Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Devil May (Make You) Cry

I don't think I'm particularly bad a Devil May Cry 3, I even finished the first the original in one night. However after playing DMC3 for a little while, dying a few times, and then the game telling me that "Easy Mode" was now unlocked, I took it as a hint.

DMC 3 is hard, not even Ninja Gaiden hard, it's frustratingly hard to a point where you have to play though a chapter again just too try and beat some insanely hard boss. Oh and this game likes it's bosses, almost obsessive compulsive, one in each chapter.

Because I don't enjoy replaying the same level over and over, mainly because it hampers my enjoyment of the game, I decided to start the game over on easy. It's easy alright, too easy in some parts and Devil May Cry 1 easy in others, but it's a lot more enjoyable. If they had made the game slightly harder than easy mode, then it would have been perfect, this game just isn't right to be overly hard.

In the end though, it's still a fun game eve on easy mode, plus it's stylish as hell and worth a look.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Fudal Fun

After buying Otogi 2 over a week ago, I finally got around to checking it out today. While I did like the original Otogi, there was something about it like it wasn't polished enough. Otogi 2 takes the original, throws in more of what made it great, and tops it with so many needed extras. Making it quite good.

First of all, after playing about 5 levels or so I can say that it's not as hard as the original Otogi, which is a godsend. Otogi 2 is pretty much more of the same as Otogi, mainly being complete a mission objective which is usually killing, or destroying everything in a level. This time however you are able to select your next mission, usually from 3 or so on the screen, and then select one of 6 characters to use in the mission. Each character is very different from the others, each with very distinct attributes and weapons. This is a great help as certain characters are better suited to specific missions.

The graphics and effects are improved greatly over Otogi also. The graphic have been polished and the effects have much more style to them, making for some truly great battle scenes.

The controls are a little more solid this time round, though I still have issues with the camera control. It's a little slower to refocus behind your character when you tell it to, and also there seems to be a limit to where you can look which can hinder things at times.

The new Havoc mode is also quite interesting. It's basically a load of side missions where you are giving a set task to do usually in a giving time limit. Going by the name you can pretty much assume that these missions focus on you destroying a lot of things in a given mission, and they pretty much seem to be that. A nice break from the main game.

Overall I have to say I'm much more impressed with Otogi 2 than the original, it's just more fun and enjoyable. Also having the extra characters is a blast, they are so varied that you get so much more satisfaction when using the right one for a mission.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Zombie vs Shotgun

After completing Resident Evil 4, I cant honestly say that no game, for a long time has possed such a force that has compelled me to play it until it was complete. Now I don't get around to completing many games, I usually come to a part that really tries my patience and stop playing it with either the intention of going back and just don't or going onto another game.

I just couldn't put RE4 down. Maybe it was because there was never a section that I didn't think I could beat, even the boss battles. Sure some were challenging, like most of the game was. Just due to the fact that you are rationed ammo through out, which makes you cherish what you have, and crave more like some kind of gun junkie. There is also plenty of replay value there, especially once you complete the game and the extra options that come with that.

I threw in Devil May Cry 3 today, just to see how that fares. All I can say is Jesus Christ. Sure the first game was probably a little to easy, but damn this is just insane hard. Just on the first boss I got owned about 3-4 times, the FIRST boss. What the hell is that about?

Though I do have to say, the cut scenes are great, just the wicked style and attitude that DMC is. Once you see them you'll understand. I didn't play a great deal of it, just until the end of Stage 2. Though it's pretty much standard DMC gameplay, sword, two guns and totally insane carnage. There are the new "styles" now though, I'm not sure how much bearing they have on the overall gameplay, I just know that they affect what your certain "stylish move" is. I'm not sure though, I really hate games that make me play the same goddamn level over and over because I died fighting the boss. Sure replay the boss fight, but why the whole level, I don't have time for that shit.

