Monday, September 21, 2009

Service "Interruption"

This is my final post until I am all moved in to my new home. Hopefully, I will be able to get myself set up in the new house as quickly as possible. The process of actually moving has started today! As crazy as it sounds, I am trying to keep my video games connected to both an outlet and the Internet as long as I can so those who know me on X-Box Live and the PlayStation Network may still be able to see me taking a quick play every so often: It's a good stress reliever! Until next time, stay safe and happy gaming!

So many things to pack. Aaaaargh!

Daily Game Log: 09/14/2009 - 09/20/2009

- 09/14/2009 -
Batman: Arkham Asylum - PlayStation 3
Dog's Life - PlayStation 2
Last Blade: Final Edition - SegaSaturn
Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter - SegaSaturn
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/15/2009 -
Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2 - Dreamcast
Layer Section - SegaSaturn
Marvel Super Heroes - SegaSaturn
Shienryu - SegaSaturn
Under Defeat - Dreamcast
Zero Gunner 2 - Dreamcast

- 09/16/2009 -
Batman: Arkham Asylum - PlayStation 3
Blast Wind - SegaSaturn
Guardian Force - SegaSaturn
Muramasa: The Demon Blade - Wii
Napple Tale - Dreamcast
Thunder Force V - SegaSaturn
Truxton - Genesis
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/17/2009 -
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/18/2009 -
Batman: Arkham Asylum - PlayStation 3
Katamari Forever Demo - PlayStation 3*
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 - PlayStation 3

*It's getting old...

- 09/19/2009 -
Batman: Arkham Asylum - PlayStation 3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 - PlayStation 3
World of Warcraft - PC
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - X-Box 360

- 09/20/2009 -
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 - PlayStation 3
World of Warcraft - PC
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - X-Box 360

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Review: Batman - Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Platform: PlayStation 3
Purchase Date: GameFly Rental

If there was one game that garnered so much media attention and admiration this year, it would be Batman: Arkham Asylum. With the kind of hype this game was able to accumulate, there was no way the game would flop commercially even if the game ended up being bad, especially with the release of its ridiculously priced (and packaged) collector's edition. My experience with the game's demo across all platforms was great but how does the final product fare in the end?

Howling at the moon. Wait, that's not something that a bat would do.

In case you haven't heard, BAA pits Batman against (hardly) the entire denizens of Arkham Asylum. This occured when the Joker manages to take over the whole facility with the help of his personal lady in waiting, Harley Quinn, trapping Batman and even Inspector Gordon within the asylum grounds. It is up to Batman to regain control of the asylum while defeating the Joker as well as a number of other super villains who are either intentionally or accidentally released from their holding cells. The storyline is definitely one of the game's strongest assets because it manages to maintain a high level of interest throughout the adventure. It will surely keep you on your toes with its clever surprises and serious tone. Another successful element in this game is the brooding atmosphere. Just like the rest of Gotham, Arkham Asylum is Gothic in its architectures with striking stone sculptures both inside its dilapidated buildings and its forgotten outdoor gardens. Batman is able to use hidden vents and tunnels to navigate between rooms and buildings - this provides a sort of a secret world that only Batman is privy of, adding to the already thick atmosphere of mystery and allure that envelope the game. Graphically, the game looks very attractive even though some of the redesigns of the villains are a little bit disappointing. There visuals are polished with a game camera that is smart enough to zoom in and out depending on your current situation. As good looking as this version is, it is still a step below the Personal Computer version that offers both larger textures and higher resolutions.

Now you know what it means to be one of those creatures in Dead Space.

The gameplay here consists of 3 major components: action, stealth, and detective sleuth-work. The game has one of the best brawler mechanics ever devised even though it mostly comprised of attack and counter-attack button entries. It's certainly more fun than the stealth sections that will have you picking off the Joker's goons one by one using the surrounding environment to hide you from them. These sections are less successful because the A.I. of your enemies are quite dumb. The detective part of the gameplay involves using a "detective mode" vision to enable Batman to see through walls as well as analyze a variety of different clues to locate different individuals of importance. Batman is also being encouraged by the Riddler to solve an overwhelming number of riddles, hidden trophies, and interview tapes while taking care of his main concern - as if he really has time for petite puzzle solving. For the most part, this hodge-podge of gameplay variation works since you will never run out of things to do until you get to the end of the game. The only problem with BAA is its longevity. Unless you like your achievements or trophies, there is very little reason to play it game again but it would be great to revisit it perhaps in the future after you have forgotten about the game. Besides the story mode which I will again reiterate is very fun to play through - at least until you reach the lazy, unfathomable climax - there is also a mission mode that you can tackle and this is pretty much just a variation of scored action and stealth gameplay divided into different stages, each with its own online leaderboard. There are character trophies to unlock too but just like those in Resident Evil 5, you will get bored staring at them after your first viewing. What game developers really need to do with these 3D trophies is to allow us to have a virtual room where we can re-arrange them or change their poses - something more interactive than just merely gawking at them.

Successful eaves dropping sessions reveal that even dirty thugs live regular lives.

Is this the best Batman game ever made? No. I still like Sunsoft's Batman on the Nintendo Entertainment System better but it does set the definitive standard for future superhero games. This game is just like Christopher Nolan's first foray into his Batman film-making. Just like Batman Begins, BAA shows incredible maturity and potential in its many shining moments of brilliance but just like that movie, the ending simply doesn't work thus ruining what could have been utter perfection. With a little bit of work, I can see a sequel far greater than what this game could possibly offer us in its current form. I have no doubt that Rocksteady Studios will deliver on its promise the next time around.

