists until recently but for some reason I had the same reaction to it, it looked so cute and I thought maybe it's a fun relaxing game (oh how wrong I was). So some planet is attacked by these black things called Moja who eat the yellow blobs who are the LocoRoco lmao and I think you are playing as the world and guiding these blobs to defeat the invaders. It's basically a 2D platformer but the controls are very simple, there are only 3 buttons you are gonna use, L and R to tilt the planet left and right, and you can jump by pressing both. And with the circle you can mutliply into small blobs lmao. I think there are 5 world and they all have different levels but they are all similar in every world, like a flower level, a tree level, a winter level, inside the stomach of a large animal lmao and you collect flies (I guess they are the currency for the minigames), fruits (they make you bigger and add another little blob when you multiply lol) and these moles you can find who give you something extra for your house lol. It's such a cute and fun game though, I love how the yellow blobs scream when they merge back into a big one lol, or how they sing to the Mui Mui moles when they find them, even the music in the game is this gibberish singing (actually you can find different colored ones and they have different voices, like a kid, a man, a woman, or another ones with different accents). But you know even though it looks like a game made for children it's so fucking frustrating to play. It's hard as fuck to make some jumps and trying to find hidden routes, or those black shits will fuck you up and you will lose some of your little blobs, I could never complete any level 100%. There are also some minigames that costs flies to play, like a house where you can place stuff so your blob can play there, a crane where you can get more stuff for your house and then there is this Chuppa Chuppa thing that launches you like a golf ball lol to try get to the end of the course but it's literally impossible. And there is a level editor too but I didn't try it. So yeah it might be frustrating but I still think it's a very unique and cute little game.
2022/06/19
Unreal Championship (Xbox)

Developers: Epic Games, Digital Extremes

Publisher: Infogrames

Released: 2002

Genre: First-person shooter
Unreal Championship
I played Unreal Tournament a little bit like 20 years ago but I don't remember much except that floating space map lol (actually Red Faction 2 has something similar that's why I liked the multiplayer). This game is basically a port of Unreal Tournament 2003 and I didn't want to play it because I was thinking I would rather play Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict which is more of a unique game made for the Xbox, but then I realized what if it's just a port lol I'm not gonna play it on PC anyway and a multiplayer game with bots is always a good thing to have. I also thought about playing Unreal first but I watched some videos on YouTube and I don't think I would like it. So I have no idea about the backstory, it's something about prisoners fighting in a tournament similar to gladiators I guess. You need to pick a character (I picked a mercenary with a machine gun), they all have different stats and weapons and you need to pick teammates too and no fucking way I'm gonna go through all of them so I just picked some other mercenaries lol. The single player has no story, you just go through 7 random DM, TDM, CTF etc. maps with more and more of your teammates. It starts with a nice little tutorial that explains some of the weapons like the one that you can use to teleport but I pretty much only used the machine gun, rocket launcher and that awesome sniper rifle. It also explains pickups and most importantly Adrenaline, which you can use to activate special abilities when it reaches 100. It can be invisibility, speed boost, more damage or health regeneration which is the only one I used because it gave you almost twice as much health and shield you have on default lol, it was really useful when I had to take a flag back to the base and all the enemies were after me (and because it was easy to active, you gotta remember which 4 directions to press and this was the only one I remembered lmao). The game is actually lot of fun, the maps are pretty good (although sometimes I got lost lol) and the AI is really smart and their behavior is pretty close to human players which was really impressive, and you can give them orders too like attack or defend the flag. Sometimes it can be really fucking hard, like one CTF match ended 1:0 in overtime, it was really fucking brutal but I think it all depends on the map, because on some of them you could easily win in just a few minutes. There are two other modes in singeplayer, in Double Domination you gotta control 2 points for 10 seconds to win the round and they are on the opposite sides of the map, and Bombing Run which is an American football like game mode lol, you need to pick up a bomb and you can't use any weapons while you have it and run into the enemies base to score a touchdown and you can throw the bomb too like you are passing lol. Winning on every map unlocks the last round where you are basically fighting against your teammates one on one, and if you kill all of them your reward is being put in a tube on one of the maps where you will be part of the tournament forever as a spectator... damn lmao. Btw I installed the DLC maps too, and this game is infamous for being the first Xbox game to receive a patch. I played a little bit before I installed it, apparently it disables anti-aliasing to help with the framerate but I didn't really notice that much difference. Anyway it was really exciting and fun to play, I will probably play it like Star Wars: Battlefront when I'm bored sometimes, and probably online too once that Xbox Live replacement finally launches.
2022/06/15
Ace Combat 2 (PlayStation)

