Archive for the ‘PS2’ Category
Note: This review originally appeared on the B-Team Podcast site and has an agreement with the owner of the review, Fred Rojas, to post on Gaming History 101 as well and visa versa.
Typically any game being remade in HD comes with the acceptance that it was already a prominent title, which accounts for the ongoing debate as to whether or not to re-purchase it. That’s why Legend of Kay Anniversary strikes me as such an interesting decision because almost no one played the original on PS2 in 2005 or even the port to DS in 2010. Granted, when you complete the Anniversary edition the phrase “We’ll be back!” is at the end of the credits so I can only guess an upcoming sequel is the reasoning for this beautiful HD remake. Having now played the game to completion I have to admit that Nordic was smart to purchase it from Capcom and this partial Zelda clone does make for a lengthy and impressive campaign. When it originally released, Legend of Kay garnered quite positive reviews and I’m pleased to say that the game is just as great now as it presumably was when it released, only now it has received one hell of a face lift.
When I heard we were going to do Metal Gear Solid 3 for the game club I came to the sudden realization that I actually owned a ridiculous amount of copies of the game across four systems. So I felt it was an appropriate time to challenge myself as a gamer and begin the month long quest of playing the game through five times across each iteration of the game. What a fascinating journey it’s been. Not only do I now eat snakes for my lunch but I find myself actively camouflaging up and hiding in the spare room from my lady friend. Fortunately, before I completely lost my mind I wrote a review on the game which covers the following five versions of the game: the original PS2 version, Subsistence version on PS2, HD collection edition on Xbox 360, the Vita version, and finally the 3DS version. Be sure to check out my breakdown of which was my favourite of the five and which one I would recommend people track down.
For our next episode of Is It Kusoge? Fred is playing The Shield The Game based on the FX Network’s popular television show. With the licensing of Michael Chiklis playing his role as lead of the Strike Team Vic Mackey not to mention several other talent from the show. Will this licensed product prove to be like the rest, a rare game like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or is it kusoge?
Warning: The video clearly conveys this, but this title contains adult content including violence and language (nudity is mentioned but doesn’t appear in our playthrough). Viewer discretion is advised.
As part of the three game obligation from over a month ago, Fred had to cover Rumble Roses, an all female wrestling game on the Playstation 2. Just from the box art you can tell that this game is most likely suggestive with skimpy outfits, busty women, and provocative poses. Well now we play the game, see what it has to offer, and even decide if it’s kusoge or not (explained in the video). While there is no true nudity or sexual content, you may want to consider what follows to be NSFW (not safe for work), but it is worth checking out if only to see this wacky Konami title from a time where companies took more risks.
Of Fred’s 3 random games he has to cover this month, one was a sports game that apparently was the best hockey game on the PS2. NHL 2002, developed and published by EA, touts funny announcers, crazy gameplay mechanics, and some of the smoothest action for the generation. Fred gives it an initial go and if nothing else, exploits the unbalanced nature of the AI on both sides of the difficulty spectrum. More coverage and a review to follow, but here’s the initial 30 minutes and it ends with a Sum41 song, woo hoo game license cross-promotion!
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: Arcade, microcomputers, NES, Master System, Game Gear, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, Xbox/Gamecube/PS2/PSP (part of Midway Treasures)
Digital Release? Yes, it had a digital release on XBLA (360) but was delisted in Feb. 2010
These days there is a good chance any gamer is familiar with the “twin stick shooter”, a concept where you move with the left stick and shoot with the right. Back in 1982 when fantastic game designer Eugene Jarvis premiered the concept in Robotron: 2084, it was unlike anything we had ever seen. The merits of that game, and what it brought to video games, cannot be denied and if you want an idea of how Robotron played you need look no further than recent neo-retro release Rock Boshers Dx. It wasn’t until almost a decade later, in 1990’s fantastic Smash TV, that Jarvis along with a talented team at Williams created one of the most addicting arcade games from my youth. Set in the year 1999 – oh how we thought so much was going to change with the year 2000 back then – Smash TV has you and potentially one other person shooting it out in a room-to-room TV studio playing the most violent game show of all time (Running Man anyone?). It takes the building blocks of Robotron: 2084 and brings it into the nineties by giving you a second player, having you kill tons of humans instead of rescue them like in Robotron, and of course you’re doing it all for cash prizes to selfishly grow your wealth. I loved it then and I love it now.
Platform: Xbox, Playstation 2, PC (both the original and the just released Remastered Edition)
Released: 2005 (worldwide)
Developer: Quantic Dream
Digital Release? Yes – Available on Xbox 360 as an Xbox Original and Remastered is on Steam ($9.99 for all versions)
Price: $8.00 (disc only), $10.99 (complete), and $46.97 (new/sealed) per Price Charting (prices are for PS2 version, Xbox/PC versions a bit lower due to re-release)
Fahrenheit (aka Indigo Prophecy in America) is one of those games that attempted to create a interactive film experience. Some excepted this concept with open arms, some people frowned on it proclaiming it technically wasn’t a game. Well several years has passed since that fateful release in 2005 so lets see if Fahrenheit is still worth investing in.
Fahrenheit’s story has you following three character Lucas Kane a 9-to-5 IT worker who has a fondness for reading Shakespeare in diners, Carla Valenti a young cop who is claustrophobic and Tyler Miles, Carla’s police partner and your typical comic relief in a cop duo but he likes basketball, which is ok in my book. Essentially New York as well as the world is starting to get cold, really cold and bizarre murders are occurring round the city where normal folk are killing innocent people then themselves. I won’t spoil the story too much as it is the games strongest draw. What I will say is the game is filled with a fair few twists and turns playing out very much like a film, if it hooks you from the beginning it is very likely you will play through to the end.
More than a year ago, Fred featured the Playstation 2 game Shinobi on Retro Game Night. I was told that this is a brutally hard title that will test my skills. He put it to the back burner, but after recent feedback we’re returning to these games to take up the challenge. In his own words, here’s Fred’s reflection:
I remember playing it at first and didn’t understand what the big deal was. Shinobi’s battle mechanics are pretty basic, not even coming close to the skills required of games like Ninja Gaiden on the original Xbox. While the two games may be compared based on premise, time of release, and challenge, they couldn’t be more different. Shinobi is not hard at the beginning, it’s barely a challenge, while I know plenty who haven’t completed the first level (and specifically boss) of Ninja Gaiden. All of that changed with part 2 of this Retro Game Challenge. Shinobi ramps up fast and despite beating the level at the end, it made my blood boil and wasn’t worth the effort I put in. My conquest felt cheap, possibly even cheating. I’m not done with this title, but my skepticism on it’s fairness and ability to provide a proper challenge that I enjoy in gaming, is raised. I guess we’ll see. In the meantime, enjoy a video that starts very positive and ends with a nearly embarrassing response from me. As you may have already guessed beware of crass adult language near the end.