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    X-PLAY best of '09

    Well this show was so much better than the VGAs. All they did was give the awards and get out, no musical guests or celebrity flim-flam. That, and the fact that X-PLAY and G4 in general has more cred than does Spike. Atleast to me.

    When its all said and done the awards are out and the flaming has begun. For me school is out and I am ready to enjoy some time off. Oh and I still really wanna play Uncharted 2. But for now friends that is all.

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!


    So yea the VGAs...

    E Alright so I watched the VGAs on Spike that I got on my DVR. I was dissapointed honestly. I mean they play it up as this huge event that rocks the gaming world forevar!!!1! Needless to say for me it didn't. I really don't care about like watching Snoop Dogg (nothing against the D-O double G) but like celebrities are great and all but I really feel like it takes some of the focus off the games. That might be just me though. I guess it would be different if I attended in person, or if I was hanging with some friends scarfing pizza and laughing at Tony Hawk's smushed face. To be fair Hawk did have a good joke about Action/Adventure games.

    As you can see my major gripes are about the presentation, not the actual awards. Honestly I could care less who Spike TV thinks has the best original soundtrack, or the best male voice actor. (Mark Hammil got robbed lol) If I like a game, I like it and don't care what people think. (yea I am talking to everyone who gave me crap about Too Human) Like I cant even give an opinion on 3 of the 4 nominees for Game of the Year because I haven't played them, but I hear Uncharted 2 is the schizz and I really wanna play it. Sadly I don't see a PS3 in my future, atleast not for the next few years. College and all you know

    The real reason to watch this thing is the trailers, and the hot chick from house.

    There were some good trailers to be sure:
    A Batman Game
    Crackdown 2
    Halo: Reach
    Medal of Honor
    Prince of Persia
    Spec Ops
    Tron Evolution
    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2

    So you can check all the trailers out at Spike's VGA site

    Well I gotta go because it is 3AM and I have 2 exams in the morning.

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!



    The Force Unleashed-er

    Yea thats right tonight at the VGAs on Spike along with a handful of other reveals came the newest offering from Lucasarts. It seems that we are getting to dive back into the role of Starkiller and his crazy force powers, and honestly who doesn't want to do that?
    What? Oh you want to see the trailer? No problem... Trailer

    Yea its all CG but that didn't stop us from salivating over the first game before it released. If you'll remember that's all we had for awhile so hey its not like its a new thing. From what little the trailer reveals we can assume Starkiller lived (spoiler alert if you didn't beat the first game) and he is dealing with some emotional stuff following the right path, etc.

    Then the coup de grace, dude whips out dual sabers and brains a big beastie thing (I feel so bad I don't know what it's called. Shame on me) then the trailer ends but not all hope dies with it friends, oh no. At the end of the trailer is a link to a website:

    There you can register for a newsletter and view what I assume will be an HD trailer on the 14th (Monday) if you aren't cool like me and already have it on your website.

    Anyway, really intrigued by this and I am sure all you nerds are too. Until next time...

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!

    p.s. next time expect a full recap of the VGAs

    The outcome

    Well I flip-flopped on this to be honest. At first I thought that AndroBlogger was going down because of force close issues but there were issues with being able to preview posts on Blogaway.

    I thought that with rich text using blogaway would be the way to go. Unfortunately the hyperlink failed that really hurt the decisions.

    Still I felt that with the force closes AndroBlogger would loose. But in the end I felt like the interface of Blogaway wasnt well done well enough to be a long term use program. It just felt clunky and not well thought out.

    I will be using AndroBlogger from now on. And I kinda like to code. :)

    Now part deaux

    Alright well I took a break for dinner so here is the app known as Blogaway. Fairly easy to set up but some issues at loading blogs to read. Other than that it does have rich text. But it is difficult to use on android not having multi touch. Now ofcourse have to do a hyperlink <a href="">the final challenge</a>

    Alright well who's ready for the verdict?

    well I guess I should give it a go.

