Archive for the 'in deck' Category

04
Dec
08

In Deck Post-Turkey Time

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? I hope so. I did, though I haven’t played as many games as one might expect. More often than not I’ve been resting or just goofing off with my spare time. Plus, I don’t have Left 4 Dead yet (and probably won’t till after Xmas). For shits and giggles, here’s what I’ve been playing over Turkey day and beyond:

River City Ransom

What a classic! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to play as much as I want, but recently played a little with a buddy where we cleared out some areas and earned some money. This is one classic that holds up big time today, deserves a remake, and should be on any and everyone’s Wii Virtual Console library. I never played it as a kid, but thanks to the glory of emulation and now the Virtual Console, I’ve been enjoying it for years.

F-Zero GX

The F-Zero obsession continues. Maureen is practically undefeated in any multi-player match up we have in any version of F-Zero. She fell short the other day while we played with our pal, Aaron, however and he has lorded it over her head since. F-Zero GX is probably my favorite F-Zero, as I think Sega brought a lot to the table. The various racers, the details put into the vehicles and their drivers, the insane track designs… It’s just so excellent. I also really dig the music, though Maureen and I agree to disagree on this point. Plus, there are so many characters and tracks, especially if you visited an arcade to unlock more of them (or used an Action Replay to unlock the extra stuff, which is what I did). Seeing as the Wii has no F-Zero even announced, GX still holds up enough to merit playing and enjoying. I’ve played some of the other F-Zeros in the past (and still tinker with the original here and there), which I’ve brought up on other In Deck/On Decks, but over the past week at least, GX has held my interest beyond just a solitary session.

Super Mario RPG

I bought this for VC with some long, lingering, leftover Wii points a couple weeks ago, but just recently started playing it. It’s been nice returning to this game, and even though I’m not very far in yet, the old joy returns. However, it’s more interesting to see it for what it is: the ancestor for both the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi RPG games Nintendo puts out now. There are many things that have been adapted from this classic title, which is great, so it’s intriguing to play the old one again, when timed hits and platforming combined with an RPG was still a new thing. I also really like the characters Square made up for this game, Mallow and Geno. Those guys need to make a comeback somehow…

Tetris DS

I just got this back about a few weeks ago, and now that I have it back, I’m wondering why the hell I loaned it out in the first place. Tetris DS is not only the game of Tetris we all know and love, it’s infused with several unique modes that keep me coming back time and again. Plus, there are Nintendo characters and music galore that decorate each mode. Even the guy from Gyromite makes a cameo! It’s addicting as hell, as Tetris should be, and has enough variety to keep things interesting. I’ve taken to playing it at any dull moment, even during commercials! It’s a phenomenal game, and the game I’ve probably been playing the most lately.

Super Mario World

True to my word, I’ve come back to Super Mario World. It’s been a brief visit so far, but I am definitely loving the return to Mario’s 2D roots. A lot of this game, from the aesthetics to the gameplay, all brings back a lot of great memories of the Super Nintendo days. Still, as much as I’m enjoying my foray into SMW, I think I need to get back to exploring Super Mario Galaxy.

No On Deck today, as I don’t know what exactly I’ll be playing next. I have some ideas, but nothing solid.

Max

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04
Dec
08

In Deck Post-Turkey Time

Did everyone have a good Thanksgiving? I hope so. I did, though I haven’t played as many games as one might expect. More often than not I’ve been resting or just goofing off with my spare time. Plus, I don’t have Left 4 Dead yet (and probably won’t till after Xmas). For shits and giggles, here’s what I’ve been playing over Turkey day and beyond:

River City Ransom

What a classic! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to play as much as I want, but recently played a little with a buddy where we cleared out some areas and earned some money. This is one classic that holds up big time today, deserves a remake, and should be on any and everyone’s Wii Virtual Console library. I never played it as a kid, but thanks to the glory of emulation and now the Virtual Console, I’ve been enjoying it for years.