Developer: Namco

Publisher: Namco

Released: 1997

Genre: Air combat simulation
Ace Combat 2
Now this looks more like a proper Ace Combat game, and I can't believe how much better it looks especially for a game from 1997. The music is really nice too, it's the same kind of rock music but mixed with some jazz. And it finally has analog controls, you almost get the modern controls with the Expert config. It's also the first game that introduced aces, ground units like tanks and finally a proper outside view with a HUD. This isn't really story focused too, but at least missions feel unique and interesting. You are part of the Scarface unit and you were hired to fight military force that staged a coup and took over a country, that's it. It also introduces cool proper briefings with all the infos and enemies, and also that replay simulation after missions which are so cool (I also love that ancient green computer effect when you load the game). You can still hire a wingman sometimes and they use different planes based on the task you give them, they also have cool 3D character models lol. You have your usual trench runs of course lol, and there are two layers in this game, under and above the cloud but I barely flew above it. Sometimes at the end of the mission you gota land on an airfield or an aircraft carrier but it was kinda hard, I crashed the plane a few times lol. It has some memorable missions and locations, like avoiding constant missile locks when you are destroying a secret lab, flying low through a fjord to destroy an enemy base, attacking a cool looking city at night etc. Doing certain tasks during some missions unlocks a different bonus mission you can do instead of the normal one, I always did those instead. And at some point missions split into two different paths, I went with path B but actually after I beat the game I went back to play path A too that's how much I enjoyed playing this game. It's also the first Ace Combat game where I tried to destroy all targets and aces (I usually just went after the mission targets in the other ones), and you actually need to kill all the Z.O.E. aces if you want to get the true ending, because that's what unlocks the last two missions. In the first one you are chasing a rocket and you can only shoot it down with the machine gun which was a nightmare to do lol, and the last one of course is a trench run, and actually I'm pretty sure it's the same one as the last mission of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies lol. I really enjoyed it and actually it's my second favorite Ace Combat game so far. The next one is Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, which has a butchered international version so I will have to play the translated Japanese one instead for the complete experience. But for that I still need to test out if I could play NTSC games with the solution I've found.
2022/06/14
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)

Developer: Rocksteady Studios

Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Released: 2009

Genre: Action-adventure
Batman: Arkham
Asylum
Okay so first of all I fucking hate superhero garbage, especially how they shit out the exact same movies every fucking year, it fucking ruined cinema. So I never cared about Batman or any other superheroes, the only comics I like are the Dark Horse Star Wars comics (in fact I read almost all of them) and Sandman, that's it. As for movies I only watched the X-Men and original Spiderman movies. So obviously I didn't care about this game at all, but it came with my Xbox 360 and like 6-7 years ago I installed it because I didn't know what to play and I thought maybe I will like it, but I stopped playing on the first level, I just couldn't care less. As it was still installed and I didn't know what to play next I just decided to force myself to finish it with using an official strategy guide again. The story is about Batman capturing Joker and taking him to this Arkham Asylum where all the bad guys are locked in, but he somehow breaks lose and takes over the place and you gotta stop him. There are more villains other than him and his henchmen of course, some of them are boss fights, some are more like a puzzle, or you just talk to them, but my favorite was the Scarecrow nightmare scenes where you are hallucinating and you get fake game overs and game glitches, they were so cool. You can also unlock character bios (which is good for people like me who have no fucking idea who these people are) of other bad (or good) guys by finding hidden stuff like interview tapes or solving riddles, but man most of these villains are so fucking lame, like a fucking mothman, some toy kid lmao, a speaking puppet etc, they are so fucking ridiculous I can't believe how seriously people take these fucking comic book shit. There are a lot of these collectibles you can find, Joker teeth to destroy, Riddler trophies, interview tapes, but sometimes you need to be in Detective Vision mode to just notice them, especially for Riddler challenges where you have to line up some question mark to scan them or scan some object that could be the solution to the riddle, and there are these Spirit of Arkham things you need to scan too to hear the history of the place and how the founder of this place went crazy. The problem is I would be fucked without a guide, there is no way I would have been able to find most of them. I didn't want to get invested in a long game just right before the insane summer heat and I thought it won't be long but Jesus I spent like 30 minutes trying to to find these riddles and shit, and I gotta be in that Detective Vision mode all the time to not to miss anything, it was so exhausting. And the reason you need those is because they give you XP which you need to unlock more moves and gadgets. With new gadgets you can progress through the story and go back to previous locations to find more hidden collectibles. There are two kind of combat situations, one is where your fight random thugs with combos, it's a weird freeflow kind of thing where you are just beating the shit out of everyone with a button, it sounds very easy but I couldn't really keep the combos going for too long lol. The other one is with guys with armed weapons and here you gotta use stealth, hiding in vents and swinging from gargoyles and slowly take them out one by one because guns can kill you easily. To be honest I liked the gameplay, it was fun to play, even if the combat was frustrating sometimes and hunting for collectibles was exhausting. But it just relies so much on using Detective Vision I couldn't really appreciate how good the game looks. After beating the game you can go back to solve the remaining riddles and find everything, but it's an empty place now with no enemies. Some of them unlock challenges you can do, and they are the two combat styles. First one you need to get certain points to get these bat medals, the second one the stealthy taking out armed enemies, but there you need to kill them by how the challenge requires it. I did a few of them but I just couldn't care honestly, it ain't BioShock 2 that's for sure. I didn't expect to like this game, but I ain't gonna play the sequels that's for sure, because they are open world games and I can't even imagine how exhausting this gameplay must be in those kind of games.
2022/06/09
Conflict: Desert Storm (Xbox)

