PlayStation

[last updated: 06-MAR-2010]

40 Winks

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000

NOTES: Gift from my grandparents.

Haven't played it much.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Army Men: Operation Meltdown - Land, Sea, Air

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000/2001

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Army Men: Sarge's Heroes

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1999

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: Steve finished it.

Asterix

RATING: 1/4

WHEN: 1998

Dreadfully uninteresting in both strategy and platforming.


I love me some Asterix; the books are wittily written, one of the cartoons had Craig Charles voicing the titular character, and those Romans are crazy!

However, like fellow European cartoon character Tintin, Asterix hasn't had the most successful ventures into video games. This game, for the most part, is a very basic turn-based strategy game, where you deploy magic potion/units into areas you own, send those units to conquer territory, and have the chance to rebalance your weakened areas before the enemy does the same things. While not terrible, it's too simple for its own good, as numbers are the only way to know how powerful you are due to the fact there are no alternate units, yet you can still send a nine man army to face four enemies and get heavily clobbered by them. The game box justifies this as "intelligent Romans (for once...)" and the game being "Asterix the 'intelligent' action game!", but it's more "Asterix the 'common frigging sense' 'action' 'game'" because you can't do much else other than make a lot of guys fight a group smaller than them and hope for the best, and balance out the weaker locations.

There are also 3D platforming sections when you enter an area that has something distinctive like a building or a forest on it, where you must trek through the area, collecting coins and magic potions while fighting Romans before it can be conquered, where the more people you send in, the larger you initial health is. They're fairly inoffensive, although bland, and the characters are animated with personality and bounce. The bad part, however, is the fact that enemies can conquer these areas again, and since you need to keep them conquered to reach the ending, you have to play through the level again. Highly frustrating when the levels become tediously long mazes.

Additionally, there are the occasional mini-games, such as throwing a Roman soldier like a shot-put, but they're not really that good or worth talking about.

If you're really, desperately starved for a turn-based strategy with a bit of generic platforming and brawling to mix things up, I'm not sure if you could do worse as this is the only game I've heard of that has both those genres. Regardless, it's not good.

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Completion: No.

Batman: Gotham City Racer

RATING: 0/4

WHEN: 2001

Blegh.


Despite the title, box and blurb kind of explicitly saying the game is all about cars, I bought it with the expectation that it'd be a totally badass adventure or platform game with car bits here and there. I was proven wrong!

And with that realisation, combined with the fact that it's just not that great, I never played it all that much. It had some decent movie scenes, though, but that's really all I remember.

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Completion: No.

Bomberman

RATING: 2/4

WHEN: 2000/2001

Hampered by hardware and the fact, as usual, the fun factor in single-player is ignored.


The reason I bought this was because it advertised a "custom battle mode", which made me believe you could make your own levels like in Atomic Bomberman. Nope. It's just choosing what items you want. A feature that has been in the series for, by the time this was out, five years at least. Hmm.

There's a single-player mode, and a multi-player mode; the former is a remake of the very first NES Bomberman, which is also a load of crap and the least fun imaginable. It's not even co-operative! Meanwhile, multi-player has three modes, which all play the same except for the choice of characters, choice of arenas, and what animals you can ride. Beginner is barebones Bomberman basics with no selectable characters or creatures, Intermediate is the equivalent of Super Bomberman 3, and Expert has Super Bomberman 4's characters plus brand-new creatures. You can't mix and match the characteristics of them, sadly.

While it's not bad, per say, my nag is simply that we've seen it all before, mostly. It's nothing all that new, and I feel it could've been executed much better, in both compartments but especially the single-player.

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Completion: Up to Round 30 or so.


Further reading: Check out the Totally Bombastic Bomberman Shrine Place!

Bomberman Fantasy Race

RATING: 2/4

WHEN: 2000

Fun in its own right, but too clunky and slightly broken to compete with the big boys.


Bomberman Fantasy Race had the potential to be a good, solid racing game. A decent variety of items that could have done with a few additions, a unique take on the stereotypical tournaments, and an AI that was challenging when it needed to be with some interesting courses!

The problem? That AI was kind of broken. And the rest of the game floundered with it.

A great first half, but by gum, you will need extreme patience for the rest of it.

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Completion: 100%.


Further reading: Check out the Totally Bombastic Bomberman Shrine Place!