F-Zero GX

The F-Zero obsession continues. Maureen is practically undefeated in any multi-player match up we have in any version of F-Zero. She fell short the other day while we played with our pal, Aaron, however and he has lorded it over her head since. F-Zero GX is probably my favorite F-Zero, as I think Sega brought a lot to the table. The various racers, the details put into the vehicles and their drivers, the insane track designs… It’s just so excellent. I also really dig the music, though Maureen and I agree to disagree on this point. Plus, there are so many characters and tracks, especially if you visited an arcade to unlock more of them (or used an Action Replay to unlock the extra stuff, which is what I did). Seeing as the Wii has no F-Zero even announced, GX still holds up enough to merit playing and enjoying. I’ve played some of the other F-Zeros in the past (and still tinker with the original here and there), which I’ve brought up on other In Deck/On Decks, but over the past week at least, GX has held my interest beyond just a solitary session.

Super Mario RPG

I bought this for VC with some long, lingering, leftover Wii points a couple weeks ago, but just recently started playing it. It’s been nice returning to this game, and even though I’m not very far in yet, the old joy returns. However, it’s more interesting to see it for what it is: the ancestor for both the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi RPG games Nintendo puts out now. There are many things that have been adapted from this classic title, which is great, so it’s intriguing to play the old one again, when timed hits and platforming combined with an RPG was still a new thing. I also really like the characters Square made up for this game, Mallow and Geno. Those guys need to make a comeback somehow…

Tetris DS

I just got this back about a few weeks ago, and now that I have it back, I’m wondering why the hell I loaned it out in the first place. Tetris DS is not only the game of Tetris we all know and love, it’s infused with several unique modes that keep me coming back time and again. Plus, there are Nintendo characters and music galore that decorate each mode. Even the guy from Gyromite makes a cameo! It’s addicting as hell, as Tetris should be, and has enough variety to keep things interesting. I’ve taken to playing it at any dull moment, even during commercials! It’s a phenomenal game, and the game I’ve probably been playing the most lately.

Super Mario World

True to my word, I’ve come back to Super Mario World. It’s been a brief visit so far, but I am definitely loving the return to Mario’s 2D roots. A lot of this game, from the aesthetics to the gameplay, all brings back a lot of great memories of the Super Nintendo days. Still, as much as I’m enjoying my foray into SMW, I think I need to get back to exploring Super Mario Galaxy.

No On Deck today, as I don’t know what exactly I’ll be playing next. I have some ideas, but nothing solid.

Max

14
Nov
08

In Deck: catching up on non Fallout 3 games

with school slowing up to once a week and sometimes once every other week, i’ve had some time to play some games. most of that time has been with fallout 3. the game is insane. period. i can’t help but play this any spare second i get. but, i did manage to play some other games while i pried my copy of Fallout 3 out of my deck.

Call of Duty 4

for my multi-player fix, i dropped into COD4 again. sorry, warhawk. i really need to play you more. after double xp weekend a few weeks ago, (well, more like months ago) i chilled out on COD4 for a while. catching you up, i’m at level 37 and i’m starting the shotgun challenges. i’m not doing so well with the transition from my mini-uzi/MP5/M16A4 combo to any shotguns. team deathmatch and domination games have left me shot the fuck up in numerous times. in the end, i put COD4 down to play fallout 3.

PAIN

the old standby. then i realized that the movie studio wasn’t out until later in the week, at the time. i put it down to play fallout 3.

Burnout Paradise

jumped back in the play some online since i hadn’t played in a while. played a few stuntruns, losing badly i might add. got four trophies. sweet deal. did some freeburn challenges. then jumped back into single player. rocked stuntruns and won all but one before moving to road rage where i promptly flattened out the opposition. to check my stats, hit the jump and see the carnage.

the return of Oblivion

after being lent out to a friend for upwards of three months, i got back my copy of Oblivion. last left off, i was at level 35 with me being knee deep in the shivering isles quests. i currently have two saves. one where i’m close to the end of the game and one where i’m dicking around dungeon crawling and finding random quests and weapons. it’s a fun time and it’s brand new again. even after some, at last count, 370 hours played. it was almost like i was playing fallout 3. so that leads us to……………..