Developer: Pivotal Games

Publisher: SCi Games

Released: 2002

Genre: Tactical shooter
Conflict: Desert
Storm
This is a game I've seen a lot in the lists I usually go through, I thought about playing it many times but I always changed my mind because I thought it's some shitty budget game. I don't know why but I kept thinking about it so I finally decided to play it. It's basically like Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon or Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six but in third person (and I liked those games a lot), and I guess SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs on the PlayStation 2 which I thought this was the clone of, but apparently they were developed at the same time so that's another reason why I decided to play it. It takes place during the Gulf War and you can pick either the SAS or the Delta Force to play through the game (I picked the SAS because the developers were British), the only difference is the voices and that all the SAS soldiers have Medic skills too. It opens with a nice long training which explains everything, it's like a bootcamp lol but this is where I noticed that the squad command controls are ridiculously complicated so I mostly just used follow me or hold and fire at will commands lol. And moving feels so weird, I couldn't really get used to it. Aiming is pretty bad in third person mode too but it has auto aim so you can just switch between targets, but I used the first person mode when I was shooting at enemies. Missions are like typical military stuff, like destroying vehicles, rescuing POWs, escorting a scientist to defuse a bomb etc. There were some vehicle missions too but honestly you are better off getting out of it and doing everything on foot because it controls like a nightmare lmao. Some missions continue on the next level with your previous equipment so you gotta pay attention to your ammo. And you can only save twice during a mission to make it more difficult. The last mission is breaking into some fortress and killing a general who looks like Saddam lmao. Your team has 4 soldiers and all of them has a different class, like the squad leader who is good with assault rifles and can call atrillery and airstrikes (that's so cool I wish Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon had this), a sniper, a heavy weapon expert and a demolition expert. You can switch between them anytime so that's what I usually did instead of giving them super complicated orders lol. It's the first tactial shooter where I made sure all my teammates survive lol and that means they all had max skill by the end of the game. It's also the first game I've seen without end credits, I don't know why they didn't add one it was kinda weird. So yeah basically it's a third person Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon with artillery and airstrikes and vehicles, I liked it but I wish the controls were better, either way I'm gonna play the rest of the series (except the last game which is apparently terrible). And I guess SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs too, I didn't want to play it but after this game I probably will.
2022/05/31
Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines (PlayStation Portable)

Developer: Griptonite Games

Publisher: Ubisoft

Released: 2009

Genre: Action-adventure, stealth
Assassin's
Creed: Bloodlines
So I knew there are handheld and mobile Assassin's Creed games but I thought they are just cheap shitty games. But then I found out about this one and it looks like a proper Assassin's Creed game which was really suprising to me. And it's kinda like what a very early PlayStation 2 Assassin's Creed game would look like. You still have your cities (without a countryside so no travelling between them) but they are smaller and broken up to smaller segments with a loading screen and there aren't as many civilians on the streets but otherwise everything is there, buildings to climb up to, those eagle towers, hiding from guards etc. The story takes place a year after the first game, where Altair travels to Cyprus to hunt down the remnants of the Templar Order. It doesn't add much to the story of the series (well at least I don't think so) but we can see him write his journals we find in Assassin's Creed II and how he met the girl from that memory we saw, so it's an interesting addition to the second game. And I liked the first game's setting so it's nice to play more of it without that godawful boring gameplay lmao, this one is more similar to the second game but of course more simple. You still have your secondary missions like delivering a letter or assassinating someone, and the main missions of course but there isn't much else to do other than collecting these Templar coins. There are Bronze, Silver and a Gold one in every district and they give you points which you can use to upgrade your abilities, like more health, more damage, more knives, stuff like that. And it's cool it has built in achievement too like Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron lol. I couldn't quite figure out the combat in these games but here I just threw knives first then used block and counterattack all the time lol, I will try that in the next game too, even though it makes the combat last longer. But man the controls, good lord... Yeah camera controls were expected to be bad but it has the same problems as the second game but much worse, like when I wanted to sprint and he just jumped on the wall instead, or I got stuck in everything, or falling down constantly and jumping on the wrong roof and shit. And the story kinda falls apart by the end when you just assassinate a bunch of targets in a row without any cutscenes, and the ending was disappointing too like the story went nowhere. And it's pretty buggy too, so I guess it's nothing special but still it was interesting to play a game like this on a handheld console. But I just realized it's been almost 2 years since I played Assassin's Creed II and I can't believe I still haven't played Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood yet, so once the usual insane summer heat is over I'm gonna finally start playing it.
2022/05/28
TimeSplitters (PlayStation 2)