RATING: 4 out of 5

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free Theme Gone Crazy

The recently released Katamari and Noby Noby Boy Theme (Final) on the PlayStation Network Store is the best free PlayStation 3 theme I have seen so far. It's so good that I have decided to have it replace the LocoRoco 2 Muimui House theme that I have been using for a long time now. This latest theme offering from developer Namco Bandai Games is just so plain brilliant and it is also mind-numbingly ridiculous at the same time. The wallpapers included have blinding colors and confusing compositions that are intentionally made to offend the eyes. Just like their LocoRoco theme, you get very unique sound effects that accompany each press of the button while you are navigating the Xross Media Bar. Though this theme may seem unusable on the first look, reducing the wallpaper's brightness makes it much more functional. I like the original background with the swilling smoke and the sparkling glitters so I am using that with this theme.

Mui mui mui mui... Mui mui! got replaced!

Uhm yes. If you stare at that for too long, you may lose your eyesight.
The theme comes with a variety of different fruit motifs too. I'm not kidding.

Packed full of only the weirdest cast members from Namco Bandai!

Visual sensory overload.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Objects Encountered While Packing II

Yesterday, I started working on boxing up my video games slowly and surely in anticipation for my upcoming move. So far, I have taken care of all of my SegaSaturn, PlayStation, and Sega Dreamcast games. Getting my PlayStation 2 and X-Box games are going to be the real challenge. Here are some more interesting things I found while I was packing up.

Dreamcast demo discs.

Demo discs from the Official X-Box Magazine.
Yes, that is a pondering Carl Sagan in the background.

PlayStation demo discs.
I never throw away any of my demo discs.

Misplaced soundtrack CDs that were included with their respective games.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Game Alert!

I was originally going to wait for this game to arrive from GameFly but I am just such an impatient guy. So, I went ahead and picked up Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 for the PlayStation 3. This is starting to become a bit of a pattern. First Murasama and now this? Maybe I need to reduce my GameFly subscription to one at a time? I will have to play this game tomorrow because I was out all evening and I only have enough energy to publish this alert entry.

My favorite character in the first MUA is Ms. Marvel.

Random Game of the Day

Dog's Life (2004)
Developer: Frontier Developments Ltd.
Platform: PlayStation 2
Purchase Date: 2004

Just taking the chicken out on a romantic morning walk.

Budget games - sometimes they serve as a sign of shoddy game developments and cheaply made products while other times they are just an indication that the developers know there is hardly a market for their creations and they have no choice but to price the games appropriately. These facts are easy enough to figure out. Determining which one applies to a particular budget game before purchase is an entirely different story. Fortunately, Dog's Life is a remarkable find for those who dared picking it up despite the horrible looking cover art and the cheesy tag-line of "It's Great Being a Dog!". The game even looks beautiful and is presented in widescreen format! You play as Jake, who must travel a great distance through the U.S. landscape in search for Daisy who has been dog-napped right in front of his eyes. The adventure is quite huge and satisfactory for a game about being a dog. Jake cannot converse directly with humans but you can hear his thoughts via a rich voice-over narrative. Speaking of the voice-overs, there is a reason why this game is rated "T". The game sports a lot of interesting double-entendre jokes that mostly revolve around body odor. Most of these will fly right by younger players undetected because the nonchalant delivery. The funny thing about this is that the game is rated 3+ in Europe. While you mostly control Jake, you are also given the ability to play as other dogs to assist you in getting to areas that Jake cannot access and they can help you solve the puzzles found in the game. Jake can also use "Smellovision" - yes, this was ahead of that one new game that just recently came out - where you can collect different kind of smells (hmmm... appetizing) and track down moving creatures. The idea is interesting but this is where the game fails for me: The "Smellovision" can only be used in first person. Because of the way Jake moves, I got really dizzy after a prolonged use of the "Smellovision" and that happened a lot because you have to use this mode to progress in the game. For those who are familiar with Frontier's previous works, you will notice that the game's relaxed soundtrack sounds very, very familiar with other games they have released before.

LIBRARY STATUS: 3 out of 5

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random Game of the Day

Marvel Super Heroes (1997)
Developer: Capcom Co., Ltd.
Platform: SegaSaturn
Purchase Date: 09/29/1997

I love unleashing the power of the Infinity Gem close to an unsuspecting opponent.

After the huge success of X-Men: Children of the Atom, Capcom created Marvel Super Heroes and it is bigger and better than CotA. The cast of characters is small, just like in the previous game but the additions of off-the-wall villains like Shuma-Gorath and Blackheart are noteworthy. With Juggernaut and Magneto joining the cast of playable characters, Capcom up the ante by presenting Dr. Doom and Thanos as the two bosses you have to beat. The gameplay feels similar to CotA except for the addition of Infinity Gems that can be collected when fighting each of your opponents. You can then choose to use these gems while battling your opponents - or just hold on to them to gain bonus points. There are 6 different types of gem: Power, Time, Space, Reality, Soul, and Mind. Each character is specifically attuned to one type and using that gem will present greater ammunition to that character. Once again, Capcom provides us with beautiful backdrops to fight on and some of them changes dynamically from one moment to the next. Now for the sad news: The SegaSaturn port of this arcade masterpiece is sadly flawed. Even with the assistance of a 3MB RAM cartridge, it is plagued with both slowdown and long loading time that become even worse without the help of the said cartridge. Even the 2D attract sequence at the beginning of the game was butchered. Capcom should have released the 4MB RAM cartridge early with this game to ensure an arcade perfect conversion. It's a shame because the arcade version of this game is truly one of Capcom's best.

