Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Archive for the ‘PS2’ Category

Joust Review

leave a comment »

Joust.  Yes, that ostrich game you may have read about in the fiction novel Ready Player One by Earnest Cline. Well I’m going to talk about it today because the site needs more arcade love and its about time Joust had a review. Full disclosure, I did review this game across a few emulators including MAME and multiple Midway Collections on Mega Drive (Genesis), PSP, and Xbox. This review will feature some brief discussion on the cabinet itself, which I have been fortunate enough to try at retro gaming conventions.

Released in 1982 by Williams Entertainment, Joust is single screen joystick and one button flapping mash fest. You play a knight riding on the back of the magnificent ostrich. With a lance in hand, your goal is simple: take out every enemy rider on screen. Then you repeat that wave after wave until you run out of lives. The single button on the cabinet is responsible for flapping wings of your feathered beast. You have to rapidly press the button to get your bird off the ground, but once you have the momentum going it becomes quite the skill to take down the other riders. You need to be slightly above the other rider and hit them to take them down. Once they are out of action an egg will drop which you’ll need to collect before it re-hatches a new rider and you have to take them out all over again. It becomes a juggle of priorities, choosing to take out the other riders or collect the eggs. The first wave, titled “Buzzard Blitz,” is fairly easy. Just three opponents spawn to ease you into the game, but like with a lot of these Williams games don’t be disappointed if you do loose all your lives on the first wave. It can take a few attempts to come to grips with the controls and figure out your strategy. By this point – back in the arcade days – you would have sunk a decent chunk of change into the cabinet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jamalais

July 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Kingdom Hearts, Part 2

leave a comment »

kh_pt2_post

This week we wrap up Squaresoft’s collaboration with Disney in the original Kingdom Hearts.  Fred and Jam wrap up the campaign and then bring in guest Fortengard to discuss the secrets, bosses, and lesser known differences between versions.


Download this episode (right click and save)

RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

August 31, 2016 at 11:00 am

Podcast: Kingdom Hearts, Part 1

with one comment

kh_logo_post

Despite not being able to do a live show, Jam and Fred get together and record a massive introduction to the original Kingdom Hearts.  In this first part the two go over the development, gameplay, and presumably first half of the game (they are just past Agrabah by the end of the show).  Sorry for the lack of music, there was something off in the audio file that didn’t make it easy to do, so in the interest of time the show was pushed out sans music.


Download this episode (right click and save)

RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

August 21, 2016 at 10:13 am

Comprehensive Playstation 2 Guide (Purchase and Soft Mod)

with one comment

Here’s a batch of guides Fred created to tell you what to look for when buying a game, how to rip discs to your computer, and how to soft mod a PS2 Phat (hard drive) and PS2 slim (USB).

Written by Fred Rojas

August 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in PS2, Videos

Tagged with

Podcast: Community PS2 Top 10s and Mailbag

with 3 comments

sw-starfighter_signed

We asked you all for community PS2 top 10 lists and boy did you oblige.  In a massive push of lists that takes nearly 2 hours to read off Fred and Jam delve deep into the many games PS2 owners love.  It’s a widespread list and a great celebration of Sony’s sophomore console.  As a result we’ve pushed a few of the scheduled game nights, but a friendly reminder to get started on Kingdom Hearts if you haven’t already for August’s 2-part game club.

The points totals document can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RuNTDd8ZXTQcvXQJu0wbmZMMZBYJ136qRPK2FoWzgi4/edit?usp=sharing


Download this episode (right click and save)

RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

August 3, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in podcast, PS2

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Podcast: Playstation 2 Top 10

with 6 comments

ps2_top10_post

40 games enter – 20 from each cohost – and only a fourth emerge in the coveted Top 10.  We have various debate mechanics, odd conversations, and personal bias to get this unique take on a traditional topic.  Don’t agree with us?  Of course not.  Please send us your own top 10 for the community episode in 2 weeks.


