Saturday, April 13, 2024

Rockman: The Power Battle (Arcade, 1995)


One of the two Mega Man arcade games that Japan got in the mid-90's. Eventually it made it to the US via being included as a bonus in the Mega Man Anniversary Collection for PS2-era systems. I'm playing it on the modern Capcom Arcade Stadium (it's on the second one). Was surprised to realize I never covered these on here, given that I did most of the Mega Man series. It's basically an "Oops, all boss fights" version of Mega Man.

Editor's Note: Being told that this actually DID get a release in American arcades, so correction on that.

Friday, April 12, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#324 - 336)

#324 Shadow of the Colossus (Playstation 2) – Winter 2010

Being largely shut-in during a brutal winter, I wanted to catch up a bit with the PS2 generation, which I'd missed a lot of. A big part of that was this game, which was hands-down the prettiest PS2 game I ever played. It looks more like a PS2.5 game, almost closer to the PS3 than the PS2 visually. More importantly, this is a game with a ton of heart and soul, and that shines through on a constant basis. Just an amazing game to see in action, even at this point with the PS3 around.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

True Lies (Super NES, 1995)

This is the one game I bought in the 1990's that I didn't actually finish, as far as I know. Well, more specifically my mom bought it. We went to the store to get something new and she got me this and Stargate. We liked both movies, and didn't know how bad movie-licensed games were yet. The good news is that both of said games are actually pretty decent. Yeah, even this one.

LJN finally made something good? Yeah, I'm surprised too. These two games are probably the closest I ever got to actually buying a bad game, but I lucked out. I'll cover Stargate some time, but in the meantime I think this is the superior game of the two. Surprised that I never finished it until 2010. I did skip to the last level in 1995 and "beat" the game with an invincibility code, but it wasn't until 2010 that I actually painstakingly beat every level normally (with emulator checkpoints, as some of these levels are way too long).

Friday, April 5, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#314 - 323)

#314 Bebe's Kids (Super NES) – Fall 2009

"Hey Yo! Bebe's Keeeeds!"

The iconic title screen theme that heralds the arrival of one of the greatest video games of the 16-bit era. In this game you choose between a crippled spastic boy and a slightly-less crippled spastic girl and battle the forces of an evil robot in an amusement park.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#299 - 313)


#299 Persona 3 (Playstation 2) – Winter 2009

This was an interesting, challenging game that was unlike anything else at the time. I'm not really into Japanese High School Simulators and there are about 1200 of them, but I really liked the mysticism and occult they worked into this game. The battle system heavily emphasizing elemental weaknesses was a lot of fun and the whole thing just felt very unique. Mostly enjoyed the dungeon crawling and battles, plus the Persona fusing to see what'd happen.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Ranking the Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 (SNES) Fellowship From Best To Worst


Today on this most auspicious of days, it's time to rank the characters of LOTR Vol. 1, one of the top classics from Mandingo Interactive.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Ninja Gaiden Shadow (Game Boy, 1991)


Never covered a Ninja Gaiden game before. The NES trilogy is known for having these interesting, complex plots and cutting-edge cutscenes between levels. Well, don't expect that here. This was made by an entirely different design team and doesn't have much of anything for cutscenes or story. If you're lucky you might get a "Ryu's dad was researching spiders in the amazon right before he died".

Friday, March 29, 2024

Thursday, March 28, 2024

DuckTales (Game Boy, 1990)


Another classic from the Game Boy Player's Guide that I wanted to check out for a long time. The six-game Capcom/Disney series on NES was pretty awesome and something I'd really like to do more with. This, however, is probably the only Game Boy port I'll play from that set, due to it being in the guide and me trying to check out everything from it. Duck Tales! Woo-ooh!

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#284 - 298)

#284 Final Fantasy IV Advance (Game Boy Advance) – Winter 2008

2008 was a bit of a new beginning. Went to college on a part time basis, was doing better in general than the previous couple years, and had most of my backlog obliterated from the 2007 finishing-fest. Probably the last time I was ever "caught-up" on games (except the Zelda Crusade, of course). Played a lot of new stuff in 2008. Today we've got the entirety of 2008 in one post.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Ranking the 80's and 90's RPGs I've Finished

Pre-millennium was the golden age for gaming in a lot of ways, especially when it came to traditional RPGs. This list is kind of a supplement to the big 1000 list, just a fun thing for me to think about while I do that.