LIBRARY STATUS: 3 out of 5

Objects Encountered While Packing

Doing some more packing today. My video game room is in shambles at this very moment and looking at it gives me a headache. I can hardly move around the room because I have so many things on the floor. Here are some of the more interesting things that I stumbled upon as I was tearing the room apart.

Great with Phantasy Star Online and a must for The Typing of the Dead!

Can't have a keyboard without the mouse.

I bought two of these just for The House of the Dead III on the X-Box.
I got to hook up my X-Box to my old flat panel Toshiba and play that game again.

The best light gun ever made... Even though it is not the most accurate.

This third party one is not too bad either.

Want to go fishing?

The massive, bulky arcade stick I used to play Ikaruga on the Dreamcast.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Daily Game Log: 09/01/2009 - 09/13/2009

I'm finally up to date with my Daily Game Log and things will proceed as planned from this day forward. What a relief!

- 09/01/2009 -
Heroes of Newerth Closed Beta - PC

- 09/02/2009 -
The Legendary Starfy - NDS
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/03/2009 -
Aquatopa - PlayStation 3
Finny the Fish & the Seven Waters - PlayStation 2
My Aquarium - Wii
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - X-Box 360

- 09/04/2009 -
Batman: Arkham Asylum - PlayStation 3
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/05/2009 -
Batman: Arkham Asylum - PlayStation 3
World of Warcraft - PC
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - X-Box 360

- 09/06/2009 -
Alisia Dragoon - Genesis
Final Fight CD - Sega CD
Robo Aleste - Sega CD
Truxton - Genesis
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - X-Box 360

- 09/07/2009 -
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/08/2009 -
Layer Section - SegaSaturn
World of Warcraft - PC
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - X-Box 360

- 09/09/2009 -
Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel - PlayStation 2
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/10/2009 -
Metroid Prime Trilogy - Wii
Muramasa: The Demon Blade - Wii
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/11/2009 -
Rock Band 2 - X-Box 360
World of Warcraft - PC
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - X-Box 360

- 09/12/2009 -
Axelay - Wii
Batman: Arkham Asylum - PlayStation 3
Gate of Thunder - Wii
Muramasa: The Demon Blade - Wii
World of Warcraft - PC

- 09/13/2009 -
World of Warcraft - PC

The Art of Spamming II

More spamming action. Longer site name means more coordinated efforts. These guys don't play. They are working hard for your money. It's like grafitti... Is it art or vandalism? You decide.

They have to pay their employees too.
Just make sure they're not paying with your money.
This makes two corpse formations in one city. The competition is tough.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Art of Spamming

Not too long ago, I wrote about the significant decrease of spams in World of Warcraft. Today, I found out that there is a new trend of spamming in the game and boy, it's quite an artistic way to do it:

Why do people pay real money for in-game gold? Idiots.

Yes, using level 1 corpses, the spammers carefully form the name of their website on the grounds of populated cities. I'll give them credit for being very clever with this. At first I thought that perhaps this interesting formation was made by a terribly bored guild that was trying to submit a screenshot to the WoW community site. When I Googled the name, I found out that it was just a website for another gold-seller.

On other WoW-related news, I am now complete addicted to the game again. My main character has always been my Undead Priest but I find myself playing my Tauren Druid a lot more. At this rate, my Druid would probably hit level 80 before my Priest does. I have to say that I am happy to be back on WoW. I am raiding dungeons a lot more than doing solo quests and working together with a good group of people is always a lot of fun. Hope to find a cool guild to join very soon.

It's fun to play a Restoration Druid.
She heals so much better than my Priest when he was Holy.

The wait time for battlegrounds is long for anyone below level 80.
I want to get there fast so I can farm honor points like there is no tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2009

GameFly: Week 1 Retrospective

It has been a week since my first two GameFly games arrived, so it's time to do a little analysis on how renting games has affected my daily flow of gaming. The good news here is that there is no polar extreme in either the positives and the negatives.

I am actually enjoying the idea of playing the full game before I consider purchasing them. It is just, for a lack of a better word, smart. Case in point, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Yeah, it is a fun game and all but having ploughed through the first 3-4 hours of the game, I don't see myself playing this game ever again after I am done with it. I have even decided to not buy this game in the future. Without GameFly, I probably would have eventually picked this up. Of course, there is that question of ownership that is embedded into the mind of every collector out there no matter what it is that he or she collects. GameFly has slightly improved the way I look at my game library. It makes me think about the less abstract worthiness of a game before it becomes a part of my collection. I do a lot of research before I buy my games but we all know that no amount of research can match actually experiencing these games themselves.

Let us back up for a bit here before proceeding. It is necessary for me to explain myself a bit more before I explore this matter a little deeper. As I have stated in a previous article, renting video games used to be something that I do not accept for the simple reason that I want to "own" my games and I want to have easy access to them whenever I want to play them. It is this basic discipline that lead me to the 1,982 games that I currently have in my collection thus far. But not too long ago, I was put into a situation that forced me to delve into the very nature of "ownership" and permanency. For the most part, we feel in our daily lives that we have total control over the things we own when in actuality, there is a fine line that defines it and at a moment's notice, that line is crossed and you lose all of that control you thought you have. Coming to terms with losing something so important in my life was a difficult journey for me and it made me realize that "ownership" is not synonymous to control and control is just a coping mechanism that doesn't work on all occasions. Why do I buy so many games? Because I love them. But why so many? Because it's a hobby and I want to have a huge game library. Why not sell the games you ended up hating? Because it's a reminder to pick the right games next time. But why so many games? Because I can then have many options to choose from at any given time. But seriously, why so many games? Because it gives me a sense of control.