Developer: Free Radical Design

Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Released: 2000

Genre: First-person shooter
TimeSplitters
I didn't know which PlayStation 2 game to play next and as I was going through a list of games in release order I noticed this game which was a launch title. Now I played TimeSplitters 2 years ago after I softmodded my Xbox but I didn't like it, it was frustrating to play especially that fucking spy level, the aiming was so weird and I couldn't get used to it and there was no story basically just random levels as you travel through time. Apparently there are more to these games besides the campaign (especially a multiplayer with bots) but I didn't know about it at that time. Still though I want to play TimeSplitters: Future Perfect because that one has a proper campaign, so I said eh might as well just play the first game too. I knew that this one had even less story so at least I can finish it quickly but I wasn't prepared for this Story mode lol. Basically you get random levels, you need to get through them fighting enemies, grab some item which spawns the TimeSplitters, then get back to the starting point, that's it. And you know how long this takes? Less than 5 minutes. Every level. And there is only a few of them. I knew the PlayStation 2 launch titles were garbage but fucking hell this is like a joke lol. Anyway completing missions unlocks new stuff for the Arcade mode which is the multiplayer with bots, and that was really the focus of this game. And yeah it's fun I guess, but why would I play it when I can play the sequel too? Completing all missions unlocks the Challenge mode where you need to complete certain goals with a time limit. I did one challenge then failed the rest lmao, the game has brutal auto aim but here you need to use your aiming too which is the worst fucking shit ever. There is also a level editor for multiplayer which is cool I guess, but why would I care about it you know? Presentation wise, I didn't like the artstyle and you can really tell it has no anti-aliasing with all those fucking jaggies, and yet for some reason the loading times were so long. The only positive thing about this game is it made me interested in going back to TimeSplitters 2 to see what else it has to offer besides the campaign.
2022/05/22
Spyro the Dragon (PlayStation)

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Released: 1998

Genre: Platform
Spyro the Dragon
After trying out some PlayStation 2 platformers I thought maybe I should check out what the PlayStation has to offer, and this one seemed like the best choice as I remember it being the best and most famous one and it looked easy enough. I didn't want to waste a CD though so I used that shitty emulator, apparently it works fine but the music sometimes skipped. In the dragon world this orc-gnome hybrid guy called Gnasty Gnorc turns every dragon into crystals, but this young dragon called Spyro manages to avoid that fate so it's up to him and his dragonfly buddy (who is there to show with his colors how much health you have left) to save them. Basically you are collecting crystals (which sometimes are in chests), killing enemies (the normal ones with flame, the metal ones with charge) and rescue crystallized dragons (who will give you some tips or just say thanks lol). Sometimes there are these fairies who help you by flying you to somehwere else (because normally you can only use your wings to glide) or giving you a kiss to make your flame more powerful lol. You travel to different dragon worlds with balloons and each has portals to its levels (one of them being a bonus level where you can fly around with time limit and gotta do everything for bonus crystals) with the last portal usually leading to the boss level. And man the levels look incredible, the game has such a gorgeous artstyle and colors, and those skyboxes oh my god (especially on Doctor Shemp it's so beautiful). It's seriously one of the best looking games I've seen, it's just such a warm and soulful experience. The music is cool too but that's not a suprise because it was made by a real musician lmao. The controls aren't the best, they feel kinda clunky but that was expected from a PlayStation game. Spyro can sprint by holding down the charge button and you can use that for those supercharge ramps but good lord that was the most frustrating part of this game (fuck that fucking Tree Tops level). And the last boss was a nightmare too because you have to chase him and it's so fucking hard to control Spyro when you are sprinting, I don't even know how many times I had to restart that level. Because the only difficulty is the controls I collected everything, and that unlocked the final bonus level called Gnasty's Loot, where you can fly around collecting the last remaining treasures, then you get a bonus cutscene setting up the sequel lol. So I really liked the game, I appreciate it as much as I would have as a kid back in those days. I'm definitely gonna play the rest of the PlayStation series, but only those because the later ones weren't made by the original developers (who also made Ratchet & Clank btw, and honestly I could tell that from the game). But I can't play them on the console because they don't work on that shitty emulator and I can't burn them on CD because they have that retarded copyprotection. That's where my new PlayStation Portable comes in handy, they were officially released there. I just hope they will be just as enjoyable on it as this one was on the TV.
2022/05/17
BioShock 2 (Xbox 360)