Download this episode (right click and save)

RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Podcast: Old Console, New Hardware (Part 2)

with 2 comments

modchip_post

This week the mod conversation continues as the guys move into the CD-based consoles and the wonderful world of modchips.  There were many ways to get different things done in the Playstation era and beyond.  Finally the show wraps up with soft modding and the various things that can be done from consoles only a few generations old.


Download this episode (right click and save)

RSS iTunes Google Podbean

Written by Fred Rojas

May 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Substance Review

with 2 comments

mgs2_logo

Editor’s Note:  Jam originally wrote this review back in August of 2015 and somehow I missed it for almost six months.  This won’t happen again but I figured we should still show love to a great game and a great review.  Sorry Jam.

Metal Gear Solid 2 was possibly one of my most anticipated video games back in my youth. I eagerly awaited its release in 2002 (a little later than the rest of the world in Europe because game companies hate us). Kojima had been very smart in teasing the hotly anticipated sequel to the PS2 classic with various trailers and that infamous pack in demo with the full retail game Zone of The Enders, which no one played. We just couldn’t wait to play as Snake. On release I’m happy to admit my fan boy goggles were literally set to “Fan-tastic” as I played this game and loved the ever loving hell out of it and not buying in to some of the games criticisms post release. Well I’m older and detestably more mature so its time to return to the title and see how it fairs today. To research for this review I played through the game on the the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on Xbox 360 and PSVita. The game had multiple releases on a lot of consoles but this review pretty much speaks to every version of the game.

mgs2_snakeMetal Gear Solid 2 puts you back into the shoes of the legendary Solid Snake, who has now gone rouge with his new pal Otacon from the first Solid game. They have formed the ultimate bro-mance to travel the world and take down metal gears (those are bipedal tanks if you’re not up to date with the series). Snake ends up on a ship passing through the Hudson River in a scene which is frankly fantastic if you’re a fan of cinema. Snake casually smokes a cig in his rain coat and gradually picks up his pace to then bungee jump off a bridge onto a ship. Re-watching this cinematic is still wonderful and possibly my favourite opening in the series. So you’re all happy playing as your hero Solid Snake. You fight a Russian girl, you take pictures of a metal gear along with sleeping soldiers, and then the game ends. Well, at least your control of Snake ends.  It has become known as the biggest historic bitch slap to the face of gaming history. After playing literally a couple of hours of the game, you are then put into the shoes of the far less interesting character: Raiden. Yeah, Raiden is no Solid Snake.  He has blonde hair, is pretty skinny, and lacks that testosterone appeal that we are used to from the much preferred Solid Snake. So you play as Raiden thinking “no big deal we’ll get back to Snake soon.” Wrong! You continue as Raiden for the rest of the game. So it’s kinda of disappointing but doesn’t completely ruin the gaming, its just not the Metal Gear story we were expecting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jamalais

February 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

Tomb Raider Anniversary Review

leave a comment »

tomb_raider_anniversary_banner

The original Tomb Raider was more than just a 32 bit title that launched a strong Playstation franchise, it was a cultural phenomenon.  For those that have ever played it, especially if you’ve recently gone back, it’s rather difficult to appreciate that game without the amazing strength of nostalgia.  Fortunately when Crystal Dynamics took over for the franchise with Legend the company’s second project was to remake the original.  As the following reviews will attest, it was a good faith effort to not only switch up the mechanics and polish the weaker points of the first game, but ultimately the need to keep many of the levels and designs intact tarnish the experience.  Crystal Dynamics played it safe with how little it tweaked of the original formula and what resulted was a game that feels so updated and tight at some points and so sluggish and archaic at others.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jamalais

December 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Ongoing Series: Tomb Raider Anniversary

leave a comment »

For the November game club we are playing through Tomb Raider, both the original and anniversary. Fred is tackling Anniversary. By popular request two versions of each video is being uploaded: one with and one without commentary. This has commentary, so if you wish to see the one without simply go here.

Written by Fred Rojas

November 17, 2015 at 11:00 am