$20 GOTW and Lost Classics at Powet

November 26, 2006 at 4:44 pm ($20 GOTW, information, Lost Classics, Video Games)

Becuase it makes more sense than posting the same thing to 2 different sites and becuase my homie Zac Shipley needs a lot of exposure, my $20 GOTY and Lost Classics features will be posted over at Powet.tv exclusively.  Check it out, becuase it’s a dope ass site.  Check there each Thursday afternoon.  I’ll also add a link to the blogroll list so you won’t forget.

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$20 GOTW: Street Fighter EX 3 (PS2)

November 2, 2006 at 12:35 pm ($20 GOTW, capcom, Video Games)

This week’s $20 GOTY and lost classics are gonna take you waaaaaay back.  First, lets take a trip back to the PS2 launch.  Although there weren’t many titles worth grabbing at the time, (except Timesplitters and Tekken Tag Tournament) Capcom gave us fighting game fans something to tide us over. You either love the EX series or you hate it.  Those who like it, (me for instance) like the cool music, intresting new characters (although some are somewhat dull), and the fact that our favorite 2-d series translated so well to 3-d.  Those who hate it harp on it’s static backgrounds, dull characters, and consider it blasphemy to take a 2-d stalwart and take it into 3-d.  Capcom’s 3-d fighters have been more of a test run than anything, and the fact that they still continue to produce 2-d games speaks volumes of thier apprehension to make the jump to 3-d.  Be that as it may, beside Rival Schools and Tech Romancer, this is probably thier best 3-d effort.

Although the only new character introduced here is Ace (a robot who you can set special attacks for in an all new mission mode), many of your favorites from the EX series have arrived.  A new Tag Team mode, similar to the Marvel vs Capcom games is also included.  You can’t change in and out as rapidly here as you did in MVC though, so it adds a layer of strategy and timing.  A new single player mode tries to do things differently by having you fight more than one opponent at once, and giving you the option to recruit defeated opponents to your team.  Finally, beating the aforementioned single player mode treats you to the wildest credit sequence ever; a free-for all brawl where the goal is to take out as many enemies as you can.

As I mentioned before, not everyone will like SFEX3, particularly series purists.  I kinda miss the remixed barrel breaking game from the original EX.  For those who don’t mind a little change now and then however, you can’t go wrong with this PS2 blast from the past.

By the way, sorry about last week’s $20 GOTW.  I was busy with training and forgot to post it here.  You can still read it over at Powet though.

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$20 GOTW & Lost Classics: Geometry Wars (Xbox 360) and Silent Bomber (PS1)

October 21, 2006 at 6:19 pm ($20 GOTW, Lost Classics, Video Games)

  silent_bomber.jpg  geometrywars.jpg

$20 GOTW:  Geometry Wars

This week, I’m gonna do a little something different.  Remember all those games like Robotron, Space Invaders, and Galaga where you didn’t play to see some 45 minute ending or unlock a whole bunch of stuff?  All you played them was to beat the highest score.  Well, Bizzare Creations’ Geometry Wars is just that.  You play it for the challenge, and it’s addictive.  It began life as a hidden feature of Project Gotham racing, but evolved into something more.  This update adds in flashier graphics and music, while keeping the gameplay simple.  As a ship, you try to survive as long as you can against an onslaught of enemy polygons.  The left analog stick is used for moving, while the right is used for shooting, a’l’a smash TV.  You can even play your own soundtracks while playing it.  Check it out, it’s available on the marketplace for only $5.  (400 points to be exact.)

Lost Classics:  Silent Bomber (PS1)

In the late years of the PS1, Bandai released a game that, while it captures the essence of what we love about classic gaming, it also updates it with a clever twist.  You play as Jutah, a man running from the demons of his past while by attempting to save the world from a rogue warship.  It’s a top-down shooter, but instead of blasting at enemies, you plant bombs on them and detonate them.  This game play turns what would have been an average shooter into something totally different from the norm.  The setting and detonation of bombs allows for a new layer of strategy.  Also, it’s pretty fun and sadistic to plant bombs on moving targets, even if they are just robots.  When you get tired of the vs mode, there is a 2-player vs mode you can play.  This game is pretty rare, so if you manage to find a copy, do yourself a big favor and pick it up.