Bomberman World

RATING: 2/4

WHEN: 1998/1999

Plagued by sloppy execution.


Entering the prerendered 3D, unnecessarily isometric world, Bomberman World isn't that bad of a game, but it's just not all that magnificent in terms of bringing goods to the table. Not that the series is known for being wildly innovative, mind you, it's more of a "why should I get this when I have one of the better instalments" kinda question.

Following up from Bomberman Wars, Buggler is back, and has revived the elemental bombers in new forms, each taking over a world. You travel through three levels, collecting crystals to open the exit, then fight the bomber on-foot, and after swiping their creature or robot to ride, you fight them in a large machine, and you move onto the next world. Your usual Bomberman gameplay, and aside from some unbalanced boss battles (Earth Bomber, the first boss, is harder than his second form, the boss of the second world and more, simply because it's risky to go near him due to his ability to roll into a ball and detonate bombs that collide with him), the lack of creatures to ride outside of boss battles, no co-operative. slow walking speed and the usual downfalls that plague isometric views, it's relatively decent, albeit forgettable.

As usual, there's the Battle mode, where you can play as the titular character and some of the Bomberman Wars characters, but there are no unique skills or anything, nor creatures to ride. Some levels have floating platforms that you can reach via springs, but ultimately they just make it impossible to see anything under the area they cover, only increasing the amount of unnecessary deaths also in thanks to isometric views!

And then there's Challenge Mode, where you have to complete a stage with as many items collected, enemies killed and quickest time possible. There's no reward, and the only settings are to increase or decrease the time limit, so it's more of a distraction than a proper mode.

All in all, despite the five or so paragraphs spent talking about the game, it's average at most. Its single player is better than that of Party Edition, but that's the most outright positive I can be about it.

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Completion: Finished.


Further reading: Check out the Totally Bombastic Bomberman Shrine Place!

Chocobo Racing

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000

Best Final Fantasy ever in my opinion. :]


[no review]

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Completion: 100%.

Command & Conquer

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Sep 2006

NOTES: Gift from a friend.

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Crash Bandicoot

RATING: 2/4

WHEN: 2000

An otherwise enjoyable game marred by heaps of trial and error, plus a save system worthy of someone's head being smashed.


Crash Bandicoot is a 3D Donkey Kong Country, both in the good and bad. Its gameplay is simplistic and enjoyable, barely complicated at all. However, there are tons of cheap deaths (although the game supplies you with more extra lives than shields), and this is greatly elevated by the fact that it's in 3D and the camera is low; even when the game plays like a 2D platformer, the ledges are rarely more than one block wide, so if you happen to accidentally move up or down, you're likely dead.

But the greatest annoyance is that the game simply won't let you save. To save your progress or get a password, you can either complete a Tawna bonus stage (which you can only do once per stage, meaning if you want to save again you'll need to find another level with a bonus stage) or get a gem. That option is hindered by the fact you must destroy all boxes in a stage without dying to get a gem, and you may need a specifically coloured one before you're allowed to get at all of those storage containers of love. So to save, you either need to continue pressing on into the game, or continue pressing on in previous levels just to get a gem. It's a severe shame, as if you were simply allowed to save when you want, I wouldn't need to have devoted half of this review to criticizing the insanely ridiculous saving method.

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Completion: No.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

RATING: 4/4

WHEN: 1997

NOTES: First game!

Better in every way, basically.


Although a release of the mid-1990s, Crash 1 had a feel of one of them unforgiving mid-1980s games where every punishment is a harsh one, every victory is a minor one and death is as common as breathing. Crash Bandicoot 2, however, is the typical sequel that patches things up and plays real good.

I'd like to say not a lot has changed since the first game, but that'd just be slowing me down from getting to the minimal nags. Crash can now slide, providing a lower attack than the spin, a speed boost and allowing him to jump higher and further, that last ability also capable when merely crouching, and also pull a belly flop. The warthog riding stages have been replaced with riding a baby polar bear, and Crash can now ride a motorised surfboard and don a jetpack, which is admittedly more clunky than cool, and the world map has been replaced with a warp room, featuring five levels and a lift to the boss (if all levels have their crystals collected) or next floor if the boss is defeated. Sadly, bosses can no longer be fought again, but since they're barely challenging and in the case of N. Gin, incredibly boring, it's no big deal.