    I have a new genius phone so I am giving 2 android blogging apps a whirl. This post is from AndroBlogger. Standard html encoding for formatting of course we all know the real test in html code is with hyperlinks the final challenge.

    Gonna try the other app now


    Shadow Complex

    There's nothing "complex" about being awesome...

    Wow, first off let me say that this game is fantastic, easily the best Downloadable game that I have ever played. It is such a throw back to classic Metroid that I almost feel like I'm holding an SNES controller instead of a 360. The great thing about this game is that it isn't like some hidden gem or anything. People know about this game, it won 9 E3 awards, unheard of for a Downloadable game.

    So the game starts off with some crazy group attacking Washington, DC and you play a short sequence as some throw-away character that you never see again. Then we meet our main character Jason. He is on a date with a chick named Claire and they are going hiking. The girl goes down the pit and when she doesnt come back our hero follows her of course. First you find her backpack, then the game doesn't stop rollin from there.

    The story, suprisingly is one that is very deep if you are a fan of Orson Scott Card's series of Empire books, because that is the universe where the game is set. I watched a few of the developer diaries and they had one with Card. He talked about how the game was a prequel to the novels and how impressed he was with the writers to create a story within the story. So much so that you don't need any type of familiartity with the series to enjoy the game to its fullest extent. That being said, the story is actually very rich and you will find yourself getting into it more and more as the game goes along.

    The team at Chair has really outdone themselves, the gameplay is so smooth there is almost zero learning curve, well if you have some experiance with the side scroller. If not, in 5 minutes most people could probably have the controls down to a comfortable level. The game starts you off slow and you work your way up to doing crazy things like swinging with a grappel chord, and before you even reach the wall jumping off and doing a triple jump. The controls just feel right and they work. There is really nothing else to say about it.

    In the classic Metroid style you start off with no outstanding skills to your name. You gradually acquire more and more weapons to your arsenal and become quite the force within the game. Starting small with a pistol all the way up to some crazy particle accelerator thing. Of course this type of game wouldn't be complete without awsome exploring gear. You start with simple climbing gear that allows you to grip ledges and do wall jumps. From humble beginnings to awesome Jetpack-ness that lets you do the fan favorite double-, and even triple-jump. Not to mention that the armor looks pretty darn sweet. Oh and it takes some of the pain out of those bullets that enemies seem to insist on shooting you with.

    Alright well the big story with this game is the visuals. When it was first shown people were blown away at the thought of it being a downloadable game. I personally couldn't belive it. The development team has pushed the Unreal 3 Engine, and the genre of 2-D Side Scrollers beyond what was thought possible. So much so that the game at times feels more like 2.5-D because the game is drawn in 3-D allowing enemies to come up corridors and shoot at you. It may sound like a drawback since you cant shoot in 3 dimensions. That is where you would be wrong my friend. The game has an interesting way of dealing with this conundrum. Just press the right stick in the direction of your enemy and there you go. It does get frustrating, especially when you die, but for the most part it works.

    There is an issue with some glitching items and what not, things popping through eachother and whatnot. Also, the AI might as well be non exsistant at times. I swear I have run right into the back of an enemy and he doesn't even turn to shoot. Giving me more than ample time to do the awesome melee moves, (thats right melee in a side scroller) that never seem to get old. Those however are 2 very minor gripes that really don't detract from the overall enjoyment of the game. Well other than the fact that if you finish the game with 100% the final cutscene doesn't load. Patch anyone?

    Does anyone like boss battles? Well you will once you get your hands on this game. These huge, mech-like, metal gear esque, could be an AT-ST things that you have to fight are huge, not to mention the blow up reeeel good. Of course they also are good at killing you as you will find out for yourself when you play this game.

    The most subtle thing about this game though, is the music. Its not over-bearing, nor is it music you can easily cast aside. There is one moment in the game where the music shifts to a piano sonata while you swim through a now flooded cafeteria. Its things like that, not to mention overall stellar sound design that pulls a game like this togeather and makes it something that people remember playing and will want to play over, and over again.