I am going to stop there because I don't want to get too personal. There are a lot of things that I wanted to say about the topic but I will have to revisit this venture into the Loner Gamer's psychology another day - I have to be in the right frame of mind to do just that. Basically, what I am trying to explain, perhaps quite poorly, is I realized that buying video games doesn't define the core experience of being a video gamer. Instead, it has always been about PLAYING the games. Buying video games satisfy a different need that is separate from the actual notion of video gaming in its simplest form. Do not mistake this as me saying that collecting video games is a bad thing. We all do what makes us happy. What I am saying is that having a large collection of video games may translate to a deeper need for something else. At least in my case. It doesn't take away how valuable my game library is to me. It just makes the whole thing a little more... substantial.

Back to GameFly. So, I enjoy being able to access full games to add to my decision making process. I m also enjoying the idea that I can now play games that I would never consider buying in the first place - thus further expanding my video gaming universe. Somewhere in my queue are curious games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Terminator: Salvation. The funny thing about this is that these games may end up being so entertaining, I may want to actually add them into my game library! Batman: Arkham Asylum that I recieved from GameFly last week is another good example of this. I would never play the console version of this game but thanks to GameFly, I was able to make that happen quite easily.

Now, for the bad. First and foremost, for the first time in my life, playing games actually stresses me out a bit. Right now, I feel like I am rushing to finish Wolverine because I really want to get it out of the way so that I can get the next game I have in my queue. I didn't feel that way about Arkham Asylum though so this is obviously related to the individual quality of these games. I know I can just return Wolverine back to GameFly but I know that if I do that, I would not have rented it again. In a normal situation of me buying my games, I would not have to deal with this because I could just stop playing the game to revisit at another time... But then again, I probably wouldn't even revisit the game. Well, at least not in a long while.

These rentals are surely giving me issues with time management. With my World of Warcraft addiction reaching a delirious new high, I find myself struggling with forcing myself to play the rental games. I play video games based on my mood and not let the games define what I play, so often times I feel myself enjoying these rental games less than they deserve. This issue is directly related to the problem pointed out in the previous paragraph so if I take things easy and play these games more casually, I might be able to deal with it successfully.

As I mentioned earlier, there are good things and bad things with renting video games. only been a week so things may get better as time goes on. I have to keep reminding myself that I can take all the time I want with playing the rentals. I know that in the back of my mind, I want to be able to get a lot of games rented in a month's time because I like to be "cost-efficient" since I am paying for the service. So far, I think that there is a potential to GameFly being a part of my overall video gaming experience because it really doesn't take away anything from me. It surely hasn't stop me from buying new games - Muramasa was in my rental queue - but it sure adds a new perspective of video gaming into my life.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Daily Game Log: Remainder of August 2009

- 08/21/2009 -
Culdcept Saga - X-Box 360
Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 - PlayStation 3
The Legendary Starfy - NDS
Lost Planet 2 Co-Op Demo - X-Box 360

- 08/22/2009 -
Culdcept Saga - X-Box 360

- 08/23/2009 -
Culdcept Saga - X-Box 360
Fallout 3 - PC
The Legendary Starfy - NDS
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix - X-Box 360
Shadowrun - X-Box 360

- 08/24/2009 -
Guild Wars - PC
The Legendary Starfy - NDS

- 08/25/2009 -
Guild Wars - PC
The Legendary Starfy - NDS
League of Legends Closed Beta - PC

- 08/26/2009 -
Heavy Metal Geomatrix - Dreamcast
Guild Wars - PC
The Legendary Starfy - NDS

- 08/27/2009 -
Champions Online Beta - PC
Heroes of Newerth Closed Beta - PC
Rock Band 2 - X-Box 360

- 08/28/2009 -
League of Legends Closed Beta - PC
Titan Quest - PC
Virtua Fighter 5 - X-Box 360

- 08/29/2009 -
Heroes of Newerth Closed Beta - PC

- 08/30/2009 -
Heroes of Newerth Closed Beta - PC
Ikaruga - X-Box 360
Virtua Fighter 5 - X-Box 360

- 08/31/2009 -
Heroes of Newerth Closed Beta - PC
League of Legends Closed Beta - PC

New Games Alert!

I purchased two new games today and they are both for the Nintendo Wii: Muramasa - The Demon Blade and Metroid Prime Trilogy. Muramasa was placed on the top of my GameFly rental queue but noticing how slow I am with playing the two games that I am currently renting, it may take a long while before I could get to it so I decided to just pick it up. I am a lover of 2D gameplay and graphical innovations so this game is a total must for those who have the same admiration for such things. The more sales this game gets, the more influential 2D design will become within the modern video gaming aesthetics. Heck, it may even make certain that the newly announced Sonic game slated for a 2010 release will become the definitive 2D Sonic experience - but why is it that I have this weird feeling that Sega will find a way to mess the game up? As far as Metroid Prime Trilogy, I have all of these games already but I like the control and graphical improvements made on the first two games in this release and the Collector's Edition metal case rocks!