There's more emphasis on collecting gems, whether by breaking all the crates in a stage, following a secret path or completing the Death Route, which are lifts that appear when you locate them without dying, and are naturally full of nitro, TNT, pits, spikes and all kinds of devious hazards. And seals. Touching a seal makes you die. Admittedly, before you get the coloured gems (which unlock extra routes in certain levels) collecting these extra jewels can be particularly tedious as sometimes the goal to finding that level's specific gem isn't clear. Do you have to smash all the boxes, some of which are in hidden routes; or do you have to reach the end in a certain time? Trial and error, the game answers! Which, admittedly, isn't that bad, but wasting time is never a fun activity.

Really the only major flaw with the game is the small number of levels (twenty five, which isn't actually that bad but gotta nag about something), and the fact that you have to slowly slide down all of the floors before you reach the one you want isn't exactly pleasurable, though Crash 3 fixed that with it's much more efficient warp room. Still, it's a great game thanks to it's simplicity and pick-up-and-play feel, factors I always enjoy, so I say check it out.

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Completion: Finished.

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped

RATING: 3/4

WHEN: 1999

Better in some ways, but not as a whole.


Although the overall quality and additions to Crash 3 make it my half-favourite (if that makes any sense!), there's a charm from the earlier games that it lacks, and it doesn't really feel the same.

Crash's moves are made much broader, including a double jump, gliding, super belly flop and even the ability to wield a bazooka, along with Coco getting stages in a plane, hovercraft and the back of a tiger, along with swimming and bike stages for Crash, but those are partially why this feeling is caused. No longer is it just simple platforming where your wits and skills are put to the test, but you can just whip out your bazooka to take care of those nitro crates, or just skip those floating platforms with a double jump and spinning glide. It's nice to have convenience, but it's better to have a challenge!

The game does attempt to make up for this with time trials, where you gain relics by beating the allotted time, obviously, and then getting a gold one by beating your own time. There are a few environmental changes in the process, and it is a more interesting alternate goal than merely destroying all the boxes, but considering the rest of the game is a lot easier than the previous instalments, it feels like a feeble apology.

As usual, nag nag nag! It's still a great game, and due to my lack of ownership of any real instalments afterwards, the last great game in the series. Poor Crash.

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Completion: 100%.

Crash Bash

RATING: 1/4

WHEN: 2001

Pretty drab.


The first Crash Bandicoot game to not be made by Naughty Dog, and it shows. Hopping onto the party game bandwagon, Crash Bash is really nothing more than a bunch of mini-games, which is a concept that can be done brilliantly as evidenced by WarioWare, but Crash Bash just falls flat.

While some of the mini-games are okay, none of them really match up with the level of quality as those from Mario Party, and they usually last too long and require the mini-game to be won multiple times before a winner is chosen, meaning that things get boring pretty damn quickly. The one where you collect balloons of your colour, for example, lasts a minute and a half, but I was bored by the first thirty seconds, and I had to play for another two minutes because there was another round to endure. And then there's the fact that story mode is simply more and more of those mini-games with a boss fight almost akin to the traditional games, apart from the fact they suck, which is bound to get on your nerves. I apparently had more patience when I bought this than I do now, as I managed to get 63% on story mode. Ouch.

This was the last Crash game I bought, so I've no idea if the series has become good again or not.

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Completion: No.

CTR: Crash Team Racing

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2001

Honestly do not recall finding it all that superb.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Croc: Legend of the Gobbos

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1997

Haven't played it in years.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

CT Special Forces

RATING: 2/4

WHEN: Dec 2006

Tough, unbalanced and has an unfinished feeling. But I like it.


The beginning of a series that apparently no one on the internet likes, for they're always comparing it to Metal Slug. I've probably said it numerous times before on the site, but seriously, the series relies more on strategy and evasion than mowing everyone down in single shots. Well, until you got your rocket launcher and flame thrower stocked up on ammo, that is. Then it's rampage time.

Aside from the roll manoeuvre, certain weapons and the tank riding, this essentially introduces everything you'll see in the rest of the series. However, quite natural for a first game, is that everything lacks a flow and balance. While the main side-scrolling gameplay has a consistent difficulty curve, the sniper rifle segments are frustratingly hard all throughout the game, as there's so much space to cover and so little you can actually see. On the contrary, the vertical shooter segments in the helicopter are obnoxiously easy, as you're given so much space to avoid everything, all the attacks dish out barely any damage, ad just to really rub it in, there are health refills just about everywhere.