Note: Counting 2000. One can technically say 2000 was the end of the decade, and either way I feel like the real changeover from retro to modern happened in 2001 with the advent of the PS2/XBox generation. So Dragon Quest VII just barely gets spared from being on the list and probably scoring pretty low on it.

If something I played is a recent remaster/port and very close to the original, it counts as me playing the original for ranking purposes. Like the Langrisser games, or Romancing SaGa 2. If it's a full-on remake it doesn't count, like the completely-overhauled PSP remake of Ys 3 doesn't count as me playing OG Ys 3.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#268 - 283)


#268 Darkstalkers 3 (Playstation) – Summer 2007

A game (and EGM ad) that helped a lot of us go through puberty. For my money this is probably the sexiest game ad and cover of all time. Ten years or so after I first saw the game, I finally got ahold of it and played through it. It's a fighting game, it's over fairly quick, and it's just kinda there. But I sure do like the artwork.

Character of Choice: Morrigan, of course. Duh.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Shadow of the Ninja (NES, 1990)


One of the trio of games I got to play (some of) the first time I ever saw an NES. Which makes this...possibly the first NES game I ever played. It was either this, Super Mario Bros, or Destiny of an Emperor. Then in 2007 I actually played through it. It's been ages, so it's high time I took a gander at it. Going to see if it brings back any memories of that first time holding an NES controller. I bet this WAS the first one I played, because it had "ninja" in the title and I was like 7. Definitely would have reached for this first out of the three games. Also it's from Natsume, so that's pretty cool. Without further ado...

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Shatterhand (NES, 1991)


It's time for the baddest game on the NES: Mutha-fuckin' Shatterhand! This is one of the most underrated games on the system. In it, you play as a Not-Terminator and punch your way through a bunch of platforming levels. Why is it called that? Apparently the guy's name is Shatterhand, which is a crazy coincidence considering he grew up to have a metal hand. I hope that's his last name at least. First name is probably something like Dave. This guy is so metal, he punches out his own God Damn logo! Brought to you by Jaleco!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#256 - 267)


#256 Mega Man Zero (Game Boy Advance) – Winter 2007

An interesting and respectable spinoff series begins here. Having Zero be the main character of a series was a no-brainer, and controlling him is nearly as fun as it is in the X series. I say nearly because the game's a little slower than the PS1 X games, and I'm not crazy about Zero's redesign. Yeah, I know there's a story reason for it, and also the story reason kinda sucks. If they'd just gone with the existing Zero design and moveset for this, the series would have been better off for it, so there was no good reason to change it up. The guy you play as is barely even recognizable as Zero.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath DLC (Playstation 4, 2020)


This story-based DLC is several hours long and basically a completely new game. Ultimate MK11 if you will. It bridges the gap between MK11 and MK1. But really it might as well be MK12. Which makes MK1... MK13. Also it brings back Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa to play Shang Tsung for one night only, as he reverts to his old form to try and usurp Kronika. Guy is making a legitimate claim to being the series' main villain, regardless of his boss' superior strength.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Dragonball Z Kakarot Part 17 (Finale) - Gokou's Next Journey (DLC #6)


The final episode of Kakarot, after years of returning to it every so often for these DLCs. Why did I start doing this game? Because it really is the best DBZ game out there.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Final Fantasy VII Remake Ultimania


The latest art book is a pretty nice one, full of FFVII concept art. It also has huge pages. Most of the art here, I haven't seen before. Gonna take a quick look at it. As usual, click the images to blow 'em up.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Mortal Kombat 11 (Playstation 4, 2019)

Alternate timelines and meeting your past self were all the rage in our entertainment circa 2019, and this game is no exception. Considering it came out the same week as Avengers: Endgame, it shares a lot of concepts with that movie.

(This is the only MK post that isn't entirely new, as I did this in 2019, so I'm rewriting it now. It probably won't go as in-depth as some of the others as a result.)

