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Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Posted by Billy
Posted on 22 October, 2016 at 12:43AM ↑ 1 ↓ 0
Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Some games fall into a category I call “mystical”. These games inspire the imagination and there seems to be more to the world than what you can see at face value. One of exemplary game series are that of the character Rayman. Just look at Rayman himself, he has no arms or legs, so his body parts just float! When I first played the demo for the Dreamcast version of Rayman 2 at nine years old, I knew it was something special. Though strangely, I didn’t really play Rayman 2 until this year. Perhaps it’s because when I rented Rayman 1 many years ago, I was put off by the crushing difficulty. Thankfully that’s not the case with the second one.

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Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Posted by Billy
Posted on 21 August, 2016 at 12:27AM ↑ 2 ↓ 0
Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

I've been a fan of Naughty Dog for a long time. As a kid, I played the hell out of the Crash Bandicoot games, until I 100%'d each one. (I never got the full 105% in Crash Warped though, shame!) However, when the sixth generation of consoles came around, I decided on a Dreamcast... and then when that died, a Gamecube, since I was 9 and all the games I cared about were coming out for it. This meant that post-PS1 I missed out on the games Naughty Dog went on to make. See, after the PS1 Naughty Dog was bought by Sony, which meant that they had to leave behind their intellectual properties they created under Universal Interactive. This meant no more Crash Bandicoot from Naughty Dog, and Universal would get other companies to make games like Crash: The Wrath of Cortex. No, Naughty Dog moved onto greener pastures with Jak and Daxter, which I didn't play until years later.

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Namco Museum Volume 1
Posted by Billy
Posted on 3 April, 2016 at 09:59AM ↑ 1 ↓ 0
Namco Museum Volume 1

These days, video game collections really really aren’t anything special. In-between big releases, console manufacturers are always pushing old games down our throats. But back in the PlayStation days, the concept was more novel. Whenever my parents would buy a new console, they’d always get Ms. Pac-Man for my mom, without exception. So, for our PS1, they bought Namco Museum Vol 3. Years later, when I was rediscovering the PS1 (by way of a “PS one”), we had long since lost Namco Museum so, not knowing it was a different game with different included games, I bought Volume 1. It’s thanks to games like these, that I have my appreciation and love of classic arcade gaming.

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Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Posted by Billy
Posted on 20 March, 2016 at 12:40AM ↑ 1 ↓ 0
Crash Bandicoot: Warped

When it comes to the Crash Bandicoot series, I have a long history. We got a PlayStation when I was a little kid, and one of the first games we got for it was Crash Bandicoot. Like a lot of kids at that time, we played stuff out of order, so the second Crash game I played was actually Crash Bandicoot: Warped (the third one; not sure why they didn’t just call it “Crash 3”). Despite the fact that the third builds heavily off of the second, which itself has quite a few differences from the first, I never really found the transition jarring. Chalk it up to childhood, I guess. But the transition probably should've been pretty jarring -- Crash: Warped is an interesting take on how to evolve a platformer series. They say variety is the spice of life, and they certainly added lots of variety to the gameplay for the third installment. I'm not entirely sure it was worth it, though.

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Spyro the Dragon
Posted by Billy
Posted on 18 March, 2015 at 2:34PM ↑ 1 ↓ 0
Spyro the Dragon

I have interesting history with the Spyro series. My first exposure to it was the demo of the first game included with Crash Bandicoot: Warped, its inclusion owed to the fact that Naughty Dog and Insomniac had a working relationship. Years later I found myself in a video rental store picking out a game to rent. Spyro 2 caught my eye, and I rented it, played it, and really enjoyed it. Spyro 2 is definitely my favorite of the series, and the one I would recommend overall. However, recently I saw a 100% speed-run race of the original Spyro the Dragon, so I was reminded that I have never completed any of the Spyro games to 100% completion. Inspired, I chose to finish the original.

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Metal Gear Solid
Posted by Billy
Posted on 11 August, 2014 at 10:18PM ↑ 1 ↓ 0
Metal Gear Solid

I know you've read the title already, and I know you (if you're a gamer at all) already have a flurry of thoughts rushing into your head about Metal Gear Solid. There have been many installments of the Metal Gear franchise since 1998's Metal Gear Solid. I want you to try to forget all that. Forget all the lore the sequels have brought into the series. Forget the remake on the Nintendo Gamecube. Forget about the upcoming MGSV. Heck, maybe even forget about the original Metal Gear MSX games (we sure didn't know about them here in America in 1998). Let's start fresh again, and take a look at a PlayStation classic.

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MTV Slamscape
Posted by Billy
Posted on 31 March, 2014 at 2:54PM ↑ 1 ↓ 0
MTV Slamscape

This game is just... weird.

This game was literally one of the earliest games I played, if you'd believe it. In about 1997 we got our Sony PlayStation, and of the games my parents decided to buy was MTV Slamscape. I don't blame 'em; when buying a new console, people tend to also get a lot of shovelware with it. (This was especially the case with the Wii, since sometimes it seems like half its library is shovelware.) I don't really remember anyone getting very far in the game, which really makes sense in retrospect. But I'll get into that later on. I spent years trying to remember what this game was called, and I eventually found it, and bought it. I kinda wish I hadn't.

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Retro: Valkyrie Profile
Posted by Gilgamesh
Posted on 29 April, 2013 at 9:54PM ↑ 0 ↓ 0
Retro: Valkyrie Profile

I think the best word to describe Valkyrie Profile is "unique." You're unlikely to play another RPG like it and both sequels to the game (arguably both prequels) don't play anything like it or each other.

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Guest Retro: Vagrant Story
Posted by Gilgamesh
Posted on 26 November, 2012 at 07:33AM ↑ 0 ↓ 0
Guest Retro: Vagrant Story

"The body is but a vessel for the soul, a puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny. And lo, the body is not eternal, for it must feed on the flesh of others, lest it return to the dust from whence it came.Therefore must the soul deceive, despise and murder men."

This here is just about my favourite game of all time. I mean, I'm not very good at picking favourites but this is probably it. That said, I'm well aware of the fact that this game isn't for everyone and so for those of you who haven't played it I'm going to try to give you a good idea of whether or not it's worth hunting down/downloading.

Released by Squaresoft in 2000 for the Playstation Vagrant Story is a game unlike many others. It's essentially a dungeon crawler with a unusually complex combat system. This is backed with a well told story with top notch presentation and great audio and visuals. Whether or not you appreciate (or even understand) the combat system will determine if you find the game to be a tedious chore or a rewarding challenge so I'm going to go into a fair bit of detail on it but first! Let's talk about the rest of it.

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