Oh some pics of the RE4:Collector Edition.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I managed to pick up Resident Evil 4 Collectors Edition and Devil May Cry 3 tonight. I managed to score a free t-shirt with DMC3 which isn't bad, for some reason these things are always a large, go figure? I haven't touched DMC3 yet because of the goodness that RE4 embodies.

The RE4 Collectors Edition is the standard RE4 game, plus an extra movie disc that has a load of movies from previous Resident Evil games, and a making of RE4. I thought it was just going to be a DVD, but it's actually a Gamecube disc. This disc also comes in it's own case, and is packaged with the game in a cardboard sleeve. It looks quite smart, I'll post pics tomorrow.

On to the game. Let me say this, after I started playing RE4, I didn't want to put it down. The only reason I did was because it was getting late and I wanted to type this. You can't compare or even think of other RE games when you play RE4. It's in a class of it's own, Capcom have gone all out and made this game something to marvel, they pioneered the survival horror genera and now they have kicked it up a gear.

RE4 seems to do everything right and doesn't miss a beat. The atmosphere is fantastic, aided by great sound effects and excellent visuals, you always seem to be wary of what's around the next corner just waiting to impale you with a pitchfork. One thing that makes this game so great is that is just feels solid, movement and control are great. I've had a few issues getting used to the controls but it's just learning curve. However the way the game feels when you fire the shotgun, you just know you are going to do some damage.

While I so far haven't found the game to be hard, it can be quite challenging. I have been constantly low on ammo, desperately searching barrels and boxes for another red pack of those lovely projectiles. It's not from wasting ammo either, this game makes your work for those kills.

After playing the game you can see why it has acquired the acclaim is has. This is Resident Evil, this is what survival horror is all about, surviving.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

In The Jungle

I got around to playing a bit of Metal Gear Solid 3 last night and also tonight. I'm only two hours into the game but so far it's been really great. Because you are now in an open jungle with no radar the game seems much harder at times, but after you adapt to the gameplay change everything seems to click. There are now many more gameplay elements as well. Simple things like healing are now more involved, though nothing complex. The new hunting for food concept is also quite interesting, as you now have a knife, you can kill pretty much anything that moves, which isn't as hard as it seems. Also the new camouflage aspect is well implemented and requires you to select the right camo depending on your environment.

For what I have played so far, quite a bit has been movies, story establishment and codec talk, though most being interesting. One of the best cut scenes was an excellent one around an hour and a half into the game, one of the best I've seen in a game for a long time, classic MGS.

I wasn't sure if I'd really get into MGS3, as I'm a fan of the series just not a huge one, but sure enough it has pulled me in again.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Hitting Today

Just got a call from EB to let me know that Devil May Cry 3 and Resident Evil 4 Collectors Edition are now available. Two whole days before their release dates, not bad. As far as I know neither of them have street dates so that’s why they are available now. I probably can’t get to my local store until Thursday, so I’ll have to wait till then. On the plus side, extra long weekend this week, 4 days of gaming goodness!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Is More Less?

Not too much to report today. I went back to Big W on Sunday and managed to pick up Eternal Darkness for $30, not a bad price since it's quite a hard game to find new. I've heard that it's quite good, but I've yet to check it out.

I haven't really been playing much since I'm really into GT4 right now, but I will get into MGS3 soon and post some impressions.

One other juicy titbit for all you out there. My good friend at EB told me that starting Thursday, they are having a two for $50 sale. Basically it's a load of assorted games, that vary in price, but if you buy two of them you get them for $50. Bargain! I meant to mention this in my last post but it totally slipped my mind until today. So get down to EB Thursday and check it out.

I also mentioned Initial D Battle 9 DVD in my last post. Well I had a chance to watch it and found a interesting surprise. The last episode on the Battle 9 DVD, is actually the first episode in Initial D: Second Stage. As much as I adore Initial D, and after the first episode of Second Stage I'm still hooked. It's just they have refined the animation so much that it now looks strange. I loved the gritty look of the First Stage, now it's just really bright and far too clean. Sure it's still Initial D but it's lost some of it's feel. Though the CG is now much tighter.