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Mortal Kombat X (Playstation 4, 2015)


After MK9 basically remade the first 3 games in the series, this one is a retelling of MK4. Except it does way more than MK4 does, giving us a sizable time jump and showing what everyone had going on 20 years or so later. We've got characters with grey hair, grown-up children of the old guard, and so on. It's good stuff. Also Liu Kang and Kung Lao are both DEAD. How will MK do without its Shaolin Monks?

MK11 is pretty much entirely new (and my favorite of the new crop of post-IX MKs) while MK1 (which should have just been called MK12) retells the Deadly Alliance, Deception, and Armageddon stories to an extent. So at this point they've kinda remade the first seven games all over again, over two different new timelines for some reason.

Welp, I'm almost done with the series, two left after this one. Let's go.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#239 - 255)

#239 Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi (Playstation 2) – Winter 2006

Another good DBZ game that I can't remember much of. I think there were a couple more Budokais between the first one I played (end of 2002) and this one. I remember being super stoked about this one and telling people about it and them not knowing what I was talking about. It's a 3D fighting game and probably heralded the latest step forward for DBZ games because it played extremely well. I don't think I did much with this, and mostly remember Tenkaichi 2 being the really awesome one that I spent a lot of time with a few years later.

Thing I Missed: At this point I had a driver's license so the era of "reading the instruction booklet in the passenger seat on the drive back from the game store" was completely over. Which is both good and bad. That era was pretty nice, but so is having a car.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Terminator (Sega Genesis, 1992)


Wait hold on. There's another good game based on the first movie? And somehow I didn't know about this until 2024 when it got ranked on a "good Terminator games" list.

It isn't the Sega CD game, but this appears to be a respectable earlier attempt at a Terminator video game by a completely different developer. We've seen a lot of Terminator games go very badly, so any time I find out about a decent one I have to check it out.

Future Editor's Note: This game isn't actually good. It's quite bad. A respectable attempt, but a bad respectable attempt. Did I mention it's bad? The good news is, it's only like 15 minutes long.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#214 - 231)


#214 Final Fantasy X-2 (Playstation 2) – Spring 2004

Today I'm looking at 2004 which was characterized by the Zelda Crusade I went on. But first! A sequel I was pleasantly surprised by and spent most of the Spring playing, just like I had with FFX two years earlier. This game makes me think of Spring more than any other game. It's such a fun, lively game, with a peppy soundtrack and all kinds of wondrous locales to explore.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Mortal Kombat IX - Second Half


The next chapter has Jade on the way to rescue Kitana from the clutches of Shao Kahn. So she's more loyal to Kitana than to Outworld's emperor. Face turn alert!

Friday, February 9, 2024

Mortal Kombat IX (Playstation 3, 2011)


Technically this game is just called "Mortal Kombat" but it's known by fans across the board as MK9. It reboots the series by retelling the story of the first three games, which was a great choice, and completely resets the MK timeline. The story reason for this is that Raiden was able to send some kind of telepathic message to his past self about Shao Kahn winning Armageddon, so now in a new timeline Raiden has the foresight to prevent that and put things right.

This is where I got back into the series back in the day after a many-year lapse, and I was just in time because this might be the series' best game. Whether it is or not, it being a retelling of the early parts of the saga is really what people like me had wanted to see more of for a while.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#195 - 213)

#195 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest (Gamecube) – Winter 2003

Today we're covering all of 2003, where I beat 18 games.  This was an awesome remix of Ocarina of Time for the Gamecube that people got for free when they ordered Wind Waker. It also included OoT in its original form. Pretty incredible bonus here. I never pre-ordered Wind Waker, so I'm not sure how I got this. It must have also been sold individually.