Double Wii awesomeness.

Do You Want a Free Mount?

It took them a week but yesterday, I finally received my first spam while playing World of Warcraft since my glorious return to Azeroth. I am impressed that I never get to see them anymore, not that I miss them. I have noticed that there are a lot more people who purchased high level accounts though - you can tell by the fact that they are playing a level 70+ character but they are hardly familiar with the everyday terminology used in the game and they play like a level 1 noob: Perhaps they are just really awful at playing the game? I still believe the former. But yes, a lot of those fools but hardly any spam. This probably has a lot to do with the ban on gold-farming in China.

You know you want that super hot rare mount!
Don't tell mommy or daddy. Just go visit that site, okay?

Daily Game Log: Mid August 2009

- 08/11/2009 -
The Legendary Starfy - NDS
SingStar ABBA - PlayStation 3

- 08/12/2009 -
Blue Dragon - X-Box 360
Dead or Alive Ultimate - X-Box
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift - PlayStation 3
Streets of Rage 2 - X-Box 360
Wii Sports Resort - Wii

- 08/13/2009 -
Killzone 2 - PlayStation 3
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes - Dreamcast/PlayStation 3
Odin Sphere - GameCube
Titan Quest - PC
Wii Sports Resort - Wii

- 08/14/2009 -
Odama - GameCube
Streets of Rage 2 - X-Box 360
Titan Quest - PC

- 08/15/2009 -
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - X-Box 360
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes Demo - PlayStation 3
SingStar ABBA - PlayStation 3

- 08/16/2009 -
Culdcept Saga - X-Box 360
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - PC
Fallout 3 - PC
The Legendary Starfy - NDS
Mega Man 9 - X-Box 360

- 08/17/2009 -
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - PC/X-Box 360
Suikoden V - PlayStation 2

- 08/18/2009 -
Dual Hearts - PlayStation 2
The Legendary Starfy - NDS
Suikoden V - PlayStation 2

- 08/19/2009 -
Legend of Mana - PlayStation
Suikoden V - PlayStation 2

- 08/20/2009 -
Alien Crush Returns - Wii
Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 - X-Box
Dragon Ball Z: Idainaru Dragon Ball Densetsu - SegaSaturn
Gate of Thunder - Wii
Ninja Commando - Wii
Shadow Complex Demo - X-Box 360
Suikoden V - PlayStation 2
Star Parodier - Wii

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Random Game of the Day

Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel (2005)
Developer: Racjin
Platform: PlayStation 2
Purchase Date: 11/19/2005

For something that is based on real science,
alchemy in video games is just a stylish alternative to witchcraft.

Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel is an anime-based action adventure game where you play as a teenage alchemist named Edward Elric who can change certain objects into powerful and sometimes eccentric weapons. Even though I am not familiar with the animated series, the game contains an intriguing storyline and some memorable characters. Alongside Edward is his younger brother, Alphonse, whose spirit is trapped inside an imposing suit of armor - this happened when they were trying to revive their deceased mother via the process of human transmutation. Edward lost one arm and one leg too from the failed attempt. The two are on their way to find the Philosopher's Stone to restore their current states of physical anomalies. The interactions between these two are fun to watch and I have a feeling that perhaps Edward lost more than that leg during the incident because he's very sensitive to the words "short" and "small". There are a lot of anime cut scenes used in the game and they look great. The 3D graphics are nice to look at as well. The game does rely heavily on the transmutation gimmick by filling the stages with many different objects for you to manipulate and use. You control Edward directly while Alphonse acts as a support character who fights independently for the most part. The characters can level up and you can customize what attributes to improve for both characters individually and what accessories to equip them with. The game does become repetitive after a while but the character progression gameplay makes things tolerable. If there is one fatal problem in the game is the lack of voice-overs during the extended character conversation sequences.

LIBRARY STATUS: 3 out of 5

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Daily Game Log: First 10 Days - August 2009

- 08/01/2009 -
Crimson Gem Saga - PSP
Knights in the Nightmare - NDS
Little Big Planet - PlayStation 3
Parodius Portable - PSP
Shatter - PlayStation 3
SingStar - PlayStation 3
SingStar ABBA - PlayStation 3
Street Fighter IV - PC
Ultimate Shooting Collection - Wii

- 08/02/2009 -
Knights in the Nightmare - NDS
SingStar ABBA - PlayStation 3
Ultimate Shooting Collection - Wii
Wii Sports Resort - Wii

- 08/03/2009 -
Dawn of Mana - PlayStation 2
Killzone 2 - PlayStation 3
SingStar ABBA - PlayStation 3
Street Fighter IV - PC

- 08/04/2009 -
Crimson Gem Saga - PSP
Fallout 3 - PC
Little King's Story - Wii
Street Fighter IV - PC
24: The Game - PlayStation 2

- 08/05/2009 -
Crimson Gem Saga - PSP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtle in Time Re-Shelled Demo - X-Box 360

- 08/06/2009 -
Batman: Arkham Asylum Demo - PlayStation 3
Champions of Norrath - PlayStation 2
Crimson Gem Saga - PSP
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift - PlayStation 3
Omega 5 - X-Box 360
Super Stardust - PlayStation 3

- 08/07/2009 -
Batman: Arkham Asylum Demo - PC & X-Box 360
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift - PlayStation 3
Street Fighter IV - PC