    Ok well the kicker for this game is that if you are like me, you do a quick run through to see how fast you can finish the game. My first playthrough, and be aware that I just finished it about 30 minutes before writing this. It took 4:36.32 for me to finish the game. You should know that I only collected 55% of the game's stuff. I even left out a peice of the armor so I did a quick speed run. Not as speedy as I would have liked, but enough for a Gold ranking.

    There is also a neat little set of challenges for the game that has you do some crazy stuff to get to the finish line. Alot like the ones from Bionic Commando: Rearmed. So that adds some more game to it. Also there are leaderboards to help you make sure you actually are better than your friends.

    That being said you will not play this game once, or twice, or even three times. This is one of those games that you will keep playing despite the fact that it is an Arcade game. Its one that you won't be able to get enough of. I just wish it had come out sooner in the summer. But hey we've got untill October when the good games start to roll out.

    There is something in the Complex for everyone. Those side scroller vets, the ones who want to see what all the fuss is about, and anyone in general who likes to think of themself as a gamer. So seriously, pony up the $15, it is a small price to pay for awesomeness.

    Concept: Up the anty of 2-D shooters
    Gameplay: Fun, fast, awesome, some very minor glitches.
    Graphics: Umm... are you sure this is an XBLA game?
    Replay: You will play this game multiple times. It hurts just to stop playing to write this.
    Overall: 5 stars

    ~Ride Hard, Game On


    XBOX Update

    So, they started making a big deal about this new update a while ago and today it finally came out. Let me ask this, what was all the hype about?
    The big thing they wanted to push was the new "Games on Demand" and basically its a service that lets you download full 360 titles onto your hard drive. The concept is good but the execution, not so much. I'm not saying the titles that they have released are bad, but the prices are crazy and not to mention they aren't using Mystical Microsoft points for this, no they are using real word dollars. That I think was the first mistake that they made with this service. I will take the most insane example from the list of games.

    Call of Duty 2, a good game no doubt but the price is outrageous, there is no way that I am going to pay $29.99 + tax for a game that is over 3 years old when I can get my butt into my truck, go to GameStop and pay $12.99 -10%. I mean lets just take a minute and re-evaluate our strategy Microsoft. The list of games you have is good but I can't see anyone wanting to pay those prices. If anything you should have stayed with the Mystical Microsoft points. That way some people would still be confused as to the prices of the games.

    The next thing they wanted to get people excited about was the new Avatar store, for your little cartoon character thingy. Ok I'll admit, i had some MS points on my account and got a lightsaber and Jedi Armor. Don't judge me! I think that the avatar thing is take it or leave it. Another way to score some cash I guess.

    Ok the thing that made me the most sad about the update was now when you go to look at your achievements on the dashboard the first panel is an overview of your total progress. Well I have a lot of missing achievements and points from my profile, for shame... There is also a new thing that shows how long you have been a gold member on XboxLive and what I don't get is why they decided that all of a sudden because you didn't renew right away or let your membership lapse for a month that you are restarted on your membership. I've had XboxLive since it was on the original Xbox but apparently I've only had it for a year, but whatever.

    Biggest thing is for Netflix people who can now browse the OnDemand catalog direct from the console instead of having to go to their computer to do it. Very handy.

    So good job with the hype, and there wasn't any issue downloading the update like I have had in the past. I just have to ask it, at E3 we were all teased with Twitter, Facebook, and Last FM coming to the 360, where is it? Holding off until the inevitable update in November? Who knows, all I care about is when the games are coming out, I am ready for MW:2 and Splinter Cell.

    ~Ride Hard, Game On


    Summer of Arcade

    So we all the economy has gone to crap and that hurts when you are as addicted to games as I am. So aside from my summer staple that I HAVE to get, that game being the yearly installment of NCAA Football. Yes I know I haven't reviewed it and there is a reason for that. I won't go into it here but its kinda awkward. At any rate, back to the economy. So the basic point I was trying to make is with the economy falling faster and harder than a fat boy off a van That being said there is a way to get your gaming fix and that is with another edition of...