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$0 GOTW: Dead to Rights (Xbox, GC, PS2, PC)

October 12, 2006 at 1:54 pm ($20 GOTW, Video Games)

Sorry I’m late this week fans.  I had a few job interviews and whatnot, but here I am.  This week’s $20 GOTW celebrates America’s love affair with 80’s action movies.  You know, the kind with one man against a crime syndicate, shooting up a whole bunch of $!#t.  Dead to rights was a game that came out in the second year of the Xbox’s life cycle.  What’s surprising about it is that it was made by Namco, an Japanese company.  At the time, they had Americanized action down pat.  It would be released on PS2, Gamecube, and PC several months later with new features such as the ability to bypass some of the more annoying minigames.  You play as Jack Slate, a former cop out to clear his name and avenge his father’s death.  Your quest for revenge takes you throughout Grant City’s slums all the way to the top of it’s criminal empire, as crooked cops, businessmen, foreign white slavers (yes you read that right), and even the mayor are wrapped up in the conspiracy.  It implimented the popular “bullet time” gameplay device, something which would be whored out in several other games.  Also of note were the cool disarm moves, where with a button combination and quick reflexes, you could disarm an opponent and kill him with his own weapon.  Your canine friend Shadow also helps out in some of these sequences, hitting up an opponent and taking his weapon for you to use.  As mentioned before the game uses several minigames to keep the action from getting stale.  These minigames involve disarming bombs, participating in boxing matches, and even a gallery-shooting level.  It was followed up with a rather dissappointing sequel last year, and a planned spinoff, “Grant City Anti-Crime”, was cancelled altogether.  Even so, if you love all out balls-to-the wall shooting, you can’t go wrong with this.  It may not reinvent the wheel, but damn if it ain’t fun.

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$20 GOTW: Warioware: Touched (Nintendo DS)

October 4, 2006 at 3:26 am ($20 GOTW, Video Games)

warioware_touched_ds.jpgIn 2003, Nintendo released Warioware Inc, a bizzare and unique pacakge unlike anything seen so far on the Game Boy Advance. It was a collection of ‘microgames’, short games that were to be completed in a few seconds. These games included jumping over a moving vehicle, dodging arrows, wiping the snot from a nose of an anime girl, and even excerpts from classic Nintendo games. There was nothing like it, and still isn’t. When the DS was announced, I suspected that there would be a version of Warioware which would take full advantage of the system’s capabilities, and sure enough, here it is.Warioware touched makes use of the stylus and microphone for an all new and bizzare collection of minigames. You use the stylus to cut up food, unroll toilet paper, put out fires using a statue of a urinating child, and other bizzare activities. Each set of games is grouped according to thier main function. For instance, Jimmy’s games involve rubbing, while Mona’s involve quick cutting motions. You unlock more stuff throughout the game, including more minigames, and ‘toys’ which show off fun little things you can do with the DS. For those looking for something unique, you can’t go wrong with this. Also, check out Warioware twisted on GBA, and Warioware smooth moves comming soon to Wii.

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$20 Game of the week: Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Xbox, PS2, PC)

September 26, 2006 at 12:23 pm ($20 GOTW, Video Games)

rtcw.jpgAlthough this is available on the three formats I mentioned above for $20 or less, this is mainly focusing on the Xbox version of the game. Wolfenstein 3-D was the start of two big revolutions in gaming.  It was one of the first games that bought home the actual WW2 experience, complete with zombies, mutant dogs, and a cyborg Hitler.  This is a feat that would not be achieved until years later with EA’s Medal of Honor (albeit with no zombies or cyborgs).  Secondly,  it was the birth of the genre we know as “First Person Shooters” or FPS for short.  Although it had it’s set of issues, (limited weapons and enemy varieties, repetitive levels, etc) this would continue to hold a special place in the hearts of gamers everywhere.

Fast forward to 2002.  ID decided to revive it’s top two franchises in the FPS genre, Wolfenstein and Doom.  Return to Castle Wolfeinstein was the first out the gate, with many receiving it better than Doom 3.  Ton console version was even better, packing in several new features such as squad-based Xbox Live play, offline co-op, new prequel levels, and the original Wolfenstein as an unlockable.  Eschewing the silliness of the  past games, ID offers up a deep plot drawing upon the occult history of the Third Reich.  As BJ Blazkowicz, you fight your way to Nazi Germany to stop the resurrection of an ancient scientist.  With several weapons at your disposal, you must fight past Nazis, undead creatures, and even experimental  super soldiers.