Fallout 3

yeah. you may have read about this one. i’m working on a few quests at a time. i just finished one where you have to go to the Lincoln Memorial and do…something. sorry, no spoilers here. all you need to know is that shooting was plentiful and there was no shortage of targets. i’m doing a quest were i’m picking up a rare drink for a collector that’s obsessed with it. it seems to be everywhere, but after going to the factory and finding the shipping list, i’m finding that the places where it was shipped is filled with crazy people. it’s a good time.

also, i’ve been trying to find all the schematics for the special weapons. i have the parts for the railway gun. (which i posted a video showing the head blasting goodness) my new quest is to find the Shishkabob, the gun-powered flaming sword you make out of a lawnmower blade, a motorcycle gas tank, a pilot light and something else. the outcome is awesomeness. as seen here:

did i mention a FUCKING FLAMING SWORD!!!! props to shebut for the vid.

back to fallout 3. later.

J.

21
Sep
08

In Deck – Post 360 Breakdown

After my Xbox 360 got the red rings of death, I’ve had to move on to play other games and systems. Unlike J, I didn’t do much portable gaming during the blackout, as I tried to spend time where electricity was on (school, friends’). Additionally, with school about to launch into its third week for me, I haven’t been playing so much as I’ve had homework and early bedtimes so I can make it to butt-early-in-the-morning classes. Still, I am getting gaming time in, so I figured I’d take a look at what I’ve been playing.

Triggerheart Exelica


As an XBLA title, this shouldn’t count, but it is the last game I was able to play on my 360, late night Saturday/early morning Sunday last week, and I wanted to talk about it. After the content-packed bargains I found in Bionic Commando Rearmed ($10) and Castle Crashers ($15), paying $10 for Triggerheart Exelica when it’s only 5 levels and can be beaten in about 15-20 minutes seemed a bit disappointing. However, I kept playing it over and over, and now I miss it.

It’s a basic shooter, with anime girls in robot suits (more like robot shells & less-than-modest clothing) and a tractor-beam mechanic that allows you to trap enemies and swing them around as a shield. Music is pleasing, levels are fun, though graphics aren’t the greatest. It’s an addictive game, though later levels have so many swarms of bullets coming at you, it’s as impossible as Ikaruga would be without the ability to dodge half of them by changing color (though Ikaruga was pretty hard even with the color changing).

Even with two characters, each with a different shot pattern, it’s really short, but that makes it perfect for a quick bout of gaming. Overall I don’t regret the purchase and I can’t wait to play it again.

Final Fantasy III

I’ve gotten more playtime in FFIII and finally got around to figuring out if I wanted to switch jobs for my characters or keep the old ones (a dilemma from my first on deck). While new jobs were novel, they ended up being very annoying and practically worthless (especially the bard class). I wasn’t used to them, the job levels were rock bottom and I hated the limitations imposed on some classes. So I switched back to the mainstay jobs I’ve held throughout most of the game. I’m sure if I had more patience, it’d be fun to tinker with jobs, but I guess I’m pretty resistant to change. Basically between trying things out and grinding (I love to grind for some reason), I haven’t progressed much further in the game.

Rock Band

How can I play Rock Band without a working 360, or even a copy of the game? Simple: by having friends that have both. I’ve been to my buddy, Aaron’s, for a couple “Rock Band parties,” where there’s enough people to play all instruments. I love this game, more than Guitar Hero, and it’s really fun to switch things up. I’m still not great at these “guitar games” so I play on medium. And even though I’ve spent years as a percussionist, the Rock Band drums seem counter intuitive and I can barely hang. That doesn’t seem to be a problem for non-real life drummers (or maybe I’m just rusty). Even though I’m not the greatest musician, Rock Band is tons of fun and the ultimate party game.