And then, of course, the game is only four worlds long with three levels in each, and the game only lets you save at the end of each world, therefore making the whole adventure rather short. There are no difficulty levels to adjust, and the most it comes to replay value is playing through it again in co-operative mode, where the platforming segments are sure to cause double the amount of frustration, as since the camera can't zoom out, you have to walk back with your partner to climb up the cliff and try again at that one platform. But when that isn't happening, it can be fun!

Although I enjoyed the game for the the three days it lasted, there's a serious unfinished feel about all of the CT Special Forces games I've played, and it's something I sincerely wish they could iron out at one point. For example, along the four weapons, you are also given a grappling hook and a pair of handcuffs. The grappling hook is used four or five times during the game's twelve stages, so it doesn't feel all that useless, but the handcuffs are used only once, in an optional mission to capture a motionless criminal where all you get is an extra life from accomplishing it (correction! It turns out there's one criminal to handcuff per world, but I only saw one of them on my first play through, probably due to my abuse of the machine gun). Another nag is the fact that the flame thrower cannot shoot upwards. Everything else can, except this one weapon. It seems out of place.

Regardless, I enjoyed CT Special Forces while it lasted, but at the same time, I'm glad I only paid 5 for what is essentially an experiment that never got enough polish to make it a product worth full price.

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Completion: Finished.


Further reading: I did some retrospective on the series.

CT Special Forces 3: Bioterror

RATING: 1/4

WHEN: Jan 2007

What went wrong?


The GBA version of CT Special Forces 3 was my introduction to the series, and I loved it. Considering the PSX version of the first game had a co-operative mode that wasn't in the GBA version, I expected the same with this. Instead I got a game that felt hideously clunky, unpolished, and lacked any 2-Player mode at all.

The CT Special Forces games are generally about thinking ahead, using cover and exploiting the weaknesses of your enemies (whom are pretty dippy really), which contrasts Metal Slug where you can dive into any situation and still make it out alive with the right skills. The third instalment is no different, but doesn't actually give you the required fundamentals to do so, as the levels are a lot more flat and spacious than those of the first game, meaning to evade bullets, you're gonna have to do some dancing.

And then there's the fact that the game, as a whole, just feels broken. The pistol is meant to be the ultra crappy weapon that you only use until you get better guns, but in this it's actually good, and can fire faster than the machine gun's default speed; I say default speed, as you can speed it up if you hammer the fire button, but the game has a habit of showing the firing animation but not shooting any bullets. The enemies pause between shots, but not for very long and thus can create layers of bullets that are impossible to dodge, wasting valuable health; the enemies in hoodies are notorious for this, especially when parachuting down, where there's no chance at all of killing them until they land unless you act quick. And the final clincher: The manual is only four pages long, and manages to completely ignore the existence of the tanks you can supposedly ride but I never found out how to.

Surprisingly, the GBA version is simply a supremely more polished game, where things actually work, a 2-Player mode is present (although it's competitive and requires two cartridges so sux), the screen doesn't seem unnecessarily large (since the levels are a lot flatter than the first game) and the manual is more than four pages long but still doesn't tell me how to use the tank. Get it instead.

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Completion: No.


Further reading: I did some retrospective on the series. Also, the superior Game Boy Advance version.

Dino Crisis

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000

Appealed to me more than Resident Evil.


[no review]

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Completion: Steve finished it.

Dino Crisis 2

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000/2001

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: Steve finished it.

Doom

RATING: n/a

WHEN: No idea!

Doom never really intrigued me. Plus, you need to link up another PlayStation for co-op? Over my dead body bitch


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Elite Squad

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Jun 2007

More polished than CT Special Forces 3, judging from the first few worlds.


[no review]

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Completion: No.


Further reading: I did some retrospective on the series.

Fantastic Four

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000

A frustrating, unbalanced beat-em-up that becomes more and more hilarious with the more friends you have.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

FIFA 99

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Sep 2006

NOTES: Gift from a friend.

Never played, but it looks crap. What's new?


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Final Fantasy VII

RATING: 1/4

WHEN: Autumn 1997

NOTES: Gift from a friend.