    So Xbox owners you know that the XboxLive Arcade is the main platform for digital releases that you can install on your hard drive. Every summer it seems that they make a big deal out of the games that they are releasing, and up until now I haven't realized not only is it good business sense to do so (because Microsoft takes a cut of profits) The best part is that there are actually some good games coming out! Yea I know, not some crappy rehash of Missile Commander either.

    This summer some really great games have come out, here are a few. With not only how many mystical Microsoft points they cost, but also in Real World Dollars.

    Marvel vs Capcom 2: 1200 MS Points = $15 Real World Dollars
    So yea, this one doesn't really need much explanation. One of the most storied 2D fighters of the decade. The games graphics have been bumped up to full 1080p so it looks fantastic and smooth. The great Tag Team mechanic is back in full force. Of course the best part... Online Multiplayer. There isn't really much here but a warm feeling of nostalgia. But that feeling is good. If you liked the game when it first came out, or are a die hard 2D fighter fan then this is for you. If not... well then it might not be your cup of tea.

    King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match: 800 MS points = $10 RWD
    Ok so everyone knows about Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. But during the heyday of 2D fighters back in the SNES/Genesis era, when coin-op arcades were still big everywhere there was a franchise that really solidified its place in the world of fighters for the hardcore, twitch players. That franchise was King of Fighters. '98 was by far the crowning Jewel of the series, the controls are so fluid, the game looks great and it is just darn fun to play. Much like Marvel vs Capcom however, not much here for new people looking to see what the deal is. Nostalgia reigns supreme, and even nostalgia might not be enough for some fans, because the game is still brutally hard.

    Magic: The Gathering, Duels of the Plainswalkers: 800 MS Points = $1o RWD
    So you may say "I'm not a Magic card game nerd so I don't want this game." Maybe so but I'm not a Magic card game nerd either (i'm personally waiting on the PokeMon card game to come onto Xbox live, but since that wont happen we move on) So I am a nOOb to Magic, but after playing the demo I was hooked and really wanted to play more. So I ponied up the $10 and haven't regretted it. The strategy is deep and gameplay is fast, and you don't have to spend hundreds on the cards.

    Battlefeild 1943: 1200 MS points = $15 RWD
    Meh, that's really all I have to say. Played it and wasn't impressed, some people will be but in all honesty if I want to get some 1st person action I will just pop in my CoD:4 disc, or better yet hold on to the $15 and save it for Modern Warfare 2 when it comes out in November. None the less the game has been popular despite only having 3 maps.

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time; Re-Shelled: 800 MS Points = $10 RWD
    Yea the classic Arcade and SNES beat'em-up is back and better looking than ever. The graphics have been streamlined and updated and the music has been amped a bit. The best part though, it plays the same and will wrap you in nostalgia and never let you go. I've played through a few times and the on-line co-op is classic to say the least. Just like being in the arcade except you aren't trying to squeeze 4 people in at an arcade cabinet. That's always nice.

    So there you have it 5 new arcade titles that are sure to appeal to your good sense of money, and take the edge off of your desire to game until the holidays when good, non-movie, games come out. Before I leave I will put a short, SHORT, I cannot emphasize the shortness of this list. Of other Arcade titles that have come out, with their prices. Along with a Yes, No or Meh, detailing their goodness

    Splosion Man: $10 RWD: MEH
    Secret of Monkey Island $10 RWD: NO (Get it on PC like it is supposed to be played)
    Worms 2: Armageddon $10 RWD: YES

    Also be on the lookout for Shadow Complex, coming out later this month from EPIC games, its gonna be $15 but well worth it. As With all arcade titles, play the demo before you buy, its just good sense.

    This went much longer than I anticipated, and I didn't even talk about the Fallout 3 DLC! Well that's it for me.

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!


    Is the Wii finished?


    I'm sure most of us have seen the new piece of tech that Microsoft whipped out yesterday at their press conference. Motion control without a controller because apparently a controller is a barrier that keeps people out of games. So they brought out Kudo and his gang to show off a few tech demos.

