Archive for the ‘Playstation’ Category
Platform: Arcade, Playstation, Saturn, N64, Gameboy
Digital Release? Yes, but only on the Japanese PSN (of PS1 version)
Value: $3.50-$10 (disc/cart only – all platforms), $7-$15 (complete, all but N64)/$25 (complete N64), $30-$40 (sealed)
Bust a Move 2 Arcade Edition was a popular title released on the Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn and N64. While the concentration of these systems was to move gaming into 3D, Bust a Move was a game that kept its feet firmly in the 2D realm, and it still does to this day. All versions are ports of the very popular arcade game and all versions are arguably fantastic ports, bringing that vintage arcade experience home. For this review I’ll specifically be covering the Playstation version.
I have always enjoyed the Bust a Move series. I have played the majority of the entries on home consoles and arcades. The most memorable game from my younger days was Bust a Move 2. This was literally in every arcade in my area. It ran on Taito’s F3 hardware and could be found in dedicated arcade cabinets and later the Neo Geo cabinets which were becoming increasingly popular. Bust a Move 2 was one of those arcade game where I would literally watch the demo screen over and over again even after I ran out of money to sink into the cabinet. There was something rather hypnotic about watching, maybe because I have always had a fascination with arcade puzzle titles, or maybe its because I’m a utter fan boy for Taito games, especially the Bubble Bobble games of which this series is a spin off from.
This month we have been tasked with covering three games and Jam was the first into the gate with his Playstation 1 reflection of Bust-A-Move 2. The follow-up to the original game, better known as Puzzle Bobble in arcades, this was one of the many instances where home console ports began to catch up with and properly port over the arcade experience. Jam and his special guest delve into their reflections on this classic cooperative puzzle game.
Switching It Up
A lot happened both in the talent pool of Mortal Kombat players and in the game design overall between the release of Mortal Kombat II and Mortal Kombat 3 (MK3). For starters there was a mass exodus of on screen talent due to royalty disputes, so almost no one from the original two games returned for the third release. In addition, Boon and his team were trying to turn Mortal Kombat into a viable fighting game with things no one had ever seen before and mechanics that could compete with the massive rush of fighters in arcades. The game was completely Americanized, with all hints of Eastern influence including symbols, locales, and the soundtrack completely absent without a trace and instead replaced by urban stages, 90s hip-hop soundtracks, and cyborgs replaced the signature ninjas. These locations were now composed of pre-rendered 3D backgrounds and the character sprites were almost totally digitized as opposed to the digitized/hand drawn hybrid of the previous games. Along with it came an overhaul of the controls, including combos and a “run” button to address rightful claims that defensive players ruled the previous title. It’s all one giant 90s metaphor but that doesn’t change the fact that MK3 (and it’s update Ultimate MK3 or UMK3) stands as the moment I felt the series went into the mainstream fighter territory. Couple this with the fact that it was on just about every console that existed at the time, still dominated arcades, and had more content than rival Street Fighter II could ever dream to do with its iterations and I see why it’s creator Ed Boon’s favorite. Mortal Kombat 3 definitely upped the ante.
Platform: Playstation, Saturn, Arcade
Publisher: Fox Interactive
Digital Release? No
Price: $3.92 (PS1)/$15.99 (Saturn) – Disc Only, $5.49 (PS1)/$24.99 (Saturn) – Complete, $14.95 (PS1)/$62.97 (Saturn) – Sealed according to Price Charting
Die Hard Trilogy was released in the early days of the Sony PlayStation and was generally well received. We were all excited for this because 3D was becoming big as developers looked to leave the 2D style of game in favour of the blocky 3D models. Also this is Die Hard, one of the coolest film franchises ever, so why wouldn’t people want to play this? Well time has passed and the dust has now settled. Is this game really as good as we remember, or has it gone the way of the film franchise?
Platform: Playstation, Saturn, Arcade
Digital Release? No
Price: $5.75 (PS1)/$11.64 (Saturn) – Disc Only, $14.47 (PS1)/$21.99 (Saturn) – complete, $74.99 (PS1)/$34.99 (Saturn) – Sealed according to Price Charting
Alien Trilogy was developed and released in 1996 as the bigger budget, larger team, and more experienced group making a full scale Doom clone alongside the presumed B-Team at Probe Software. That other team was set to make Die Hard With a Vengeance to release alongside the film and eventually widened scope to release the Die Hard Trilogy. Two games, each with its own take on large popular franchises in the 20th Century Fox vaults, and trying to hit it big. Did Alien Trilogy succeed by cloning the more popular franchise and game genre? Find out after the jump.