- 08/08/2009 -
Blue Dragon - X-Box 360
Champions of Norrath - PlayStation 2
Champions: Return to Arms - PlayStation 2
Contra 4 - NDS
Knights in the Nightmare - NDS
Marvel Ultimate Alliance - X-Box 360
Tekken 5: Resurrection - PlayStation 3
Titan Quest - PC
Warhawk Online - PlayStation 3

- 08/09/2009 -
Champions: Return to Arms - PlayStation 2
Culdcept Saga - X-Box 360
MotorStorm: Pacific Rift - PlayStation 3
Wii Sports Resort - Wii

- 08/10/2009 -
Champions: Return to Arms - PlayStation 2
Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves - Dreamcast
The Legendary Starfy - NDS
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - X-Box
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - X-Box

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"New" Games Alert! Mega Boost +39 Games

Something truly unexpected happened this morning. As I have mentioned a while back, I am in the process of moving to a new house. It has been a very, very long process and even up until this day, it's still uncertain when the actual move will happen. I must have slept pretty well last night because it was really early in the morning when I decided to organize the upper contents of my cramped closet. It was full of console boxes as well as some unmarked ones that haven't been touched in a long while.

Lots of boxes and yes, I like gettin' down with Mario.

As you may know, I have completely lost all of my games prior to the Nintendo 64/SegaSaturn/PlayStation era. As someone who loves video game so much, of course I have made attempts to recover my past video game collection but times were rough back then for me so I wasn't able to do much - I haven't shared with you before that I have repurchased quite a number of the old Genesis and Sega CD games along with the consoles themselves. My original collection contains a lot of Japanese imports but all of my repurchases were domestic releases. Many years ago, during a space renovation, I have boxed up a lot of my games and when it was time to unbox them, I couldn't find these repurchased Genesis and Sega CD games. All this time, I have accepted the fact that I have lost them because I thought that I must have accidentally thrown the box that contained these items away with the rest of the junk. I was so saddened by the whole thing that I actually stopped the whole recovery project.

Maybe this will encourage me to collect these old games again
since not everything is being re-released out on the Wii Virtual Console.

Back to this morning: So, I mustered up the courage to move a lot of the heavy boxes out from my closet. I had tears in my eyes when Truxton was staring right at me from the slight opening of one box and I knew immediately what I had found. I have added both my Genesis' game list and my Sega CD game list in the game library section. It's funny isn't it: I have lost all hope in finding these games but they have been sitting right in front of me all this time. It's a case of mistaken identity apparently because for the longest time, I thought I have nothing but extra wires and cables inside the box where all of these things have been residing in.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Daily Game Log: Remainder of July 2009

- 07/25/2009 -
Demigod - PC
Parodius Portable - PSP
Shatter - PlayStation 3
Street Fighter IV - PC

- 07/26/2009 -
Castle Crashers - X-Box 360
Parodius Portable - PSP
Shatter - PlayStation 3
SingStar - PlayStation 3
Street Fighter IV - PC
Vampire Savior: The Lord of the Vampire - SegaSaturn
XGRA: Extreme G Racing Association - X-Box

- 07/27/2009 -
Demigod - PC
God of War - PlayStation 2
Go! Go! Hypergrind - GameCube
Shatter - PlayStation 3

- 07/28/2009 -
M.U.S.H.A. - Wii
Swords & Soldiers - Wii

- 07/29/2009 -
Demigod - PC
M.U.S.H.A. - Wii
Street Fighter IV - PC
Swords & Soldiers - Wii

- 07/30/2009 -
Demigod - PC
Rhtyhm Heaven - NDS
Shatter - PlayStation 3
Street Fighter IV - PC

- 07/31/2009 -
Crescendo Symphony Demo - X-Box 360
Fallout 3 - PC
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers Demo - X-Box 360
Shatter - PlayStation 3
Ultimate Shotting Collection - Wii

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rented Games

This list is created to keep track of all the games that I have played via GameFly as well as games that I have been granted access to via the PlayStation Plus rental subscription. Since the PS+ games are only accessible as long as I am a paid member, my access to them are not permanent thus they also do not contribute to the total number of games I have. Rented games that have eventually been inducted into my Game Library will have the asterisk at the end of their listing. The total is 180 games. [Last Update: 12/02/2015]