Not my taste at all.


You can't jump.

That was why I hated it when I first saw it. Then I warmed up to it.

And then I played it for myself and saw how boring it is, but instead of rambling on, this review totally took the words right out of my mouth.

If there's one good thing that came from this, it's Advent Children, which also makes no sense, but it's amusing to watch.

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Completion: Steve got up to that harbour on the second disc.

Final Fantasy VIII

RATING: 1/4

WHEN: 1999

It looks pretty. That's the most I can say.


I never played it, and although it looked nice in the graphics and sound compartment, I just couldn't help but keep wondering where the diversity in the cast was. They're all pretty boy white crackers. I was expecting the Mumba to become a member, but no, he's just ignored. They had three characters that weren't white humans in the previous game, so what went wrong?

And I suppose playing as school students is pretty obnoxious, too.

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Completion: Steve got up to that bit in space with the vocal song before wondering what the hell he was doing.

Final Fantasy IX

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2001

Played for all of fifteen minutes before the first disc was lost. I did regain it but I haven't played it.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Formula One

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Sep 2006

NOTES: Gift from a friend.

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Gekido: Urban Fighters

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Oct 2007

The enemies are cheap and abuse juggling to hellish extents, but it's not bad!


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Guardian's Crusade

RATING: 1/4

WHEN: 1999

If you like heaps upon heaps upon heaps of diversions, this is your game!


Maybe it gets good. Maybe it gets really, really good. The problem with that thought is that the good part isn't immediately accessible, and instead the first couple of hours are spent running around following inane distractions and doing incredibly boring tasks, all in towns with needlessly awkward layouts and battles which are rarely ever challenging.

No sir, I don't like it.

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Completion: No.


Further reading: Full blog review.

The Hunter

RATING: n/a

WHEN: May 2007

Interesting, both in gameplay and the fact that they translated an already translated game.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

LEGO Racers

RATING: 2/4

WHEN: 1999

Not too shabby, but there are better racing games.


For some reason, LEGO Racers reminds me of Diddy Kong Racing. Item types are sorted by coloured bricks (coloured balloons!), enemies threaten you before races (bosses!) and the turning can range from barely turning to turning way too much (the truth!). Sadly, aside from the third power of speed-up turning your car into a hovership briefly, there's no vehicle changing, nor any blue Indian elephants.

As evidenced by the title, all courses are based off LEGO playsets and all characters are LEGO men, whom you can build to your suiting and make your car, though it's less building a car and more adding things to a chassis with wheels. Like your typical kart game, racing mostly revolves around shooting your enemies and getting boosts and other such unsportsmanlike activity, so, yeah, nothing exactly unique. If anything, the items are a little more interesting than your usual homing missile and oil spill crop. One item is a grappling hook that pulls an enemy back and slings you over them, as well as a powered-up version that latches onto several enemies with lightning, more or less immobilising them as you streak ahead. And the most powered-up speed item sends you through a warp hole, skipping about an eighth of the course!

If you want yourself another kart racing game, then there's nothing wrong with picking this up, but I prefer sticking with the few I like best.

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Completion: Finished.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1997

NOTES: First game!

Rather crap, to be honest.


[no review]

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Completion: No.


Further reading: One of many games I played in 2009.

Marvel vs. Capcom

RATING: 1/4

WHEN: Sep 2003

Cocked up beyond recognition. Almost.


I bought this before I had played the arcade version, and thus was unaware of the differences and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I still preferred Pocket Fighter because you could actually do special moves with just one button and a direction. Why can't all fighting games be that simple?

But then I played the arcade version, and noticed just how superior it is to the port. The action was simply much faster and intense in the arcade, and you choose three characters instead of just two; two playable characters who one of which replaces the other when one is KO'd, and a striker. The PlayStation port restricts you to two, a playable character and a striker, therefore removing a huge aspect of the game. They do compensate for this with the Crossover mode, which acts like the arcade game, except you must play as the same characters. Which is lame. And then there are other differences like the stripped animation (it's so choppy that Wolverine never actually touches the ground when knocked down, he just falls towards it, hovers in a somersault above it and is back on his feet!), the muffled sound quality and the severe lack of intensity.

