Retrospectives – Metal Gear Solid series part 2

Continued from part 1.

My first experience with anything related to Metal Gear was the MGS cover story in Next Generation Magazine. Like any feature on the game should have, the article mentioned that this was not a new series, but the resurrection of an old one. It even gave a brief history of the past Metal Gear games, which made me feel like hot shit in my eighth grade mind, as if I knew something the unwashed masses that would eventually buy the game never would.

Oh how wrong I was. Remember the amazing boss fight with Liquid Snake in the Hind D?… Read the rest

Is Nintendo Power biased? A semi-serious statistical survey

Nintendo Power is going to be outsourced to Imagine Media, meaning the long-standing and proud magazine will no longer be run by Nintendo themselves. This inspired Jay and Christian to resurrect this old project. Most people claim that Nintendo Power review scores cannot be trusted, or are at least suspect, considering they come “in house” rather than from an independent source. Now that this will no longer be the case, let us look back at the old Nintendo Power and see how they stacked up to the rest of the gaming world when reviewing Nintendo DS games.

A few nuggets of info before we start.… Read the rest

Politicians aiming to censor games have an uphill battle

Unless you spent the last year hiding in a cave playing Gears of War and Elebits, you’ve probably noticed that video games continue to be a great way for politicians to score points with the obsessively-worried-with-no-rational-basis constituency (I usually just call them “crotchety old people,” where, since this is a legal article and I’d hate to be vague, old is defined as “belonging to any generation that is unable to recognize the sequence ‘up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start’”).

Of course, what could be wrong with censoring video games? As spokesperson for New York State Senator Leland Yee, the sponsor of the latest video game censorship law, points out, “we prohibit children from smoking…we regulate driver’s licenses.… Read the rest

PS1 games you may have missed: The RPGs

As you all may be aware, Sony is finally picking up the software side of backwards compatibility for its shiny new system.

Since the PS3 doesn’t have any good RPGs or strategy games of its own yet, I would like to take this opportunity to recommend a few rare games that may actually be compatible with the PS3 by now.

I won’t lie; some of these games are inordinately expensive by used-game standards. But even the most expensive doesn’t cost twice as much as a new PS3 game.

My intent with this is to show you all that the PSX was, in some ways, an incredible system; it may not have had the sturdy character of the N64, but even though I am fascinated with obscurity, I hadn’t heard of several of these games a few years ago – well after the PS2 had taken over.… Read the rest

Dreamcast Mania! – Overrated games

What better way to wrap up our celebration of the Dreamcast than by killing it off? In my final entry in this series, I’m going to do what I do best – slaughter some sacred cows. Not all of them are at the top of many Dreamcast gamer’s lists (and some certainly are), but at the very least these were well respected games that I found to be severely lacking.

Grandia 2 – I absolutely loved Grandia 2 when I first played it. But I’m an older and wiser gamer, and I don’t think you could ever get me to touch this one again.… Read the rest

Dreamcast Mania! – Great games you can’t get anywhere else

Videolamer noticed that in our attempts to keep Dreamcast Mania! alive, so very many of our articles were about the things we missed out on, rather than a celebration of what we had. That changes now. Today we will be going over some of the absolute best games the DC (and only the DC) has to offer. These are not only the reasons why we loved it, but while we still do. These are the games that make it a system still worth owning and playing (meaning you won’t find games like Third Strike, which has a superior PS2 port).

Oh, and I only have a paragraph to describe each game.… Read the rest

Dreamcast Mania! – Canceled games: Forever Denied

Over the last few weeks I wrote about two categories of canceled Dreamcast games, those that were PC ports trying to eke out a living on Sega’s machine and those that quickly found a new home on a competing console. In the final installment of this series I take a look at the most tragic of canceled games – games that gamers never got a chance to play.

Castlevania Resurrection

What was it?
This game was slated to be the third 3D Castlevania and star Sonia and Victor Belmont. The plot line was the standard Dracula-has-returned nonsense; if you’re one of the 36 people on earth who care about the story arcs in Castlevania, please let me know, it would be an honor to meet you.… Read the rest

Dreamcast Mania!: What did we miss? – Headhunter

What Happened?: Headhunter was supposed to come out at the tail end of the Dreamcast’s life. It still did – in Europe. Its US cancellation was a big enough deal for IGN’s Dreamcast channel to review the import, meaning it was as important to them as Shenmue 2. Eventually Americans got a chance to play it on the PS2.

The Game: Allow me to get bold and assertive for a minute. 1998 was the beginning of a new little period in which a flurry of Important Games were released. They reinvented series, changed genres, and refined 3d game design.… Read the rest

Dreamcast Mania!: What did we miss? – Capcom VS SNK 2: Millionaire Fighting 2001

What happened – I don’t actually remember if there were even rumors of Capcom VS SNK 2 coming to American Dreamcasts, but considering we got the first game, it seems likely that there were. CVS2 would hit the Dreamcast, but only in Japan. In my experience it was one of the most widely imported titles in the West, to the point where some DC groups talk about it like it was a regular release.

The Game – If there is one thing Capcom’s massive library of fighters has taught us, it is that they never did get it right the first time.… Read the rest

Gaming Meccas of Japan Pt. 1 — Den Den Town, Osaka, Japan

Being a geek and living in Japan is kind of like mixing Ecstasy with LSD – it’s one hell of a trip. There are four places in Japan that should be on the must-see list for anyone who calls himself a nerd. The big one is Akihabara in Tokyo and I will be covering that in September along with The Tokyo Game Show. The third spot goes to Nintendo’s world headquarters in Kyoto but there isn’t much to see there because no one is allowed into the facility and tours are never provided. The fourth spot and topic of today’s installment is Den Den Town in Osaka.… Read the rest