Two New Pickups and Two Games Finished

RRV_A

Ridge Racer V (PS2) – Where ever there’s a system launch, you can count on there being a Ridge Racer to accompany it and the PlayStation 2 launched with Ridge Racer V. I picked this up for only a few bucks and I’m sure it’ll offer an experience I expect out of the series.

Aladdin (SNES) – An excellent platformer by Capcom based on the license of the same name. It’s on the very easy side of the difficulty spectrum, but very good nonetheless.

Hard Corps: Uprising (PS3)
All of the problems I had with the game from my last blog still hold true. This game reeks of a developer that doesn’t understand what makes a game of this kind great. Most of my complaints are nuances that people who haven’t had extensive experience with the Contra series or other games like them, such as Metal Slug, won’t pick up on or understand which is why most of the reviews in the gaming media are scoring this game very high. I, however, find it to be very poorly designed. Stages are too long, having a life bar, but taking a hit and not dying still causes you to lose your currently selected weapon, bosses are usually long drawn out experiences that are boring even when you are kicking their asses, some stages have purposely hidden things that can hurt you in the scenery. I have also gotten tired of Daisuke Ishiwatari’s similar sounding compositions for most every game he scores for Arc System Works. I love ya, Daisuke-san, but you really need to step it up! I do like a few things: the addition of running and air dashing is pretty cool and works well and the art design/visuals look good, but that’s about it. The less of a hardcore Contra/run-and-gun fan you are the more you’ll probably like this game it seems.

RATING: 2 out of 5 / 5.0 out of 10

Tetris (PS3)
I downloaded this because it went on sale for $5 and for that price this is totally worth it! It is very similar to EA’s PSP version of Tetris from about 18 months prior, but with more visual flair and great online features such as leaderboards and online play. All of the play modes are identical to the PSP version including Marathon and 15 variants that are played until you clear 40 lines. Most of the variants are pretty awesome and a lot of fun with my personal standouts of Gravity and Scanner. Totally worth it if you still have some love for Tetris in your heart!

RATING: 5 out of 5 / 9.0 out of 10

テトリス

Yakuza 4, Hard Corps pickups — Hard Corps, MK demo thoughts — ’90s GOTYs

Konnichiwa, mina-san!

Just like hart704, I also picked up Yakuza 4 this week at a local Best Buy for $40! I wasn’t going to get it right away, but since BB was selling it for $20 less than everyone else I couldn’t pass it up. If you are looking to get this game, head on over to your local Best Buy or check out their web site for the same deal!

Y4

Still been enjoying Marvel vs. Capcom 3 a lot! My main team at the moment is α-She-Hulk/γ-Wolverine/β-Dante. I differ from a lot of people in that I never loved Marvel vs. Capcom 2. I liked it, but I felt it was too inaccessible and a little too fast. All of the previous Vs. series games were a lot of fun for me and MvC3 captures that once again.

I finally was able to pick up Hard Corps: Uprising on PS3 this week and my first impression is that it’s pretty good. Being a game by Arc System Works you get the expected rocking guitar from Daisuke Ishiwatari. After playing the game for about 2 hours on the first two stages I have a few criticisms to voice. I’m not trying to rip Hard Corps a new a-hole here, but some of these design decisions are dumb.

– 10+ min. stages are too long. Halve that and then the “bad” checkpoints wouldn’t be a problem.
– Bullets are too small in some instances and can even be lost in the background once in awhile.
– What sense does it make to have a life bar, but still lose your weapon by getting hit and not dying? You may as well make every life 1 hit.

Non-PS+ members were able to check out the new Mortal Kombat demo this week as well. It’s OK, but the fighting engine doesn’t do much for me. Not the big step up I was hoping for. I’ll probably still pick it up once it hits a sub-$30 price, but this is definitely no longer a day one purchase for me.

Thanks to this post by NeonNinja I decided to retroactively figure out what my Game of the Years and their runners-ups would be for the 1990s. The picks were largely based on what I currently have in my collection that I have played, so I could have forgot about something I would have put on the list if I don’t own it yet. Comprehensive game lists are hard to come by and take a long time to sift through and I didn’t want to waste my time going through lists that are filled with obvious crap because they are trying to be complete. Discussion in the comments about my selections or what yours would be is welcome.

GOTY199X-1

GOTY199X-2

龍が如く

She-Hulk Smash!

Puzzle Quest 2 (DS)
The first Puzzle Quest from 2007 was a mixture of a Bejeweled-esque puzzle game and an RPG and it worked really well. Puzzle Quest 2 takes the first game and streamlines it and improves it. This time they added the use of weapons which require action points to use in addition to the five colors of mana that are still regulated to casting spells of various effects. They also added various new matching puzzles for looting treasure chests, picking locks, and disarming traps. There’s lots of enemies to battle during your side missions and main quest and its all got that addictiveness that can suck you in for hours at a time. My only real problem is that the story is really light on the details and thus very shallow and not all that interesting. After defeating the final boss the game just kinda ends with no credits roll making it somewhat anti-climatic. With that said I still recommend Puzzle Quest 2 to anyone that the concept of puzzle+RPG sounds interesting to, even if you haven’t played the first one just skip it and get PQ2.

RATING: 4 out of 5 / 8.0 out of 10

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (PS3)
Let’s get this out of the way: Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is absolutely awesome when it comes to the core fighting. It’s fast, frantic and a ton of fun! The roster is varied and really well fleshed out, from old standbys like Ryu, Magneto, and Storm to fantastic newcomers like Amaterasu, She-Hulk, and Dante. It’s a roster that gives you enough fan favorites and more obscure characters to keep it fun and interesting and not too predictable. Unfortunately everything else around the core fighting is extremely lacking. The kind of modes, features, and content that is standard in fighting games today are mostly mysteriously absent. Where are the other play modes such as survival and time attack? Where are the other features such as spectator mode when in an online lobby or an in-depth tutorial? Where is the expected and announced content like fully animated endings and other ways to flesh out the story? None of this stuff is in there. We’re talking 16-bit fighting game standards here and it sucks. If the rest of the game was there like it should have been then I would have easily given this game at least a 9.0 without question, but as it is I have to skimp on my rating just like Capcom skimped on the content of this game.

RATING: 4 out of 5 / 8.0 out of 10

マーヴル VS. カプコン