Aaru's Awakening - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4
Altered Beast - PlayStation 3*
Apotheon - PlayStation 4*
Batman: Arkham Asylum - PlayStation 3*
Batman: Arkham City - PlayStation 3*
Beyond Good & Evil HD - PlayStation 3
Binary Domain - PlayStation 3*
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth - PlayStation 4
Bit.Trip Presents... Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien - PlayStation 3*
Bioshock Infinite - PlayStation 3*
Borderlands 2 - PlayStation 3*
Broken Age - PlayStation 4/Vita
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons - PlayStation 3*
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger - PlayStatiion 3*
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse - PlayStation 3*
CastleStorm Complete Edition - PlayStation 3/Vita*
Catherine - PlayStation 3*
Chariot - PlayStation 3
Cloudberry Kingdom - PlayStation 3
Contrast - PlayStation 4*
Counterspy - PlayStation 3/4/Vita
Crysis 3 - PlayStation 3*
Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition - PlayStation 4
Dead Space 3 - PlayStation 3*
Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut - PlayStation 3*
Devil May Cry - PlayStation 3*
Dishonored - PlayStation 3*
Doki-Doki Universe - PlayStation 4
Don't Starve: Console Edition - PlayStation 4
Dragon Fin Soup - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita
Dragon's Crown - Vita*
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - PlayStation 3
Driveclub PlayStation Plus Edition - PlayStation 4
Duck Tales Remastered - PlayStation 3*
Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition - Vita
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara - PlayStation 3*
Dust: An Elysian Tail - PlayStation 4*
Dyad - PlayStation 3*
Entwined - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita
Escape Plan - PlayStation 4/Vita*
Ether One - PlayStation 4*
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon - PlayStation 3*
Fez - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita*
Final Fantasy XIII-2 - PlayStation 3*
Final Horizon - Vita
Frozen Synapse Prime - PlayStation 3
Futuridium EP Deluxe - PlayStation 4
Galaga Legion DX - PlayStation 3
Gauntlet: Slayer Edition - PlayStation 4
Gears of War 3 - X-Box 360*
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved - Vita
God of War: Ascension - PlayStation 3*
Golden Axe - PlayStation 3*
Grid 2 - PlayStation 3
Grow Home - PlayStation 4
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - PlayStation 4*
Hamsterball - PlayStation 3
Hitman Trilogy HD - PlayStation 3
Hoard - PlayStation 3
Hohokum - PlayStation 4/Vita
Hotline Miami - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita*
The Hungry Horde - Vita
Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 - PlayStation 3
ibb & obb - PlayStation 3
ICO - PlayStation 3*
Infamous: First Light - PlayStation 4
Injustice: God Among Us Ultimate Edition - PlayStation 4*
inviZimals - PlayStation Portable/Vita
Joe Danger - Vita*
KickBeat - PlayStation 3/Vita*
Kick & Fennick - Vita
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - PlayStation 3*
King's Quest: Chapter 1 - A Knight to Remember - PlayStation 4
Kung Fu Rabbit - PlayStation 3/Vita
La Mulana - Vita*
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris - PlayStation 4*
Limbo - PlayStation 4*
LittleBigPlanet Karting - PlayStation 3
Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut - PlayStation 3*
Luftrausers - PlayStation 3/Vita*
Magicka 2 - PlayStation 4
Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalker - PlayStation 3*
Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom - PlayStation 3
Mass Effect 2 - PlayStation 3*
Mercenary Kings - PlayStation 4
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes - PlayStation 4*
Metrico - Vita
Metro: Last Light - PlayStation 3
ModNation Racers: Road Trip - Vita
MonsterBag - Vita
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite - Vita
MouseCraft - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita*
Muramasa Rebirth - Vita
Murasaki Baby - Vita
Mutant Mudds Deluxe - Vita
NBA 2K14 - PlayStation 3
Never Alone - PlayStation 4
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty - PlayStation 4
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD - Vita*
OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood - PlayStation 4/Vita
Outlast - PlayStation 4
Payday 2 - PlayStation 3
PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate HD - Vita*
PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate - PlayStation 4/Vita
Pix the Cat - PlayStation 4
Poker Night 2 - PlayStation 3*
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 - PlayStation 3
Proteus - PlayStation 3/Vita*
Prototype 2 - PlayStation 3*
Race the Sun - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita*
Raiden IV - X-Box 360*
Rain - PlayStation 3
Rainbow Moon - Vita*
Remember Me - PlayStation 3*
Resogun - PlayStation 4*
Road Not Taken - PlayStation 4*
Rocket Bird: Hardboiled Chicken - PlayStation Vita
Rocket League - PlayStation 4
Rogue Legacy - PlayStation 3/4/Vita*
Secret Ponchos - PlayStation 4
Shadow of the Colossus - PlayStation 3*
Shank 2 - PlayStation 3*
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments - PlayStation 3*
Shift 2: Unleashed - PlayStation 3
Sine Mora - Vita*
Skullgirls Encore - PlayStation 3*
Skulls of the Shogun - PLayStation 4*
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus - PlayStation 3
Smart As... - Vita
Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed - Vita*
Sonic the Hedgehog - PlayStation 3*
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - PlayStation 3*
Sound Shapes - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita
Spelunky - PlayStation 4*
Sportsfriends - PlayStation 4
SSX - PlayStation 3*
Stealth Inc.: A Clone in the Dark - PlayStation 3*
Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita
SteamWorld Dig - PlayStation 4/Vita
Street Fighter x Tekken - Vita*
Streets of Rage 2 - PlayStation 3*
Strider - PlayStation 4*
Stick It to the Man - PlayStation 4
Styx: Master of Shadows - PlayStation 4*
Super Exploding Zoo! - PlayStation 4
Surge Deluxe - Vita
Super Meat Boy - PlayStation 4/Vita*
Super Time Force Ultra - PlayStation 4/Vita*
The Swapper - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita
Terraria - Vita*
Teslagrad - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4
Thief - PlayStation 3*
Thomas Was Alone - PlayStation 3/Vita
Titan Attacks! - PlayStation 4*
Tomb Raider: Digital Edition - PlayStation 3*
TowerFall Ascension - PlayStation 4*
Tower of Guns - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4
Transistor - PlayStation 4
Trine 2: Complete Story - PlayStation 4*
Twisted Metal - PlayStation 3
TxK - Vita
Um Jammer Lammy - PlayStation 3
Uncharted: Golden Abyss - Vita
The Unfinished Swan - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4/Vita
Unmechanical: Extended - PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4
Unit 13 - Vita
Urban Trial Freestyle - Vita*
Valiant Hearts: The Great War - PlayStation 4
Velocity Ultra - Vita
Velocity®2X - PlayStation 4/Vita
Vessel - PlayStation 3
The Walking Dead: Season 2 - PlayStation 4*
Woah Dave! - PlayStation 3/Vita
Worms: Battle Islands - Vita
X-COM: Enemy Unknown - PlayStation 3*
Xeodrifter - PlayStation 4/Vita
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition - X-Box 360
Yaluza 4 - PlayStation 3*
Zen Pinball 2: Star Wars Pinball - PlayStation 3

First GameFly Game Arrives

It looks like my GameFly subscription is going to be a day slower - make that two days when you count the return turn around time - than my Netflix subscription. The first game was shipped out early Tuesday morning and it arrived today. After a strange delay, the second game was shipped out Wednesday so I am expecting it to arrive tomorrow.