Speaking of Initial D, there is a live action movie in the works. You can check the site here for a trailer. Doesn't look too bad, and if it's done well I guess it could be a pretty decent movie.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Fellow Gamecubers...

Lend me your ears, and I will tell you of good morrow. Urm, kinda. Anyway I found out today from my good friend in EB, that Big W has got (and has had for the last 2 days) 50% off all their Gamecube games and accessories. Oh!. I kinda wish I had of know when it had started, but hey I couldn't have gotten their until today anyway.

But all was not lost, upon hearing of this info I took a few paces into the Big W and purchased Metroid Prime 2 for $46, bargain get! Then I went to my local Big W and managed to pick up Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles for $46 also. So if there is a Big W near you go there now and have a butchers! They have a few titles in the two I checked out, though nothing great. Things like Paper Mario, Donkey Konga and such, I think they are just clearing stock, who knows.

Intial D Battle 9 is now out if your into that. I haven't watched this one yet, but will tomorrow since I've been waiting the last two months for it. Don't miss it!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Limited Metal Edition

Well here it is, the much anticipated Limited Metal Edition of Metal Gear Solid 3. I picked this up in EB tonight but haven't had a chance to actually play the game yet, I'll check it out over the weekend. With regards to the metal case that this game comes housed in, it's quite similar to the metal case for Halo 2. It also comes with a very nice game manual, contained within are plenty of the usual MGS offerings, with artwork and the such. Sorry about the rubbish picture, but because it's metal it just reflects everything.

How hard it is to acquire these limited MGS3's I have no idea. One of the guys in my local EB I know quite well and who has no reason to try and put the hard sell on me, mentioned that they are only available through EB. Since none of the online retailers that I peruse seem to list it I'm lead to believe that it may in fact be true. I'll have a look around some other local stores and see who's got what. One interesting thing to note is that the case has a PEGI rating on it (partially covered by the Australia rating sticker) which means it's from Europe, usually the UK. However the only mention of this metal edition I've seen thus far is that it's available from some French retailers, and the case just says Made in Austria, which to be honest doesn't mean much at all. So as to it's availability I have no idea, but for coolness factor and collection sake, try and pick one up ;)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

More GT Love

Yes, I know I keep on about Gran Turismo but, hey it's a big game. I promise I'll start posting about something else soon, maybe the Metal Gear Solid 3 Limited Edition Tin which is supposed to be available from EB via Pre Order only, well we shall soon see.

I started on the Special Licence the other night, and after doing the first eight or so I though that it was pretty easy, pretty straight forward. It was at about the test that is a full lap of the Gran Canyon that things went west. For some reason after that point, some of the tests are just a lot harder. I think it's because the tests use cars with a lot more power and thus the test requires that you get a much better time on that course, oh and the Special Licence tests are all full course time trials. It's always the same with GT test though, you either do it the first or second time, or spend a fair few goes at it. Anyway I've got 4 more test to do, which I hope aren't going to be a hassle, just the Nurburgring.

Oh, a couple more quick images from Photo Mode, I really need to spend some time with it, but it's like some kind of time eating mode...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More News or Just Hype?

Sorry for the late post, I was going to do it last night but after a session of Gran Turismo 4 I looked at the clock and realised how late it was, then remembered I hadn't posted anything.

I've been putting most of my time into GT4 at the moment so I don't know if Metal Gear Solid 3 is going to get any playtime when it's released in Thursday. Even with all the time I've put into GT4 so far I'm still not at 20%, though I am starting to unlock some decent cars. I'll try and post some more pics from Photo Mode later tonight.

I don't know if everyone has seen the bad news, but the PSP has been delayed in Europe for several months, yes this sadly includes us. How long several months is, who knows, but I would say it would be over 3, which is a goddamn long time.

With the recent GDC, there has been a lot of talk and speculation surrounding the next gen consoles. The reason I haven't really posted much about this is because in all honesty, it's still just speculation. None of the big three companies are willing to reveal what the current hardware plans are until E3, so everyone seems to be kicking off about something that at the moment is just pure speculation.