PaRappa the Rapper

Speaking of music games, I broke out one of the earliest here recently. Step on the gas! Now step on the brake! Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind! And all that… I’ve been wanting to show my beloved Maureen PaRappa for awhile, but never really got motivated to load it up until I saw Mega64’s brilliant re-enactment of the game. After that, I had to play it again. I played with friends, and holy crap, it’s hard! I remember struggling when I first played it, so I’m probably re-learning the mechanics all over again. Still, we made it to the bathroom rap battle (the second to last stage), before giving up. It was good to play it again; for the most part, it holds up even today.

And, much to my delight, I can still make PaRappa say “Crack, crack, crack, into the crack bowl,” on the cake making level.

Katamari Damacy

It makes sense that after the 360 broke down when we tried to play Beautiful Katamari, we’d want to play the original. I’ve played a little and love how pure it is. Maureen’s done most of the playing, though last night we had friends over—one of who had never seen any Katamari game in action. He laughed like crazy at the intro, and became addicted almost instantly. It’s been really awesome revisiting this classic.

No More Heroes

I’m a really easily distracted person, which may explain why I leave games unfinished only to linger in my backlog. I took a step to fix this by revisiting No More Heroes, one of the most unique (and violent) Wii games around. While some reviewers complained that the open city setting was shallow and didn’t hold up to its GTA appearance, I think they missed the point. To me, No More Heroes is a lot like Shadow of the Colossus, where boss battles take the center stage. Of course, there are also minor skirmishes, some NPC characters/shops, and tons of mini-games and missions, but the boss battles are the meat of the game. I played through a couple of them, and ran into some unexpected surprises and weirdness along the way. While it’s not for everybody, this game is one of the most unique experiences to be had.


Okami

Although I didn’t really “get” Okami the first time I saw it on PS2, I really wanted to try the Wii version when it came out. I have just started Okami, basically playing through the tutorial, and I am impressed. It’s so aesthetically pleasing and the storytelling is great. I can really see why many compare Okami to a Zelda game. Using the brush with the Wii remote isn’t as hard as I thought it’d be, though I’ve only learned basic stroke moves so far. It’s also nice to see the wolf actually running like a wolf—unlike Link’s wolf form in Zelda: Twilight Princess, which basically ran the same way as Epona the horse. I’m definitely going to be spending more time with this one.

I’ve been occupied and been having good times, but I still gotta say: come back soon 360!

Max

17
Sep
08

IN DECK/ON DECK 9/17 (offline to online)

sorry about not posting lately. Hurricane Ike whopped my town’s ass. i went to school on sunday and some of the windows blew off the building, so we got the fuck out of there. i came home and didn’t have power. and didn’t until yesterday. luckily, nothing got damaged other then shit we didn’t like about the front of the house anyway, so that’s always cool. most people in town got it pretty bad, so whatever you do when stuff like this happens, (pray or whatnot) do it.

i did get to play some games while the lights where off. not much else to do.

Super Mario Bros. 3/Nintendo DS

yeah, old school. dusted off my DS, that i haven’t played in months and got into some SMB3 action. stopped in 4.7. the everything’s big level is awesome and i really love playing it. playing this made me want to get super mario world for GBA on the cheap. lord knows i’d like to do something with my DS until i get my copy of the best DS program ever.

Silent Hill Origins/PSP

i’ve been sleeping on this since i got it. played some of it in the dark, like you should all survival horror games. scary stuff. i like the Silent Hill games. not being able to blow away everyone ala Resisdent Evil is a different way to do these kinds of games. it’s kind of “play in spurts” type game for me. it’s hard to keep up with for a long period of time. after playing SL:O, i might get Homecoming. i’ve got alot of games to play this fall, so we’ll see.