So the honor of being the first game rented by me goes to X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Uncaged Edition for the X-Box 360. I did not have the game placed at the very top of my rental queue but apparently the availability of the more popular games fluctuates like the stock market. I have encountered that too on Netflix but this seems more prevalent on GameFly. I have already started playing Wolverine and so far, I am indifferent in regards to the whole notion of ownership vs. rental nature of the game itself. It does feel a bit odd to know that I have to send this game back and if this was a game I purchased, I probably wouldn't have spent a straight 2 hours playing it because the game is not that extraordinary. The second game that is coming my way will be Batman: Arkham Asylum for the PlayStation 3. Though I really want to play it on the Personal Computer, I thought the console version is worth the rent since the PC version is not even out yet and GameFly doesn't rent out PC games for obvious reasons.

Cataclysm's Cataclysm

One of the first things I noticed when I logged into World of Warcraft was the hilarious welcome message from Blizzard. Apparently, there has been an increase of phishing activities and by the look of this note of precaution, a lot of people may have fallen for them - well, there are many little kids and ignorant adults playing WoW so can you blame them for getting themselves easily schemed? Here's one scenario: You jump on WoW to start your daily grind and suddenly, you receive a whisper from a person who claims to work for Blizzard. This person proceeds to tell you that you have been selected randomly to participate in a closed beta for next WoW: Cataclym expansion! How lucky are you, right? Then, this person explains that he needs your login information and other pertinent personal address so that he can complete the process. He then urges you to provide him the information in the next couple of minutes or you will forfeit your exclusive in-game pet and mount. What will you do? And people really fall for this kind of thing? Sad, isn't it?

On a lighter note, the gold-seller spams seem to have been decreased.
Before, I usually get about a couple of messages from them per hour.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fun GameFly Email... Scratchy!

Awww... so... caring.

Now that was unexpected. I just love that usage of "high-end gaming" and "state-of-the-art" in the same sentence... The console is all that but it still can damage a disc even with the slightest tilt? GameFly wants their discs to remain pristine by the time they are returned and that is understandable. I think my first GameFly rental should be arriving today. Can't wait to check the mailbox later this evening.

Champions Online: Not a Champion

Late last week, I downloaded the open beta for Champions Online. I just want to do a quick follow up to what happened when I was finally able to actually log into the game. The verdict? This game is just a slightly updated version of City of Heroes/Villains, a rather ancient massively multiplayer online role playing game by today's standard. I played those two games before and I got really bored after several months. Apparently, Cryptic Studios who is responsible for these games has never heard of the term "taking risks" before. From the character creation screen - the super power selection and the level of costume customization - all the way up to the tutorial area, the game smells CoH/V and I'm telling you, it's not that pleasant of a smell for me. The cartoon-ish graphics really lack impact and you don't feel like you are in an open world because you can see these tall transparent colors that act as borders to areas that you cannot go to. If you have never experienced CoH/V previously, you may get excited about the promise of this game - it's natural to be enticed by the idea of being a superhero fighting evil and injustice using your superhuman powers. Judging by my play session though and seeing the utter similarities between these titles, that excitement will not last that long because the idea that supports it is very gimmicky and the developer really didn't go far enough to utilize their previous experience to maximize this game's potentials.

How come they didn't release this an expansion to CoH/V?
It's all about rebranding.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Game Alert!

So I didn't go to the store yesterday to pick up a game but guess what happened today - I went to the store and picked up a game. I bet that you will not believe what I picked up. It's... World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King for the Personal Computer. What's more, I have already committed to 6 months worth of subscription on the game! So now I am doing two things that I didn't expect to get myself into - video game renting and going back to WoW.

The logic behind the decision:

1) It could go very well with the game rental situation.

2) Time to get more active again with socializing with other people online. I really miss building a good camaraderie with other gamers and the closest I have experienced that was during my Final Fantasy XI Online and WoW years.

3) There is no way I can deny the grandeur of the third expansion coming late next year - Cataclysm. I mean, anyone who has played WoW will not be able to resist the complete transformation of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdom, the flying mount in Azeroth, the new race/class combinations, and Deathwing... Oh my. I am still disappointed about the Goblins joining the Horde but I guess we Horde need to have our own version of the little people running about the game world causing silly mischiefs and mayhem.

What I plan to accomplish during my return to WoW:

1) Get my level 70 Priest and my level 63 Druid to level 80.

2) Create an Alliance Warlock and level him/her up to 80 - not sure if I could stomach the whole Alliance vibe though. My first ever WoW character was a human Warlock but when I joined my friends on another server, I deleted him... Silly me.

3) Spend more time having fun and less time worrying about jerks.

Blizzy... You have done it again. Congratulations.