The article that Xbox.ign posted which has some nice info, is just based on Alpha and Beta kits. I'm sure the info of the final Xbox 2 is going to be extremely powerful, but why not just wait till E3 and not just guess on these things. I know the IGN article does have info that will undoubtable be true, but these days there is just too much info that's just nonsense.

In all reality though I do still lap all this info up like some kind of animal depraved of next gen info, and usually find myself disappointed because everything just gets so overly hyped these days. I am very excited to see how things pan out at E3 this year though, it's going to be one of the biggest E3's ever, and it's only a couple of months away.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Many Hours Ahead

After putting a few more hours into GT4, I still have to say that it's an excellent game. At times the difficulty seems to oscillate between very easy, and just frustratingly difficult. One thing that does annoy me is the penalty that is imposed in certain races. I've only noticed it in the Rally stages so far, and I can see why it's there, however it's not implemented extremely well. On the rally tracks if you hit the other car, or a wall at a certain speed you receive a penalty of 50km/h for 5 seconds. That's fine, it's when the other car hits me mid corner and I still receive the penalty and the AI just races off, or I get hit from behind and the AI still doesn't receive a penalty. On the plus side though the rally stages are great, and the first few a fairly easy and get you into the flow. Though Cita Di Aria reverse is still a real shocker.

I'm loving the music in the game, there is a really great variety from a selection on genera's and artists. Plus the jukebox mode is also very useful so you can customise the music you race to and such.

The Arcade mode now seems to just be that, an arcade mode. Unlike previous GT's there isn't anything to complete, you can just go in there and race a range of cars on various tracks.

One thing I can't get over is that the amount of cars you need to own for certain races. Now that there are manufacturer, county, size, era, etcetera you need to own far, far too many cars. I just hope the money get a lot, lot better.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Real Driving Simulator

Well it's finally here, Gran Turismo 4. After so many delays and many, many promises was it worth the wait you ask. Yes, yes it was.

When you first start this game you realise how big it has now gotten. There are just so many countries with different car manufactures it takes about 20 minutes just to check them all out. There are many extra tuning options now, and more specific tuning companies as well, like Spoon Sports, Blitz, HKS and many others. They all seem to have the same parts, so I don't know if there is any difference, but you can only go to certain tuning shops depending on the current car your using.

There has been an explosion in the evens categories in this game, some you can't even look at until you meet a required condition. There are now more licences, but they are pretty standard, one nice thing though is that once a licence is complete you get a car as a reward. As a bonus to fans also, is that you can transfer up to 100,000 Cr. from a GT3 save, and the first two licences from GT4: Prologue, I didn't bother as I really didn't see the point. Sure you get a head start in the game, but GT is about building up you cars and cash.

Second hand cars are now back in the game, and allow you to grab a bargain. I picked up a Honda Civic Type-R '97 for 9,990Cr which is a great starting car. After an oil change and a new engine management chip I was blazing.

I only got around to completing the Sunday Cup, which is very easy and only 5 races long. How ever GT4 has a very solid feel to it now. Cars respond much more realistically now and have a much better sense of speed to them.

I also checked out Photo Mode, and have put a couple of quick images below from it. If you want to loose hours from your life this is the thing to use. It's very easy to use, but just offers so many options and locations you want to keep trying new things with it. Defiantly worth checking out once you acquire some really hot cars.

Another thing that is just a minor peeve of mine is that there are so many utterly useless cars in this game, yet the one that I really wanted to be included, the Mazda SP23 isn't there. Once you see some of the cars you really just wonder, sure there are 700 cars, but I really don't know how many version of the Skyline you need in one game.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Just One More Day

My copy of Capcom Vs SNK 2 for PS2 arrived today, I played a match or two and all I can say is what the fuck is Capcom playing at?! Is it so hard to add a 60Hz mode to a game, really?! I thought game companies had go the memo that PAL gamers HATE ugly big black boarders, obviously the people at Capcom took that day off, because Capcom vs SNK has fucking huge black boarders. There not as bad as FFX, but they are still some of the biggest I've seen in a while. Maybe I've been spoilt by the Dremcast version of the game, but shit, what with the pixelated characters and then the black boarders, it's bloody sloppy. Sure it's playable, and the speed seems ok, but it's still inexcusable that half the screen is missing.