    They seemed very Wii-esque, much like Wii sports when everyone was crazy about that (and most of the Wii owners that is still all they play because Wii has crap games) They are trying to coin the phrase "The only experience you need is life experience" Basically you don't need any gaming skill other than your ability to control your body and do the motions.

    They showed a few trailers with people doing full video chat, using face and voice recognition and navigating the menus with a swipe of their hands instead of a flick of the thumbstick. Its an interesting twist if it works but I still think that it will fall to a niche market of casual "gamers" because I'll be honest for me the only way to play video games is with a controller in your hand, its worked for the past 20 years, why fix what aint broke?

    After they showed all of the tech demos out comes Peter Moleneaux director of Lionhead studios with this huge pitch about this new software he's created for use with Microsoft's new piece of equipment. The name for this project is "Milo". Its a character created in real time by the console that, with Natal, can read your face, voice, and body language and communicate with you as a real person would. Now they didn't show this demo live at the conference, but they had recorded a video to show.

    I know what you're thinking, probably the same thing I was. Its just acted out with the responses generated by a programmer because there is no possible way this kind of thing could ever work. Well I agree. The demo is going to be shown at E3 "behind closed doors" leading me to believe that it is a hoax. Of course if it's not an elaborate scam... well who knew Skynet would start as an adolescent British kid?

    More on E3 as the week continues!


    Oh Jack Thompson...

    Well it seems that the idiot of disbarred lawyers has struck again. That's right boys and girls, the one and only Jack Thompson has decided to make a fool of himself yet again.

    A little over a month ago the "Video Game Crusader" got a bill introduced into the Utah senate that would apparently allow video game retailers to be arrested for selling M rated games and R rated movies to minors, the normal Jack Thompson fare to be sure. The bill got vetoed as was expected. Now Thompson is apparently threatening the ENTIRE Utah state Legislature with Federal Prosecution for violating his civil rights.

    There has been a long drawn out battle going on between the state of Utah and Jack Thompson for some time now that hopefully is coming to a head. Thompson is pissed that Utah Senate President Michael Waddoups decided to try and get him prosecuted for spamming him with an e-mail of a pair of strippers in GTA IV giving Niko a lap dance. (I didn't know you could get 2 strippers at once!)

    Waddoups then spoke with Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff about getting Thompson prosecuted for spamming him. (if you can get people tried for that I have 1154 criminals in my spam folder right now!)

    At any rate the minute Thompson caught wind of this he fired back to the Salt Lake City, FBI office to try and get Waddoups tried for supposedly oppressing his right to petition the government. If petitioning the government involves spamming now, well then the petitions must be rolling in by the thousands now.

    Now there is apparently an e-mail going around that Thompson sent on Sunday again browbeating the ENTIRE state of Utah.

    Here are a few Jack Thompson nuggets of stupidity:

    If I get one more threat of criminal prosecution for sending you all proof, as I have, that pornographic video games are being sold to children in Utah because of the willful refusal of your Attorney General to enforce your state's pornography laws, then I will add ALL of you to the sworn criminal complaint now in the hands of the FBI in Salt Lake City. You will be identified as co-conspirators to violate 18 USC 241 and 242...

    I'm not going to put up with it. I've taken down some of the largest pornographers in the world. Taking down your legislature will be a piece of cake by comparison.

    All I have to say is wow... go for it Jack, take down an entire state with your idiotic platitudes, and self righteous sense of douche-baggery.

    I love how guys like Thompson can take the fight to the entire industry of Video Games, or even to a government of a state and be mad at them for kids playing M rated games or watching R rated movies. When in reality he should be going after the parents of these kids who are playing the games. Why are the parents so dumbstruck? Don't they know what their kids are doing? Maybe Mr. Thompson should go into a games retailer, and no not Wal-Mart, and talk to the parents.