Burnout Dominator/PSP

with the next free Paradise update coming tomorrow, i broke out some Dominator. it basically Revenge without the car checking. runs really well on PSP. and fast, which is my problem playing Burnout in the past. getting lost in the motion blur and then, you’re dead on a blind drift. crash mode would be cool, as it would in Paradise. but i’m fairly sure we’ll see crash mode return as DLC. i’d buy that for a dollar…..

the moral of the story is that anything named Ike will kick your ass……

J.

06
Sep
08

In Deck – DoomStein

Castle Crashers
Holy crap! What a fun and addictive game this is! I can’t stop playing it. I’ve already wizzed through it twice, i’m up to level 46, and I just started playing it again on insane mode. This is definitely a game for the old school side scolling beat’em up fans out there. It’s also one of the most humorous games i’ve played lately as well. The little details you see in the backgrounds of levels crack me up! There’s also poop humor abound as well, which is right up my alley. The forest level is one of my favorites so far with small and large furry woodland creatures alike crapping themselves at the sounds of the ominous end level boss’s thunderous footsteps throughout the level! I’m sorry if you don’t find it hillarious, but then again that’s why I’m me and you aren’t, and i’m fine with that!
The best part about this game obviously though is the fact that you don’t have to tread the hysterical, lava monster, alien and baddie infested landscapes by yourself. Of course you could, but then you would miss some of the best multiplayer hack and slash goodness of recent times and you wouldn’t want to do that, would you? Busting through hordes of evil minions is just that much better with another person is oh so satisfying as you volley those arrow chucking thieves back and forth between you which you could do for hours straight with the same guy none the less (which there should be some sort of ranking or achievement for). The best part of it comes when you rescue a princess from one of the bosses. When there is 2-4 knights (or other unlockable characters which there is a ton of) and only 1 princess, it gets all Thunderdome in the room. No D.V.D.A. here (this is a T rated game after all). 4 men enter… Only 1 gets the girl.
Theres tons of other stuff to go on about like the colectable animals and weaponry (the pork chop being my favorite) but Max has already pointed a lot of that out in his post. This isn’t the Castle Crasher ID so i’ll give the awesomeness of this game a rest for now, but if you own a 36o (and you aren’t a complete lamer) I suggest that you at least give it a try. You might just realize what “FUN” is.

Bionic Comando Rearmed
Way to go Capcom! You have successfully reinvented a classic game and not put the words “Mega Man” or “Resident Evil” in the title and not put a number on the end of it. Theres lots of great humor in the dialog, great controls and nice use of exploding heads. It definitely brings back the memories of classic gaming. The only thing this remake is missing is the use knights with elemental magic and dragons with sock puppets.

Rock Band
With a generous donation of Microsoft Points from the “Summer of Arcade” sweepstakes and PAX track pack I was able to download some songs that don’t suck nor had Lars Ulric sitting over the Harmonix people saying that there just weren’t enough buttons to press in this particular song. I had been sick of hearing the same old songs so being able to play some System of a Down, Devil Driver, Machine Head and MC Frontalot made me pick the game back up for a while.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time (snes)
I just popped this into the old Snes last night to play through with some people that came over last night and nostalgia took over. Ahhhh, how I have missed the company of Rapheal, Master Splinter and Krang. The controls are just as good as I remember them and throwing Foot soldiers at the screen was still a great time. What was up with abreviating all the bosses names when their health bar came up though? Did they just forget how to spell Shedd…. Um, what were the last couple of letters again?

Doom (32X)
WTF!!!! How the hell did I ever play a FPS without 2 joysticks? Time to grab a more recent update of this classic for a much newwer FPS capable system.