Monday, February 5, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#182 - 194)


#182 Final Fantasy X (Playstation 2) – Spring 2002

Today we've got the entirety of 2002 on deck, starting with the game I got a Playstation 2 for. There were 3 games I wanted to play, but I could only get two with the system. That's okay, because the first thing I played was this incredible game. Just getting the game was an adventure, as I went to Electronics Boutique on a bicycle during a rainstorm (at night, no less) when I found out they had PS2s on sale and FFX in stock. The good news is EB was like a 15 minute trip from where I lived, even at night in a rainstorm. No, I didn't have a car. Glad I didn't because that was a fun adventure. I stuffed the PS2 box into a backpack that wouldn't zip up and pedalled back with it strapped to my front to keep it together, like in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial or something. The rain was pretty light so it was all doable.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Dragon Quest VI SFC, Part IV - Training Montage

Took me a while to get back to this one, but it's time.

The SFC version of this game is completely different looking enough to justify it getting its own series. Time to do the back half of this one as a lead-in to ::groan:: Dragon Quest VII.

Need to issue a BIG correction: I said in the past that class mastery bonuses (+10 to a stat, etc) carried over. Since then I've been informed that they don't.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Chapter 12 - Epilogue


The final boss may be defeated, but we have one last battle to fight: Spike's feelings for Tania.

JUST KIDDING, it's an uberboss. And it's a DOOZY.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Chapter 10 - Finale, Part One

After getting the flying Pegasus, you still need to talk to this guy to advance the story. I spent a few minutes bumbling about trying to go to the underworld until I found this out. Time to invade the realm of Mortamor.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Part 9 - The Lost Post


So this is super weird. After "Part 8 - The Legend of Welda" something bizarre happened and one post just fell through the world geometry and got lost. So today I put up that lost post. Going to repost the several after this as well to get them back in the proper order, before I go onto finishing the Super Famicom version (finally).

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#169 - 181)


#169 Dragon Warrior 4 (NES) – Winter 2001

Today's post is going to cover the entirety of 2001, a year where I finished 13 games. So that fits nicely inside of the year. DQ4 is one I was looking forward to for a while. I emulated the first three over the previous several years so of course I was going to continue the series. This was the first thing I played in 2001 and it was a fantastic time. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#160 - 168)


#160 Chrono Cross (Playstation) – Summer 2000

The parade of incredible PS1 RPGs continues in this post, which is pretty much the back half of my 2000 golden era of RPGs. This game is notable for being the only game in history (yes, ever) that I stayed up four days in a row to play. Obviously I took breaks and I probably took naps too, but they were short enough that I can't remember any. Nope, for the better part of a week I was planted in front of the TV and the incredible soundtrack of this game was wafting through the house. I don't remember this four day extravaganza even being particularly tiring, where now I'm going to sleep every night whether I like it or not and usually earlier than I want to. Turns out youth is awesome and often taken for granted until it passes you by.

Monday, January 22, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#153 - 159)


#153 Final Fantasy Adventure (Game Boy) – Spring 2000
Another Game Boy game! So far, 2000 has been The Year of Gameboy. It's about to become The Year of RPG, though. You can tell how I did all of my NES and SNES emulating in 98 and 99, so Game Boy emulating finally had its moment. Too bad I never picked up the real game though, because this might have my single favorite box art on the system. Just a tremendous aesthetic here.

Friday, January 19, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#150 - 152)


#150 Everquest (PC) - Spring 2000

This is the game I've spent more time playing than any other game ever. Wasn't even sure where to place it on the list because how do you "beat" a persistent world MMORPG that adds new areas and bosses almost every year? Not just going to leave MMORPGs off the list though, that'd be silly given the time investment if I leveled up and did raid content etc in one. So I figured "the point in time where I really got into the game" would be the best spot for it.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Solar Striker (Game Boy, 1990)


Basically the Space Megaforce of the Game Boy, this is a vertical shoot 'em up that plays very well for the system it inhabits. It's yet another game from the Game Boy Player's Guide, which I'm pretty close to playing / covering everything from at this point. Also, little-known factoid: This game was directly produced by Gunpei Yokoi and developed by a Nintendo studio. You don't see many Nintendo space shooters flying around.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#134 - 149)

#134 Goldeneye 007 (Nintendo 64) – Winter 1999

The second of the two games I got with the N64. Talk about two great games, because in its era this was a damn fun experience. I don't think it'd be very playable if I went back and tried it again now, but I can leave the memories alone. Either way, it was incredible at the time, the first fully 3D console first person shooter that supported four-player splitscreen and just generally revolutionized the genre. This was Halo before Halo in that sense. Also it made great use of the Rumble Pak, and I still remember how cool it was getting one for this game and feeling the rumbles.