Gran Turismo 4 hits tomorrow, and I'll be there cashcard in hand picking it up tomorrow night, thank Christ for late night shopping. I just got an email from Sony Press Center saying that in one day, GT4 has shipped 3,182,535 units in PAL territories, that's a lot of games.

One good thing is I just got a 256MB USB mem sick, which you can use to save photos to from GT4's new photo mode, bargain! Can't wait to check it out!

Also seems like they have updated the GT World Site at last, it's running slow at the moment, but looks like there is some interesting info on there.

Anyway I'm out, back tomorrow with some GT4 goodness!!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

An Ultimate, Ultimate?

I decided that I was time I finally purchased something to store my games in, so today after work I made a trip to Ikea and purchased a Robin Multimedia unit. It's quite nice looking, and holds about 110 DVD size cases, more than the supposed 80 that their site says it holds. It's got adjustable shelves so you can configure it for CDs if you like. I'll post some pics of it soonish. I quite like Ikea stores, but not having been there before to buy anything, I didn't realise that after paying for the unit I then had to drive to their warehouse, about 13km away. WTF is that? I really shouldn't have to drive that far to pick up a goddamn DVD storage unit. Crazy.

When I got to work today my copy of DOA: Ultimate was waiting there for me, it arrived late Friday so that's why I didn't have it over the weekend. Not that it mattered I wouldn't have had time for it, what with Wind Waker and also the F1 being on.

So DOA: Ultimate, to be honest I wasn't even sure what the hell this game was, but for all who don't know it's a 2 disc set and contains a remake of DOA2 with a load of extras running on the DOA3 engine, and a port of DOA1, which looks a lot cleaner than any version I've seen before, but it still sucks. I first played DOA1 on the PSX when it was released and loved it, but now it just feels dated, and I really don't know why you would want to play it, well besides the online play.

DOA2 Ultimate on the other hand is great, since it's been revamped and is now running on the DOA3 engine it looks excellent and plays with the fluidity of DOA3. The one thing to really note are the impressive multi-tear environments, which are even better looking and much more detailed than those of DOA3. Plus the game has plenty of items and costumes to unlock, so it has a lot to keep you busy with. I only played through story mode and few times and a bit of time trial, but it feels like a solid game, worth checking out, maybe not at say $80 though. Try $50 odd.

Not much else has been going on. I picked up a copy of Capcom Vs SNK 2 for PS2 from CD-Wow, it cost me $35 with a voucher which was nice. I've only played it on the Dremcast before, so I'm hoping the PS2 version is similar. Oh and that release date I put up for Metal Gear Solid 3 is wrong (sorry!), according to EB it's going to be the 17th of this month, that date was from DVD Crave but they might be getting stock from the UK which is why the earlier date.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

It's Finally Happened

Well it's happened, I now I far more games than I have time to play, it's just plain out of hand at the moment. But being the way I am, I'm still picking stuff up. I was in EB today, talking to one of the guys I know and he mentioned that there is a Limited Edition of Metal Gear Solid 3 exclusive to EB on pre-order. Then I mentioned that Devil May Cry 3 was out soon, and he then said that you get a t-shirt if you pre-order it. I then handed over $20, and secured two pre-orders.

The thing is there are about 4 games due out in the next month that I intend picking up, I don't have time to play the ones I have at the moment, let alone all these must have new release. Have a look at these:

Metal Gear Solid 3 - 09/3
Gran Turismo 4 - 10/3
Devil May Cry 3 - 25/3
Resident Evil 3 - 23/3

Though to be honest I'm most looking forward to GT4, and have been for, well since it was announced. I'm happy that the game is finally getting released, god knows I'll probably be speechless when I finally play it.