Developer: 2K Marin

Publisher: 2K Games

Released: 2010

Genre: First-person shooter
BioShock 2
So I didn't know which Xbox 360 game to play next but I would like to play through most of the 2010 and earlier games first, and one of them was BioShock 2. The first game was such a big disappointment that I pretty much had to force myself to start playing it. One thing that helped me start it is the official strategy guide I found, it helped a lot to make it less frustrating and to experience most of what the game has to offer. So this time you play as a Big Daddy lol, I liked that part at the end of the first game so I was hoping this will be more fun to play. The intro video was what I really wanted from this series, when Rapture was a living city full of people where you can investigate or some shit but nope, you are an early Big Daddy and your Little Sister's mother shots you to get her daugher back. Like a decade later you wake up in one of those tubes and now that woman called Sofia Lamb runs the city, but unlike Ryan who was a libertarian she is more like a commie lol. So you journey through the city with the help of Sinclair from the first game to get your Little Sister Eleanor (who is all grown up now) back from her evil mother. Unfortunately it's the same shitty city without people you can interact with (you still can only hear them on the radio or see them behind windows eh) but it's more linear this time and I think that helps this kind of game a lot, but it still takes a long time to get through a level because there is so much you can explore. The best change is how you can use your weapons and the plasmids at the same time now, it was so shit how I had to switch between them in the first game, I barely ever used the plasmids because of that. But this makes the gameplay so much fucking fun seriously, both the weapons and plasmids are more fun to use, I loved summoning turrets and shit, hypnotizing big enemies or near the end summoning Eleanor too who just fucks everyone up lmao. And there are more enemies too not just the same annoying shit in the first game, big mutant guys or different types of Big Daddies, and also these Big Sisters who are grown up Little Sisters who are really fast and powerful and will appear after you save Little Sisters. It's the same here as you can save or sacrifice them (I saved all of them just to make sure I won't get any fucking bullshit ending like in the first game), but to get Adam you need to take them to bodies where they harvest it while you are protecting them. This was actually fun to do as well, you can set up traps and shit and wait for the enemies to come. Hacking is so much better too, you just need to press a button at the right time instead of that terrible minigame, and you can use hacking darts to hack turrets and cameras that are far away from you. They improved the way researching works too, instead of taking pictures (which i mostly forgot to to do in the first game) you take short videos now, and the crazier your attacks the more points you get. So gameplay wise everything is just better, but I honestly think the story is better too. I don't get why everyone loves the first game's story so much, the only interesting thing was the twist but besides that it really isn't anything great. Not only this story is more emotional (basically a father's journey to save his daughter), but your choices actually matter: there are a few characters you will meet and learn more about how they contributed to what happened to you and Eleanor and you can decide to kill them or let them live, and your action influences how Eleanor behaves and how the story ends, so no more of that ass pull ending. And there are some really cool moments too like when you are controlling a Little Sister and see the world through her eyes where everything looks beautiful, or learning about the story of that father through audio tapes who travelled to Rapture to find his daughter and what happens to him. It really is a great fucking game, and it feels exactly like Assassin’s Creed II as it's just so much better than the first game and a lot of fun, I seriously don't understand people who say shit like it's just a cheap rehash. So I went from thinking it's gonna be just like the first game but I will have to suffer through it to experience BioShock Infinite to thinking it's one of the best games I've played in the last couple years. And actually it has DRM free DLCs too so I played the single player ones (I don't know how the multiplayer is but apparently it's fun too). The Protector Trials is basically a set of challenges where you gotta protect a Little Sister with a specific set of weapons, plasmids and gene tonics (sometimes you don't get weapons at all or just traps) while she is harvesting Adam. I died on my first try so I was like eh fuck this it's the same shit like all of them but for some reason I tried it again and I realized that it's so much fun figuring out how to kill enemies with your limited equipment. You earn stars by completing them and unlock concept arts or videos, and when you complete them all you get these bonus rounds when you have every weapon, plasmid and gene tonic and can fuck everyone up easily just for fun lmao. It says a lot about this game that these are the only challenges I ever enjoyed and wanted to complete them all, which I did with an A rank and unlocked the special tonic for the next DLC, Minerva's Den. This is a new story of the supercomputer of Rapture, you are playing as another Big Daddy who is guided by the computer's creator Charles Milton Porter to retrieve its schematics so he can recreate it in the surface. You learn about him and how his wife died, it's also a really emotional story. This one has a new laser weapon, some black hole type plasmid, new enemies and turrets too. I didn't really understand why people say this DLC is the best BioShock related thing until that ending that hits you hard with that twist. I don't necessarily think it's better than the main game but it does hit you hard emotionally. So what can I say, this game is incredible, I just hope BioShock Infinite won't be a disappointment cause it will be very hard to surpass this game.
2022/05/13
Armed and Dangerous (Xbox)

Developer: Planet Moon Studios

Publisher: LucasArts

Released: 2003

Genre: First-person shooter, third-person shooter
Armed and Dangerous
I remember reading a lot about this one in magazines, it's a really funny game with Monty Python style humor that I always wanted to play. I loved how the characters looked and the absolutely insane weapons like the land shark gun lmao or the one that changes gravity, or the small black hole. You are playing as Roman, the leader of the bandits called Lionhearts and with your friends Jonesy the demolition expert mole and Q the tea addicted robot lmao you are visiting your blind "father" Rexus who was a wizard until he lost his memories. The manual has a pretty detailed backstory but basically you are trying to steal the Book of Rule back from the evil king. The first thing you will notice is the cutscenes look so fucking weird, like some very early 90s 3D animation. At first I thought they did it on purpose but the more I played I realized nope these developers just suck fucking ass. Then when I started playing I couldn't believe how ridiculously hard this game is, I couldn't even progress after the first two missions and had to restart the game on easy, but then it was was too fucking easy to play. Basically there are shitton of enemies who just come at you from everywhere and destroy you in seconds, but the gameplay is god fucking awful anyway, you are either destroying buildings or blowing up shit, saving villagers or doing turret missions. When you save villagers you drag their bodies and they are flying behind you lmao, seriously it was baffling how bad the game was, for a while I just thought they did these shit on purpose because I couldn't believe someone would release a game like this in 2003 but nope, the developers were just talentless hacks. The maps actually looked really nice but everything else was god fucking awful, I just don't understand this. Maybe they wanted to work with their friends but most of them had no idea how to make a fucking game? There are tokens you can find on every level and they unlock stuff like cheats, difficulties or extra missions after the story ends but they are fucking terrible too, like stay alive for 5 minutes when there is insane amount of fire coming from everywhere. So this game is a huge disappointment, the only thing that saves it is the humor. I loved how stupid it was, my favorite things were the reprogrammed gardening robots lmao and the Lady of the Pond got hit with a rock and doesn't remember who she was and all the Star Wars references. Just watch the cutscenes on YouTube because nothing happens during missions that adds anything to the story.
2022/05/03
Headhunter (PlayStation 2)