If you must have the game for the PlayStation and refuse to get the supposedly superior Dreamcast version or just find yourself an arcade with it (or resort to good ol' emulation), then it's not too bad. But seriously, what they removed were kind of what made the game. Aside from the whole wackiness of Captain America pile driving Zangief against a background of icebergs.

And yes I cheated and used a screenshot of the arcade version :{

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Completion: 100%.

Mega Man Battle & Chase

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Sep 2003

A bit clunky, but there's fun to be had.


[no review]

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Completion: As Ice Man.

Mega Man Legends

RATING: 3/4

WHEN: 1998

Pretty dang good!


Let's be frank - it's not really a Mega Man game. It's like Zelda, except in the future, with guns and explosives, robots, giant machines, and tank-controls. So, basically, it shares no themes with Zelda besides the basic overworld-dungeon thing.

This is a terrible way to start a review. Basically, it's pretty good. Sometimes where to go next is kinda vague, and the weapon system is clunky and doesn't exactly promote experimenting easily, but, hey, the rest of the game isn't so bad!

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Completion: Finished.


Further reading: Blog review. Also one of many games I played in 2009.

Mega Man Legends 2

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Mega Man X3

RATING: 1/4

CONSOLE: GameCube

WHEN: Apr 2006

NOTES: Part of Mega Man X Collection

The worst of the SNES trilogy.


X3 just feels like a disjointed idea. Not a game, but an idea.

There are all these new concepts thrown in, such as the ability to play as Zero, Vile returns, different brands of Ride Armour and each stage having three rooms; two for mini-bosses and one for the stage boss. Aside from that last one (which just makes the levels drag on for far too long), this sounds all fine and dandy, but they all lack polish.

Zero is given so many restrictions that you wonder why they even bothered making him playable (he can't go through doors, can only die once and that's it over permanently, he can't use weapons, and so on), Vile's appearance makes no sense aside from the "hey here's a blast from the past fellas" factor, the Ride Armours can't be accessed until you find the main one which is placed in the most obscure place of them all, and the three rooms thing is already mentioned.

It also doesn't help that the difficulty is incredibly unbalanced. When you start off, X is pathetically weak and all the bosses can kick his ass easily, and since Zero can't be brought in, what are you supposed to do? Nothing. The game offers no assistance and just makes you keep at it until you manage to defeat one of them.

I probably wouldn't call it the worst of the Mega Man X games, but it's certainly pretty low on the enjoyment scale.

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Completion: Zero lives ending.

Mega Man X4

RATING: 3/4

CONSOLE: GameCube

WHEN: Apr 2006

NOTES: Part of Mega Man X Collection

My favourite of the X series.


Mega Man X4 easily tops the other two PlayStation Mega Man X games. The level designs aren't obnoxiously inane, Alia doesn't stop you every second to point out the bleeding obvious, and instead of silly gimmicks like limited stage visiting or stages gaining new elements by visiting certain ones, it's just plain and simple ass rockery.

Zero is now playable (for reals this time, not the pointless tease he was in X3, and a blast to use, but both characters are good and control equally well. There's some ridiculous story going on about a group called Repliforce, but a plot in a Mega Man game is like eating a fish with a battery: Stupid. The gameplay is much more faster, more ass kicking, with less exploration, which I can't say I'm complaining about.

And to top it off the graphics are excellent. The music is the usual generic Mega Man X stuff and the level design sadly isn't as inventive as the games before it, but can't win everything. Check it out.

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Completion: 100%.

Mega Man X5

RATING: 1/4

CONSOLE: GameCube

WHEN: Apr 2006

NOTES: Part of Mega Man X Collection

Going out with a damp fizzle.


After Mega Man X4 and how it got everything good, you'd expect things to go up from there. Sadly not. Although both of the characters are made a bit more flexible and are given the rather handy ability to crouch, the game is just too clunky for me to enjoy it.

While X4 kept things relatively simple and therefore had no need to keep reminding you of the bleeding obvious, X5 has Alia the navigator interrupting you all the time to point out LOOK OUT FOR SPIKES or THOSE ENEMIES CAN HURT YOU or, you know, anything you should already know. Despite the fact it was meant to be the last in the series, Alia's presence makes it feel like it was meant for beginners.