Well after a goddamn long week, something good happened. I managed to get hold of my 1019 Gamecube mem card, and my copies of Wind Waker and Metorid Prime.

Since I also had a copy of F-Zero which I hadn't played I checked that out first last night. It's not a bad game, I find it fairly difficult though even at the start. I played one tournament on Novice which wasn't too bad, but the second chapter on Story mode took me far too many tries.

Today I spent a bit of time playing Zelda: Win Waker, damn I love that game. I don't know why people complained about the cel-shading in it at first, it's so well done and suits the game perfectly. I played it for a few hours but will definably play it all the way through. I love the way Zelda games are structured, and it's just a joy to play. It's also got the bonus disc with Ocarina Of Time, which I only looked at quickly, but it doesn't look that bad, brings back some memories as well.

I also played Metroid Prime for a few hours tonight as well. I'm really getting into the game, it took me a while to grasp what the hell I was doing and how to go about things, but now I've worked it out I'm really enjoying it. I'm not sure about the controller though, at times it just seems a little sluggish and slow. The game has great visuals though and the music at times is really wicked.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Done and Done!

I've just finished ICO, and what a fine game it is. A little frustrating at times, mainly from dying right before you solve a puzzle, but apart from that it's an excellent adventure game. Not too hard, and always provoking you to try and solve the puzzles it presents. The storyline is very, very strange, but you expect that from a game who's main character is a boy with horns. It's too bad it's so hard to get hold of, it's worth playing just to see some of the landscapes in it.

It appears that Microsoft is trying to position it's self better this time round in the Japanese market. After getting Hironobu Sakaguchi the creator of Final Fantasy to develop games for them, they have now also signed Yoshiki Okamoto (ex Capcom executive) and Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Sega Rally and Rez). Now if they have such great talent as this developing games for their new console, and they design a decent looking box this time and market it right, there is no reason why they can't get the next Xbox going in Japan. Saying that though, having Hironobu Sakaguchi on your side, and having the actual Final Fantasy franchise on a console are two totally different things.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

An Adventure In A Box

I managed to finish Gitaroo Man last weekend, it has to be one of the hardest and most frustrating beatmani style games I've ever played. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who throws controllers, it's just that damn hard at times. Though in saying that it's a very cool game, with a totally unique and quirky style, and if you can manage to get past the two or three really hard stages it's offers some great gameplay and a decent replay value.

I've also been playing mainly ICO, I really want to complete it before I move on to something else. I'm bout 6 hrs into it, and have a feeling it's not that much longer. It's quite a decent action/puzzle solving game, one nice thing is that there is very little back tracing if any with the levels, and the puzzles are never that hard you can't figure them out without either looking around and putting some logical thought into it, or just trying a few different things. It's not Myst hard is what I'm trying to say.

All I can say is that Gran Turismo 4 is out in one week and I can't wait !!! I've had this goddamn thing pre-ordered for so long now that I think they chiselled the preorder into a piece of stone. You can expect a few posts on that as well as some pics from the Photo Mode, w00t!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

So Many Accurate Colours

Yesterday my component cable for the Gamecube turned up, and as you would expect it's a vast improvement over the composite cable. If you own a Cube, you really do need this cable. The only thing I find fairly ridiculous about the whole thing with the Gamecube is that the component cable has only the red, green and blue connectors, no audio? So you have to also hook up the composite cable into the analogue port for the audio, it just seems so badly engineered. Anyway it all works fine so it's not a huge problem.

Because I'm not in Brisbane this week (I'm doing some Qrestron training on the Gold Coast) I can't pick up anything that gets delivered there, which is a dilemma to say the least. Why couldn't that memory card have turned up yesterday, damn Australia post.

I also managed to score a copy of Dead or Alive Ultimate from eBay, I had considered buying it for $80 but picked it up for $50 or so, which I thought wasn't bad. As long as it has more unlockable content that DOA3 I'll be very happy.