Developer: Amuze

Publisher: SCEE

Released: 2002

Genre: Action-adventure
Headhunter
I'm not sure how I knew about this game but I remember the cover with the guy in the sunglasses, in fact for some reason I thought it's some iconic game (spoiler: it really isn't lol). It looked kinda interesting though, especially how you can travel through the city on a motorbike so I decided to try it (and I want to go through some of the early PlayStation 2 games that I find interesting before I get to the more famous ones). I loved how the game is like those 90s dystopian B movies, and we can learn about this crazy world with TV news segments that have real actors lol, it was pretty cool. In this world they have a new type of gun that doesn't really cause any damage just makes the victim braindead because they remove the organs of criminals lmao. And instead of cops there is a bounty hunter like organization, which the guy we control named Jack Wade is part of. But he has amnesia and doesn't remember his past, only escaping from a laboratory. So he gotta start again as a rookie and climb the ranks to access more information and weapons to solve the murder case of his former boss by the request of his daughter Angela (at some point you will play as her too). To climb the ranks you have to do these VR missions to obtain new licenses, which are either passing through checkpoints with your motorbike and killing or avoiding enemies. Besides higher license ranks sometimes missions have a driving skill requirement too (don't ask me why). Basically you gotta drive fast to get more skill points and if you hit something you lose points. But the bike controls like absolute dogshit, it either turns like crazy from the slightest movement or barely fucking turns at all, so I just drove in the sewers back and forth to get the skill points. The third person controls are fucking terrible too, originally this was a Dreamcast game so it doesn't use the second analog stick and I can't move the fucking camera, I had to turn and roll to get lucky and stand in front of the enemy to aim at him (at least there is auto aim). Because of this you are gonna die a lot, but thank god it's broken up to small segments so when you enter a floor or room there is a loading screen and if you die you can just restart there. And the enemies are so fucking dumb, after a few second they forget you shot at them and just start doing their normal shit again, not to mention they can't hear shit so you can run and shoot behind them and they won't notice lmao. There are some minigames like defusing a bomb and puzzles too, but fucking hell I have no idea how people could solve that camera puzzle with those retarded fucking symbols without taking a photo of their TV. Basically the only thing that saves this game is the story and the world. It had an interesting twist at the end so I'm curious about the sequel, I just hope it has better fucking gameplay.
2022/04/24
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (Xbox)

Developer: Remedy Entertainment

Publisher: Rockstar Games

Released: 2003

Genre: Third-person shooter
Max
Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Finally I got to this game, I had no idea I would enjoy Max Payne so much. This port isn't as good as the first one, like there are no mirror reflections and on one level there was an insane slowdown when I was outside in the rain but otherwise it's fine. This game is more darker and serious, but I kinda miss the gofiness of the first game (and Sam Lake's stupid face). It's always raining outside, and with the incredible music (especially the theme with the violin) it creates such an awesome atmosphere. Max is back being a detective when he runs into Mona Sax, the hitwoman (is that a word?) from the first game. Max is still dealing with his demons but they fall in love while investigating another conspiracy. Some other characters are back too like Vlad and TV shows too which I loved in the first game, there are more of them here and TV commercials too lol, and they are in pretty much every mission which is cool. The best one is Address Unknown which is another Twin Peaks inspired one, and my favorite level is basically a closed theme park based on that show, it's seriously one of the coolest levels I've ever seen in a game (and there is a Dick Justice cop show lol and that Captain Baseball Bat cartoon is back, and one of the characters is forced to wear that suit lol so there is some goofiness in this game too). Gameplay wise it's pretty much the same, there is barely anything new here. The notable thing is you can interact with NPCs, you can get some cool conversations and if you did something like fuck up the AC they will mention it later lol, and sometimes they give you weapons or pills, or join you to shoot the bad guys. There are some missions where you play as Mona, but she plays pretty much the same. So yeah it really isn't any different from the first game, the main focus is on the story which was really emotional (Sam Lake is a good writer for sure). However I still can't decide which game I like more, I think I love both of them the same but for different reasons. There are two extra game modes in this one, New York Minute (I think this was in the first game too?) is basically doing missions with a timer for the best time (eh who gives a shit, also fuck speedrunners, how can you enjoy a game when your goal is to blast through it as fast as possible) and Dead Man Walking which is challenge missions with endlessly spawning enemies (I played every map once, I guess this can be fun? I don't really care for challenge stages). One thing for sure I ain't gonna play the third game for a very good reason: no Remedy no Payne.
2022/04/13
Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron (PlayStation Portable)