I was kind of depressed playing this for some reason, probably because of how damn cold and mopey everything was (in the game and also the real weather). This and Wild Arms were the two main things I played over the Christmas holiday, and while WA fell off (temporarily), I finished this one right at the end of the year before the world ended and Y2K hit (maybe that's why I felt gloomy, lot of doomsaying in those days). Great game, most known for the multiplayer, but I played the single-player myself and had a ball with that.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Gradius II (Famicom, 1988)


I somehow forgot about this game entirely when I covered the series on here a while back, and was reminded by its presence on the big list. I went from Gradius to Life Force to Gradius III and thought nothing of it because I figured Life Force was the second game. Well, it's more of a spinoff that became the second game in the U.S. by default.

Meanwhile there was an actual second game that wasn't released outside of Japan. To make things even more confusing, both this and Life Force were both released in 1988. Also, Nemesis II on Game Boy was called Gradius II in Japan, so there were two different Gradius II games. And there's also an arcade version of this game... that closely resembles the SNES Gradius III. My head is spinning like a kitten on a fast-moving record player.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Final Fantasy VI: Strago Solo Game (Ruin Edition)

The Strago solo game rolls on as I take on the rest of WoR and the big bads in Kefka's Tower. I'd like to know the story behind this picture. Is he flying? What's that vehicle? Something he built himself? All things are possible in FFVI's Neo Victorian steampunk era of invention and discovery.

(Reposted from July 2013, with various fixes and notes)

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Final Fantasy VI: Strago Solo Game (Balance Edition)

I'm feeling ultra-nostalgic as of late. Know what I'd like to do? Play FFVI solo... as Strago. Nowadays, Final Fantasy games just aren't what they used to be. They have titles like Fabulous Nova Whispering Dawn that sound more like feminine hygiene products than video games.

Once upon a time, though, the series was great. And FFVI might have been the highest point. It might be the first true "epic" RPG story. Like the first legitimate sprawling epic that transcended the medium. It's also noteworthy for having a female main character for the first time in that series.

I wanted to do a solo run of this game for the challenge of it, but couldn't settle on which character to play as. Who'd be interesting, and challenging yet not a PITA? I settled on Strago, the spell-slinging hip wunderkind from the upper east side of Thamasa. Can I beat this game (well, the second half of it) with just one character? Read on.

(Reposted from July 2013, with corrections and new notes)

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Fortified Zone (Game Boy, 1991)


Another of the Game Boy Player's Guide games that I wanted to check out for a long time. Man, that Game Boy guide sold me on games so well that I'm still checking out stuff from it 30 years later.

This is a decent, if very short, game from Jaleco. Looked cool in the guide but wasn't expecting much, got a pleasant surprise.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#127 - 133)

#127 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64) – Fall 1999

At this point I finally got an N64 (that's right, I got a Genesis, NES, and N64 all within a couple months of each other, 1999 was a smorgasbord of deals). What did I get with it? Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye 007. Played the first one first and I remember being incredibly stoked for the first 3D Zelda. The cartridge of Goldeneye meanwhile sat on a shelf for a while, with Pierce Brosnan staring at me creepily.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#111 - 126)


#111 Dragon Warrior (NES) – Summer 1999

This was a co-play / race with my friend JM on emulator. I don't remember who won, and considering I was playing on an iNES emulator with sped-up default frameskip (and JM might have been as well IDK) I'm not sure a winner could be legitimately called. Having never played this or used iNES before, I thought the sped-up version I was playing was the normal speed of the game. Little did I know that the normal speed of the game is actually VERY SLOW.

Regardless, this was my first Dragon Quest series game and I enjoyed it a lot. Nowhere near as much as the Final Fantasy series, though later I ended up liking both pretty equally as far as RPGs go (maybe even edge to DQ if factoring in the last couple of FFs and how they were...action games). I liked the NES Simplicity of this game and was open to playing more of the series, which obviously I did. This is a fun romp and short enough for a quick replay once in a while.