Animal Crossing DS
Well, my woman playing this game again lately made me throw it in again. Then I took it right back out after I found that my entire town was pretty much one big weed, my house was infested with roaches like I lived on the west side, and I realized that my favorite neighbor (Agent S) moved away and that was why I quit playing in the first place. Cuz everyone else in my town was a giant douschebag that collects pink furniture and has ‘roid rage from lifting too many weights! And don’t even get me started on ol’ Tom Crook…

The House of the Dead 2&3 Return
“what happened to the world?” “The 1998 Curien Mansion case happened, I suppose.” When isn’t it a good time to shoot the undead, especially after seeing the new retro B horror movie trailer for the latest installment HOTD:Overkill. I’ve been blasting hordes of zombie’s heads off lately in anticipation! “Suffer like G did?”

Doomstein

28
Aug
08

In Deck/On Deck – Max Edition

IN DECK:

Blue Dragon

It’s certainly not a new game but it’s the one I’m currently playing the most of. Honestly, I tried Blue Dragon’s downloadable demo a couple times, but couldn’t get into it at all really. After hearing great reviews from pals, I’ve now borrowed it from a friend and am completely hooked in, with it helping fill the void of a console RPG to play this summer at the last minute. Although this game features probably the most generic main characters that Akira Toriyama has ever designed, it still is quite engaging. It’s totally past-gen RPG with current-gen aesthetics. It’s also making me want to check out some of Mistwalker’s other offerings.

Bionic Commando Rearmed

I loved the original so BC Rearmed is a dream come true. If you haven’t bought this game yet and have a platform it’s on, shame on you. This is the best remake and downloadable title I’ve experienced this generation, mainly because the game takes everything that made the original so great and adds so much Awesome Sauce to the mix. The fact that it’s been highly successful in its first week is great news, as it’s sending a message to developers that excellent downloadable titles made as a labor of love for creators and fans will sell well. It also sets the stage for the upcoming 3D console version of BC to deliver. Beating Rearmed co-op on easy was a beast, but worth the exploding Hitler brains. Next up: a run on medium solo.

Capcom Classics Collection 2

Capcom’s Magic Sword is probably one of my favorite all time arcade games (next to Pac-Man) and now, thanks to a loan from my sister-in-law, I can play it whenever I want on PS2. Great co-op, cool assist characters you save from dungeons and can level up and the lack of needing $20 in quarters to get to the end keeps me coming back. I’ve also beat King of Dragons and Eco Fighters (of all things) recently in co-op sessions, and taken a few swipes at Strider and Black Tiger too. Good times.

Final Fantasy III

I gave FFIII to my wife a couple Christmases ago, but we’ve both only picked it up a few weeks ago when we went to visit her family in Canada—and I’ve been playing more of it than her of late. RPG fans with DSes don’t need to hear me rave about this game, they know what’s up. I love everything about this game, except I’m not crazy about the jobs system and have left most of my party in the same jobs throughout. Now more jobs are opening up and I don’t want to miss the opportunity for diversity, but the limitations imposed when you switch jobs makes it a little imposing. I’m kinda torn in whether to stay in current jobs or experiment a bit, which has seen me put down the game for a couple days. I plan to resolve the dilemma ASAP.

Grand Theft Auto IV

I’m probably one of the few people who hasn’t beat this game yet, and while I still am chipping away at the campaign from time to time, what I’m really playing right now is online sessions with my brother and a college buddy. Getting the three of us together for mayhem in Liberty City with a soundtrack of our private jokes and cackling can’t be beat.

ON DECK:

Okami

I ordered this awhile back and it’s still waiting for me at the shop. I’m excited to play it and will be picking it up very soon. I’m a little wary about the Wii paint strokes though…

Final Fantasy IV

Also on order, but on hold until I finish FFIII.

Soul Caliber IV

Holy crap, this is the game I just can’t WAIT to own. The gameplay is nice for veterans, but beginners do well too. Just ask my wife, who kicked my ass non-stop long after the initial rounds where I went easy on her. Lots of cool new characters and the customizable character creation mode is fantastic; one of my buddies whipped up Nightwing and Harley Quinn of Batman lore. I’m not too keen on the Star Wars characters however, so I could care less if I’ll be playing Yoda instead of Darth.

Max




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J. Says…….

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