The better title for this episode was probably “Because 90’s”, but either way Fred and Jam tackle six massive movies made into two interesting games by one single studio. Both released in 1996, Probe Software’s Alien Trilogy was a re-writing of three movies in one single genre (Doom clone) whereas Die Hard Trilogy was a compilation of three different genres (3rd person shooter, light gun shooter, and driving game) based on each game. The results are interesting and stems some interesting conversation on these powerhouse trilogies.
Want to trace the origins of where Bloodborne and the Souls series came from? Then be sure to pick up this PSone classic which is due out today: Shadow Tower. It is a first person adventure game from the developer From Software back when people knew very little about the company (with maybe the exception of the Tenchu series). This is a game that many listeners of GH101 have asked if Fred or myself will cover. Now that it is finally coming to PSN I’ll be sure to pick the game up and give it a go (so will I, especially with Vita support – Fred). As far as I am aware this is only coming to the US PSN store but setting up a US account is very simple. There are also many other great PSone classic in the US store not available in other territories.
This month’s game club is Die Hard Trilogy and Alien Trilogy, two short “trilogy” titles released by Fox Interactive in the 32-bit era. We have already looked at one of the games, Die Hard Trilogy, and here for you is the quick look of Alien Trilogy
Platform: PC-9821, 3DO, Playstation, Saturn (Japan Only)
Released: 1994-1996 (depending on platform, Japan Only)
Digital Release? No
Price: Unavailable, game never sold in US or UK
Building off of what Kojima had started in Snatcher, I feel that Policenauts is an attempt to revise the mistakes and setbacks of that original attempt and create a spiritual successor that flows more like a game. Technically, I guess that’s what Policenauts is, unfortunately the solution appears to be making it a point-and-click adventure and adding in more (and more frustrating) shooting sequences. While I have to commend the efforts by having a more genuine story – although the similarities to the first two Lethal Weapon films is undeniable – that flows naturally and keeps you intrigued, this game has so many walls to break through to get to that story that it’s best read in a walkthrough or watched on YouTube. For this reason, and the countless other reasons that prevent most of us outside of a Japanese speaking region, I can’t recommend Policenauts as a coveted loss treasure we never got.
No one likes to release something that is half finished. It’s even more embarrassing when you know there’s no way to complete something you started. This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn with the world of hacked consoles, fan translations, and promising things before you’ve completed them here on Gaming History 101. With a perfectly working copy of Policenauts, the English fan translation that released for PS1, I set out to do a longplay for tonight’s game club just as I had with Snatcher. Unfortunately the game seems to break in several parts of disc 2’s translation despite disc 1 working perfectly (more than half the game as well) and the same disc 2 that broke on my PS1 and PS2 doesn’t have problems playing on my PC through the ePSXe emulator. While I have no idea why this is happening – I can’t seem to find anyone who played on console and the other YouTube videos are clearly from emulation – it rendered my longplay unable to be finished. Rest assured I beat Policenauts on Sunday night and am ready to discuss it in full for tonight’s game club, but I only have the first 2 acts captured on video before the game began to break in Act 3. I used various save data to load parts of Acts 4 and 5, which loaded fine and played fine until certain moments of scripted events that occur within 15-30 minutes of loading a save (same place, has nothing to do with the save point, load point, or amount of time played). Fortunately out of the 12 hours of length that is Policenauts, 7 or so of those hours is Acts 1 & 2, leaving the other 5 hours for Acts 3-7 and the epilogue, oh Kojima. With all that said, I was debating on whether or not to release the videos, but I haven’t released much video content in the last two weeks and I’ve been cranking out videos so I figured you should see where half of this hard work went. Here is the official playlist of the first six videos of my longplay in full upscaled 720p HD with commentary. You won’t get to see me complete the game, but you can get a great feel for what the game as a whole was like. Additionally this playlist is available openly on YouTube, but I’ve put it as “unlisted”, which means it will only be accessed by direct link or searches, not on the main channel page proper. Be sure to listen to our game club for complete coverage on this never released in the US title. We also will have reviews going live on Thursday. Below is the first video of the series, enjoy!