For WW2 fans looking for an alternative from the usual “Call of the battlefield of Honor archetypes”, this is a fun game to pick up.

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Will’s week in cheap gaming: SRPG-A-go-go

September 18, 2006 at 3:35 pm ($20 GOTW, Lost Classics, Video Games)

vandalhearts.jpgadvancewarsds.jpgOne of the most enduring subgenres of gaming is the Strategy-RPG, or SRPG as I’ll refer to it for the purposes of this write-up.  Combining turn-based RPG conventions with grib-based strategy, these games are like a marriage of chess, Command and conquer, and Final Fantasy.  From Shining Force on the Sega genesis to Final Fantasy Tatics, this subset of RPGS are easy to pick up and play, yet difficult to master.  This week’s $20 GOTY and lost classics will take a look at two entries in this genre. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will’s week-in gaming: Return of the brawler

September 12, 2006 at 1:52 am ($20 GOTW, Lost Classics, Video Games)

final_fight.pngThis week’s $20 GOTY and lost classics segments focus on the eventual re-emergence of the brawler.  Ever since the golden age of titles such as Final Fight and Double Dragon, arcade and console gamers have enjoyed bashing thier way to the other side of the screen using an assortment of moves.  However, after the 16-bit generation, the popularity of true brawlers has waned, due in fact to developer’s instance of making games in 3-d, including our belover beat-em-ups.  In recent years however, there has been a resurgance of intrest in the brawler, mostly due to the fact that developers have managed to do it the right way.  Lets take a look at two such games, one you may have missed, and the other being more recent.  BTW, starting this week, or whenever I stop being lazy, I’m moving this back to the weekend.  (Will’s week-in gaming.  Get it?)

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Will’s week in gaming (Holiday anniversary edition)

September 5, 2006 at 12:33 pm ($20 GOTW, Lost Classics, Video Games)

From now on, instead of writing 2 different columns each week, my $20 GOTY and Buried Treasures sections will be combined into 1 big juicy post. This will ensure that you don’t miss anything, especially from the other writers. Also, this is important becuase this week will be extra big. You’ll know why as soon as you finish reading this sentence.

It’s the day after labor day, and while other news sites might chill out after the holidays, I double up! That means you get 2 articles this week. Oh waitaminute, it’s been 1 year since I started doing the $20 GOTY, so that means I gotta add in 1 more to celebrate. Two of these games you may have seen before, becuase they got lost when we switched to word press and they were so dope, I needed an excuse to look at them again. Besides, it will be a first time a lot of you will be seeing them anyhow, especially if you’re reading this on Area 4:51. So without further ado, come ride with me [to the bargin bin at your local gamestop]. Read the rest of this entry »

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For the Koei fans (You know who you are, don’t hide, I see ya!)

August 30, 2006 at 11:43 pm ($20 GOTW, koei, Video Games)

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You know who I’m talking to. You went back and checked out the original “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” novel after playing the strategy game of the same name to read up on your favorite character. You compared notes to the in-game Dynasty Warriors encyclopedia to see if they got your favorite character right. You decided to major in history after playing Samurai Warriors gave you an intrest in feudal Japan. Yeah, I see ya hiding. Don’t make me call out your name. It’s all good, becuase I’m one of you.

Koei’s games sell like hotcakes in Japan, but they don’t get nearly enough love over here. Samurai Warriors is a spin off in Koei’s Dynasty Warriors hack and slash games. Samurai Warriors differs from Dynasty Warriors in that it’s set in ancient Japan. The original SW had a number of gameplay features that made it unique from DW, and after playing SW, I was disappointed to see that these features weren’t integrated into Dynasty Warriors 5.

Samurai Warriors 2 comming to Xbox 360 and PS2 later this month will take the series where it has never been before: online. Although it’s only for 2 players, it’s long overdue. Also, Xbox 360 users will notive that several special mounts and bodyguards are already available for purchase over the Xbox live market place. Beside conforming a Sony/Nintendo fanboy’s biggest criticism against the Xbox 360 (Charging people for a special item! GRRRRR!!), this opens up the possiblities for what Koei could have planned for future Xbox support. Unfortunantely though, it seems that just as in the 360 version of Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires, this new version will receive minimal graphics enhancements at best. If you don’t care too much for graphics though, get ready to sharpen your sword and head back to the battlefield this fall!

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