Developer: Rebellion Developments

Publisher: LucasArts

Released: 2007

Genre: Third-person shooter
Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
So why is this my first PlayStation Portable game? Well Star Wars: Battlefront is my favorite game of all time, I played it so much since it came out that I could probably beat everyone in the planet lmao. Star Wars: Battlefront II was alright too, but the gameplay felt worse in my opinion and those buffs you unlock just made it so easy, the maps weren't that memorable and honestly I prefer the flying on the Bespin Platforms map over the space battles, I expected some control over the battleships too so it was really disappointing. What I loved is the heroes vs. villains mode, that's what I played so much. And when I softmodded my Xbox I could finally install the DLC I always wanted with the old maps and Kit Fisto lol. Obviously I was excited for a third game, but when I found out it's for the PlayStation Portable only I got so fucking pissed that I couldn't play the next game of my favorite series lmao, it was so painful to see it in stores (and nope, I'm not gonna play those shitty EA games ever). But finally it's here and I can play it after all those years, hurray! So yeah this was the obvious choice for my first PlayStation Portable game (I'm sorry MediEvil: Resurrection lol). I was a bit worried about the controls but it's an interesting system, instead of aiming you hold a button to lock onto the target which works really well but it also makes the game very easy. It works the same way in space battles too but it's even easier there, you can even turn towards the target anytime with a press of a button. They also have heroes too finally, it was cool to fly with the Millenium Falcon. Some of the space maps have a command post now on a space station you can capture and then fly out of there or have firefights with the enemy if they land there. So these all feel like the natural evolution of the series, but the biggest change is the character customization. Instead of having classes like in the previous games you have a 100 credits limit you can use to customize your character loadout and pick bonuses like capturing command posts faster. And you can customize your appearance too, from armor types to alien species, so fucking cool. I mean I loved having different classes but this really was the next logical step to take. Some old maps return from the previous games like Hoth and Mustafar, but they are a bit scaled down for handhelds lol. The campaign itself is very short and feels more like a tutorial on how to play the game, it's about a ragtag group of rebels called the Renegade Squadron and you follow their adventures throughout the original trilogy. Galactic Conquest has changed too, with the credits you earn you can unlock upgrade and bonus tiers like allowing heroes or more soldiers. Interestingly it seems like the PlayStation Portable has achievements too, well at least some games have them built in, because you can earn medals here for like killed X number of enemies or completed the campaign lol. Anyway I liked the game except for two things: as I said it's really easy and the Jedi and Sith heroes suck, lightsaber combat is slow as fuck and you are better off just throwing it all the time. There is one last Star Wars: Battlefront game to play which is also on the PlayStation Portable, I'm looking forward to experience it at some point.
2022/04/10
Borderlands (Xbox 360)

Developer: Gearbox Software

Publisher: 2K Games

Released: 2009

Genre: Action role-playing, first-person shooter
Borderlands
I got this game with my Xbox 360 when I bought it, I was aware of it but I wasn't sure what to expect. I played it at that time but it was too open world for me and I didn't know what to do or where to go, plus I picked the sniper because it has a pet that can attack too but I didn't like it, I just made it to level 4 before I lost interest in it. I used one of those official strategy guides this time and honestly it helped a lot and made the game more enjoyable (I used them for Infinite Undiscovery and Ninety-Nine Nights before), and I think I'm gonna start using them regularly if I can find a PDF. I think the most interesting thing most people noticed about this game is the graphical style, it reminds me Robotech: Battlecry but I wouldn't call it cel-shaded. It's not something that I loved about it like in XIII, actually I would have enjoyed it the same without it. The game is about four vault hunters who travel to a shitty planet called Pandora to search for the mysterious Vault that's supposed to contain alien technology and treasure but no one really knows if it's real or not. The 4 characters have different classes, I already talked about the sniper but this time I picked the soldier who can drop a turret (seemed like the easiest and most fun to play), a girl with some kind of magic powers and some giant muscular guy. It's pretty obvious the game was designed with co-op in mind but I had a lot of fun with it alone too. There isn't that much focus on the story, you get quests from NPCs or from bounty boards (or from those little dumb robots lol), mostly just fighting bandits or animals or collecting shit, the usual stuff. Actually the game felt like a single player FPS World of Warcraft to me lol, you have vendors to buy stuff, a skill tree to specialize, an open world with character and enemy levels, bosses who drop special loot. And this game is all about the loot, finding chests that contain random weapons and ammo, basically the appeal of this game is grinding for better weapons - not for me though, I just liked doing the quests and shooting at enemies lmao. But of course it was nice when I found powerful rifles and shit, the interesting thing about weapons is that they have randomly generated parts with very different stats and some of them have elemental effects too like fire or acid. As I said it's a huge open world (and even though it's a boring desert planet I didn't feel bored of the game) and you can summon a car with turrets or rocket launchers from vehicle stations to travel through it faster (but the driving fucking sucked, I got stuck on everything). There are also these fast travel stations you can use but you need to discover them first. The ending was a huge disappointment though, you finally get to the vault by fighting your way through mercenaries and aliens and it contains some giant fucking interdimensional being or something like that and no loot whatsoever, it's biggest fucking cockblock I've seen in a game lmao. This game has DRM free DLCs so I played those too: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned has hordes of fucking zombies you will fight in some kind of dark horror island lol, it was funny (even though it had a bit too much pop culture references and from what I've heard Borderlands 2 is full off those) but the problem is none of the DLCs have fast travel stations and you need to go through the zombie hordes every fucking time after you load your save (but to be fair that helps you finish the quests that require hundreds of brains lol). Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot is basically just a bunch of challenges that take forever to complete, I couldn't even beat the first one and it wasn't fun anyway so yeah I didn't bother with it, however it introduces a bank where you can store your stuff which was really useful because I had so many cool weapons I barely had any inventory space left (even though I did all the extra inventory space quests). The Secret Armory of General Knoxx feels more like the continuation of the story with the mercenaries, and it adds new enemies, lootboxes and vehicles which was really needed imo because there isn't much variety in the base game, but the story part is really short and there are insane amount of traveling and repetitions doing the same long and difficult quests over again and it's more focused on the looting espect which I didn't really care about. There is a giant fucking armory filled with lootboxes and you will have a time limit while you can open as many as want to find better weapons, but you can go back there like 3 times even though you need to kill the boss and blow it up every time lol (I guess it's the World of Warcraft dungeon in this game lol). And finally in Claptrap's New Robot Revolution these robots have a commie revolt lmao and you need to kill their leader lol. This is the other one I liked, it has smaller maps instead of the giant empty shit like in the previous DLC, and it was obvious what to do without any repetition (well except killing the same bosses twice, who are the resurrected ones from the base game and DLCs controlled by robot chips lol) and this one was really funny too. Well that's about it, it's a long ass fucking game I played for months but it was a fun experience, I enjoyed it a lot. I don't think I'm gonna play the sequel though, it just looks way too fucking much for me and I think I like this bleak post-apocalyptic world more than a colorful one filled with pop culture humor.
2022/04/03
XIII (Xbox)

