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Retro Game Night: The Shield The Game

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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.

Written by Fred Rojas

June 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Posted in PS2, Videos

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Retro Game Night: Rumble Roses

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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.

Written by Fred Rojas

May 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm

NHL 2002 Quick Look

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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!

Written by Fred Rojas

April 30, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in PC/Mac, PS2, Videos, Xbox

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Now & Then: Mortal Kombat 3

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Mk3

Switching It Up

mk3_1A 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.

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Smash TV Review

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smashtv_boxPlatform: Arcade, microcomputers, NES, Master System, Game Gear, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, Xbox/Gamecube/PS2/PSP (part of Midway Treasures)
Released: 1990
Developer: Williams
Publisher: Williams/Midway
Digital Release? Yes, it had a digital release on XBLA (360) but was delisted in Feb. 2010

Smashtv01These 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.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy) Review

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fahrenheit_xboxindigo_prophecy_ps2Platform: Xbox, Playstation 2, PC (both the original and the just released Remastered Edition)
Released: 2005 (worldwide)
Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: Atari
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)

Jam’s Take

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.

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Written by jamalais

February 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

Mini Podcast: The Legacy of Shinobi

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shinobi_post

For this week’s mini podcast Fred tackles the Sega franchise Shinobi, and more specifically the Joe Musashi games from the earliest years of the franchise.


Download this episode (right click and save)

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Written by Fred Rojas

January 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Retro Game Challenge: Shinobi (PS2), Part 2

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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.

Written by Fred Rojas

January 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in PS2, Retro Game Challenge, Videos

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Just Because: Die Hard Arcade (Dynamite Deka) PS2 Complete Playthrough

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Recently Fred played Die Hard Arcade on the Sega Saturn to show off one of the oddest directions licensed franchises have gone in games.  Well the game was known as Dynamite Deka (Dynamite Cop) in Japan, but retained all the Die Hard similarities, and was re-made in arcade perfect form on the PS2 (only in Japan as part of the Sega Ages 2500 series).  When Fred noticed it on the Japanese PSN for the PS3 – and at only ¥400 on sale, ¥823 normally – he had to pick it up and play through it.  Feel free to grab it for yourself if interested, but without further ado we present the complete playthrough of Dynamite Deka.

Written by Fred Rojas

January 20, 2015 at 11:34 am

Talking Ports: Half Life on the PS2

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I’ve always wanted to dedicate an article to Half Life on the Playstation 2 (PS2). However, Half Life is one of those games I genuinely get a bit worried about when reviewing, since so much as mentioning anything negative about this series will cause the entire Valve fan base to storm on you with torches and pitchforks. No where is safe, you are screwed. But since so few people have even played Half Life on the PS2 hopefully, its safe to come out of my Half Life hermit cave and talk about it.

hl_ps2_2

Now here is where I make my first shocking statement: Half Life on PS2 is the first time I ever played Half Life. One redeeming factor maybe that it did lead me to playing the game on the PC later when I was able to. Anyway, I was in day one for Half Life on console. I’d been anticipating the game since the hyped up Dreamcast port which never official surfaced outside of the homebrew scene (despite being advertised in leaflets that game with games at the time). It seems like a lot of the assets used to make the game on the Dreamcast surfaced on the PS2. Whether your a massive fan of the Dreamcast or not, its hard not to argue this game was much more suited to the PS2 due its its dual analogue sticks. This was the time where First Person Shooters (FPS) were finally getting easier to control on consoles, with thanks to Halo, gamers where just no longer stomaching the single analogue nub system famous on the N64 and Dreamcast.

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Written by jamalais

January 19, 2015 at 11:00 am

Posted in Blog, PS2

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