    After working for 2 years at a games retail store, informing parents of the content of games when they are buying them for their kids, and even after that they still buy the game? Well those parents don't get to complain, but I bet they are the 1st ones to get all pissy.

    So Mr. Thompson thank you for giving us something new to laugh at, our world would be so much less interesting without you.

    And I should say we wait with anticipation for the newest GTA IV DLC "The Ballad of Gay Tony".

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!



    The Download

    If any market knows how to listen to the cries of its people and has a good feel for the economic climate its the video game industry and it shows with companies putting out Downloadable Content to extend the life of the game.

    So lots of DLC is just filling up bandwidth all over the place now, but what DLC is worth your hard earned cash?

    It goes without saying that the Fallout 3 packs are worth it, with 2 more on the way it seems that Bethesda is trying to extend the length of its most recent epic game while it develops that other game that they make that might perhaps be called Elder Scrolls 4? possible? I think yes

    Fable 2. While I wasn't a big fan of the game to start with, I have to applaud the fact that they are pumping out DLC to extend the life of the game because they could very easily stop that and just go and make another game that would cost $60 instead of $10.

    Gears of War 2. Lots of action games might get a few extra maps added or things like that, but Gears 2 has had lots of post launch support, several map packs have come out and the newest one, set to release soon has added some new single player stuff.

    Left4Dead. Ok a new survival mode pack has been released for Left4Dead and if I'm not mistaken it is FREE!! Go get this now, especially if you like to play online, and if you are a Left4Dead person you obviously do, this adds a lot of time to the game past the basic levels. Not to mention it can get pretty crazy after you've gone through the light house map dozens of times and still cant get that elusive gold medal.

    There is always the arcade titles out there and there are some good ones that you can pick up:

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    A great reproduction of the 1989 coin-op classic, all the punishing parts without draining you of all your Frankie's fun park tokens. $5 to revive all the childhood trauma

    Who doesn't love Uno? Now you can play it without all the cards and your grandma getting mad and turning the table over when she looses her honey bun because she doesn't know how a reverse works. All that for only $5

    Aegis Wing:
    This game came out YEARS ago but it is FREE! its an R-Type-ish clone game with 4 player Co-Op. The level design and just the feel of the game is classic.

    If you haven't heard about this game then where have you been? Yea it is that awesome, go get it, trust me it is worth it.

    So that's it, poke around your respective downloadable marketplace/store/whatever and find something. In these rough economic times, isn't it nice that someone is looking out for your gaming needs?

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!


    E3 '09

    Well if you're a nerd then you know what the summer brings. No i'm not talking about sitting inside all day playing video games, or working on your Harry Potter fan fiction. I'm not even talking about another summer sitting on a hotel balcony with your game boy taking ocassional glances at girls in bikinis.

    No friends the summer brings the G8 summit of the Gaming industry, thats right. The Electronics Entertainment Expo. Or E3 in l33t 2p34<.

    E3 usually brings many big announcements, several eye openers that get people back interested. Some long awaited release dates (that will probably change the day after the press confrence) and ofcourse some dissapointments.

    Sadly E3 will begin with a dissapointment that it doesn't even have anything to do with. I'll admit it has been probably a long time coming but Developer 3d realms shut down and with it dies Duke Nukem Forever. In all honesty when people started talking about the game back in 1997 we were wondering if the game was gonna be good. For the last decade we've been wondering if its gonna come out. Atleast now we know the answer. I cant say that I'm too dissapointed becasue the game probably would have been really terrible or it wouldn't have sold well. When the game came out Duke was something unique, now you can get the same thing on HBO. Most of the gamers who loved the Duke when he came out originally are either out of the gaming phase, or can't justify to their wives why they would spend $60 on a game about a flat-topped, bad mouthed, action hero. Also the parody factor for Duke is gone. The action hero archtype that he parodied doesn't exist in modern media anymore. So Duke Nukem, "you're an inspiration for birth control."