Developer: Ubisoft Paris

Publisher: Ubisoft

Released : 2003

Genre: First-person shooter, stealth

XIII
Okay so this one I remember well because I was so excited for it and I thought it's the coolest fucking shit ever with the comic book style graphics and how those panels pop up when you kill a soldier and you see the Arrr text next to their face or Tap Tap when they walk or the fucking BOOM when something explodes, so fucking cool - but of course I've never played it until now. The game is based on a Belgian comic (and apparently it inspired the first Bourne film? I need to watch that some day), you are some amnesic dude who wakes up on a beach and only remembers being shot on a boat, then you find out you are accused of assassinating the President and that "you" are involved in conspiracy with a secret group (where everyone is identified by Roman numerals, hence the XIII) to take over the US government. Of course as in every good conspiracy story there are a lot of twists and turns, but basically you are slowly killing the members involved in it as you are trying to find answers to who you are and what the fuck is going on. So yeah the style is fucking awesome and it also takes place in the 70s I think based on some of the decorations (I loved that fucking bank mission). You can use gadgets like lockpick or a grapnel and there are some stealth levels where you gotta use silent weapons like throwing knives and crossbows and hide bodies (I don't think these levels worked that well and they were kinda hard) but most of the time it's straight up action. You can pick up armor and helmet and take hostages too which was pretty cool. There are also these hidden documents you can find which give you new skills like more health from medkits or you can stay underwater longer, and some of them contain more information about the conspiracy you can check in the menu (and also you can read what happened so far in comic book style, pretty cool). The ending was like wow holy shit but it was a giant cliffhanger and the sequel never happened... Too bad because it's a cool game even though it does nothing new other than the artstyle. It's also worth noting that every version have different extra multiplayer modes (and it has bots fuck yeah). On Xbox it's Sabotage but even though I played it I have absolutely no idea what the fuck is it about lmao. PlayStation 2 has two of them, The Hunt and Power-Up but I haven't tried those even though it's the only PlayStation 2 disc I have lol.
2022/03/20
Medal of Honor (PlayStation)

Developer: DreamWorks Interactive

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Released: 1999

Genre: First-person shooter
Medal of Honor
So here is a PlayStation FPS. I wasn't so keen on playing it, I couldn't even imagine what kind of horrors would be waiting for me in the pre two analog sticks world of controls lmao. But I was shocked to find out that one of the many control types is the modern FPS controls! So yeah might as well just play through the console series now (it started on consoles so it's a console series to me, the PC games don't count and I'm not gonna play them). You are playing as Jimmy Patterson, who joins the OSS to work behind the enemy lines in France and Germany after D-Day. I'm pretty sure every single mission takes place at night, which is understandable considering the PlayStation's limitations, but I think the graphics looked nice. Missions are similar to Medal of Honor: Frontline (it has a submarine mission too fuck yeah), but I really liked how it isn't some scripted shit and the disguise actually works, you can pass through soldiers with the right paper and properly sabotage stuff, it was so cool especially in an older game like this. One thing you will immediately notice is that you can't move while you are in aiming mode (you can shoot while moving but there is no crosshair so it's only a good idea when the enemy is right in front of you), but it isn't a big deal because enemies don't really have fast reaction times, in fact it wasn't a difficult game at all until the end where they start shooting at you with bazookas lol. And you know what's great? BAR is a fucking great weapon here and isn't a useless piece of shit like in Medal of Honor: Frontline lmao. And I liked the cute hidden easter eggs like German soldiers building a snowman or that video during the credits where you see the devs going through a bootcamp with the military adviser lol (but I didn't like when I had to kill dogs too). You can unlock a code or get medals when you complete a chapter with the best rating, they are cheats or for multiplayer I think, I didn't really care. I had no idea that a PlayStation FPS could be this fun to play, I'm looking forward to play the other one then the rest of the series up to Medal of Honor: Airborne (the modern ones can go fuck themselves).
2022/03/14

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