    Games that should be at E3 and finally get solid release dates:

    God of War 3 (SECA)

    Assasins Creed 2 (UbiSoft Montreal)

    Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward)

    Bioshock 2 (2K Milan)

    Splinter Cell Conviction (UbiSoft Montreal)

    Tekken 6 (Namco Bandai)

    Final Fantasy XIII (SquareEnix)

    Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare)

    E3 staples: These games always make E3

    Madden (EA Tiburon)

    NCAA Football (EA Tiburon)

    E3 suprises: Games that may show up and give everyone a nice suprise
    Alpha Protocol (Obsidian)

    Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)

    Borderlands (Gearbox)

    Alan Wake (Remedy)

    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (Vicarious Visions)

    This is Vegas (Surreal Software)

    There is one game however that is just going to "Nuke E3 from orbit."

    Mass Effect 2. I cant imagine the game not coming away with multiple E3 awards much like its predecessor. I have been religiously checking the websites for videos or any kind of leak showing more of the game. This will be, by far, my pick for E3 game of the year and I'm sure it will be for many others.

    The suprise I would love to see from E3.

    I could say Shenmue 3 or KoTOR 3, but those will forever be dreams in my head and my fan fiction :P. If Epic decides to release some glimmer into perhaps a Gears of War 3 that would be a welcome, and wonderful suprise.

    So there it is, E3 on the way. June 2nd.


    Some recent developments

    Alright I've been out of touch for a bit, this semester has taken me down a long road of torture and a severe decline in my gaming. But now the semester is over and I shall once again resume my reviewing. I shall start with a new game that I actually thought would be good.

    X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    The general rule is that movie games suck. Usually it applies very well. I had been following the development of the game for awhile and it actually looked like a game that would be good, not just a movie tie-in that they developed in a few months. Of course I was still skeptical because it was a movie game.

    Raven however did not meet my expectations. They actually made a good game! That's right, if you'll believe it a movie game came out that is actually playable and even fun!

    If you are a fan of Wolverine then this game finally is what he was supposed to be like. No holds barred. Slicing through dudes all day with his claws. Awesome instant kills and decapitations and just blood and gore flying all over the place, its great.

    The game looks good and the controls take very little time to master. The combat is fast, visceral, and very rewarding. The AI is a little lack luster but I doubt I would be too excited to fight Wolverine either. Playing as an angry Canadian has never been so much fun!

    That being said the game does have some issues but nothing too serious. As with any hack and slash game the environments are largely forgettable and canned, especially on the indoor levels. As you might expect the game does get repetitive after awhile as you mow your way through helpless soldiers. But hey that's all well and good considering that its a hack and slash. As long as there are some heads rolling its all good.

    Let me be clear, this game is not for the younger fans of Wolvie. To get such a bloody M rated game from a PG-13 movie is kinda hard to believe. The game doesn't follow the movie all the way but there are recognizable scenes. The story is the same one that we get from the comics that makes your head spin and just makes you wonder when they will start to make sense of the whole thing.

    So if you are looking for a deep game experience with lots of replay value, this isn't what you are looking for.

    If you want to see what kind of damage a set of adamantium claws will do, then by all means pick this one up and give her a whirl, bub.

    Gameplay: Fast, Fun and Vicious
    Graphics: Character models look good. Environments, not so much
    Sound: Its there
    Replay: Low, some costumes to unlock but not much else

    Final Score: 7/10

    ~Ride Hard, Game On!


    Nostalgia thy name is Sonic

    Anyone who grew up during the Video Game boom of the late 80's and 90's has fond memories of the 16-bit consoles that made our beloved video games so much better. The consoles had better graphics, better music, and the games sometimes even had a story!! The 90's were a simpler time with bright colored clothes and triangle patterned shorts in pastel colors, a president who "didn't inhale" and we Believed that Love was the answer. Not to mention we had a huge console war going on and it made for some pretty awesome games.

    I could go on and on about the Genesis versus the SNES but I wont because that's not what I'm here for (If you are curious however I was a Nintendo Fan Boy) I finally got my hands on the self proclaimed holy grail of 16-bit SEGA goodness. "Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection."

    I was first attracted to this game way back when I was reading on the SEGA website trying to find out some info on a little game called Alpha Protocol, and saw the Ultimate Genesis Collection (UGC From now on) plugged on their front page. It promised to have 40+ games from Altered Beast to VectorMan. Well being a product of the 90's and remembering those games from childhood of course I was intrigued. I made it a priority to get a hold of this game and run it through the Rough Rider Ringer.

    I could take the time to detail all of the games included in the collection but who is going to benefit from that? Well definitely not my fingers, but I will put a list of all the games included in the collection.

    · Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
    · Alien Storm
    · Altered Beast
    · Beyond Oasis
    · Bonanza Bros.
    · Columns
    · Comix Zone
    · Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head
    · Dr. Robotnik's MBM
    · Dynamite Headdy
    · Ecco the Dolphin
    · Ecco II: The Tides of Time
    · E-SWAT
    · Fatal Labyrinth
    · Flicky
    · Gain Ground
    · Golden Axe I
    · Golden Axe II
    · Golden Axe III
    · Kid Chameleon
    · Phantasy Star II
    · Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
    · Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
    · Ristar
    · Shining in the Darkness
    · Shining Force
    · Shining Force 2
    · Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
    · Sonic 3D Blast
    · Sonic and Knuckles
    · Sonic Spinball
    · Sonic the Hedgehog
    · Sonic the Hedgehog 2
    · Sonic the Hedgehog 3
    · Streets of Rage
    · Streets of Rage 2·
    Streets of Rage 3
    · Super Thunder Blade
    · Vectorman
    · Vectorman 2

    Quite the exhaustive list yea? That's not including 9 games you can unlock by doing some stuff within the games like beating high scores and whatnot. I wont spoil those games for you, well ok maybe one of them SPACE HARRIER! Yea that one you waisted all those quarters on in the arcade, or if you were a Dreamcast buff you waisted all your virtual Yen from Shenmue on that game.

    So What did they do to the games? The biggest thing is 720P Full HD the emulation for the games is great nice and smooth; very faithful to their cartridge counterparts. Before you ask yes you can make the game 16:9 so you don't have to play with the stupid frames around the game that annoy you to death.

    With virtually no loading time as should be expected for our current systems to run 10+ year old games. Each game has an interesting 'Museum' feature that you can access and read a summary of the game and get some interesting facts about, also look at some fancy Box art and the actual cartridge from back in the day. The controls are good as it would be rather difficult to mess them up.

    Ok well let me sell you this game right here and I could quit now and would probably have the game in your hands.

    All of the Phantasy Star Games 1-4 on one disc, that's right. While you do have to unlock the Original Phantasy Star to play it that collection alone would be worth the MSRP. If that's not enough All of the games from the Shining series are here as well. Still not enough for you? Well then this will get you for sure. ALL THE SONIC GAMES (the old good ones anyway) That's right they even threw in 3D blast.

    Honestly 3D blast was pushing the console hard and you can tell the minute you boot it up. But it did a decent job especially since they didn't have real 3D they just used an awkward isometric view with prerendered sprites but it was a novelty. The next time they make a collection they need to put the Saturn Version of this game on the disc but hey.

    Ok well there is also a little collection of games that start with Golden Axe and Streets of Rage but who likes those games?

    Also there are a few stinkers in the collection. Alex Kidd, Flicky and Congo Bongo stand out from the bunch. They could have replaced those games with. Gunstar Heroes, or Revenge of Shinobi they already put Shinobi 3 in why not?

    Every compilation has its good and bad games but thankfully the UGC had more good than bad and for $30 its definitely worth picking up, if you can find it I had a dog of a time getting my hands on it.

    The Rough:
    Good: Its a great collection, faithfully recreated with over 40 games along with bonus interviews and stuff to read. The graphics look and feel faithful and the price isn't half bad.
    Bad: Some rotten ones in the collection annoying frames in standard mode. Useless smoothing mode. No Online?


    ~Ride Hard, Game On!