And then there's the level design. Most of them start off in the most obnoxious way possible that you don't want to go through the rest of them. Duff McWhalen's stage starts off with an excruciatingly long fight with a giant robotic fish that you can't even start killing until you run away from it for five minutes, and you have to kill both its face and its fin. Squid Adler's stage begins with a Ride Chaser segment that puts a pit in your face before the "READY?" text has gone off screen, and then several walls that'll end up crushing you against the screen. And even without gimmicks, they're just not fun.

And of course, you're given a limited amount of times to go to a stage before the story progresses, and although that can averted by reaching the fortress levels, it kind of negates the whole point of revisiting them in the first place, to make fighting other bosses easier. Then again, the stages are so incredibly dull that revisiting them is a chore in the first place.

X3 was bad because it had all these potentially good ideas, but just didn't polish them, leaving a rather broken game. X5 is bad because it brings in these ideas that try to be good, but everything, not just the ideas, is so bland and forgettable that it isn't fun.

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Completion: Zero's ending.

Mega Man X6

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Sep 2003

My introduction to the X series. Make of that what you will.


[no review]

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Completion: Finished.

Metal Gear Solid

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1999

Awesome.


[no review]

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Completion: Steve finished it on the default difficulty.

Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1999

Fun.


[no review]

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Completion: I think so?

Metal Slug X

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Sep 2003

Some minor, awkward alterations, but the Another Missions are pretty good.


[no review]

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Completion: Need to unlock last few Another Missions.

Micro Machines V3

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1998/1999

Retro type fun!


[no review]

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Completion: Haven't unlocked everything.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1999

I never got into Mortal Kombat.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Necronomicon: The Dawning of Darkness

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2001

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

O.D.T. Or Die Trying

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1999

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Pac-Man World

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000

Pretty rad.


[no review]

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Completion: Finished.


Further reading: One of many games I played in 2009.

Pocket Fighter

RATING: 3/4

WHEN: Sep 2003

An excellent port with some wacky additions!


Marvel vs. Capcom may have got a shitty port that's inferior to the original, but I may have to say that this is superior to the arcade release!

The animation is slightly stripped, but emphasis on slightly, as it's barely noticeable, unlike the PlayStation ports of Marvel vs. Capcom and Metal Slug X. And that's about the biggest difference you'll get. The endings and stories are intact, no special moves have been removed, and all the characters are there; just like it should be. And to further sweeten the deal, they've added new modes! There's the obligatory training mode which is pretty mundane; the Running Battle, where you fight all twelve characters across a new, long area with plenty of new cameos; and Edit Fighter, where you can create your own character (by 2D fighter standards so it's just a renamed and recoloured Ryu or something), equip items to improve their statistics, and fight other characters in Quest mode to gain more items, which, interestingly, is played entirely by the computer.

Aside from the simplistic system that hardcore players are likely to hate, I can't see any real fault with this. Aside from being a fighting game, of which I'm not the biggest fan of. But still, it's fun, has great extras, and is worth getting, I say.

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Completion: Need to complete Arcade with a few characters and need to finish Running Battle.

Puchi Carat

RATING: n/a

WHEN: Jul 2008

Grand old fun.


[no review]

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Completion: Need all endings.


Further reading: If you like transcribed dialogue, check out the Puchi Carat shrine!

Rayman

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000

My favourite of the Rayman games.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Resident Evil 2

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1998

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Shadow Madness

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1999

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: Steve finished it.

Space Jam

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1997

Haha oh god what was I thinking


[no review]

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Completion: Finished.

Spider-Man

RATING: 2/4

WHEN: 2000

Enjoyable, but seriously, is it possible for a Spider-Man game to not have clunky controls?


Spider-Man has always been good fodder for video games; his athletic ability and crime fighting thus makes him easy to shoehorn into platformers and brawlers, but he's got enough punch and pizzazz to give it a little more depth most of the time. Of course, about half of his previous games were rather lacklustre, but his first 3D game, although a little shaky, certainly has the groundwork for improvement and works well on its own.

The story is really your typical one-off plot for a superhero wherein a lot of characters and concepts are thrown in and strung together, but the basics is that Doctor Octopus is trying to do some wacky stuff with machinery and the symbiotes and shit will hit the fan. The story is told through pre-rendered movie scenes which, sadly, don't look that much better than the in-game graphics besides a few effects and mild graphical touch-ups (sometimes they have hands, sometimes they have blobs of meat on their wrists) but there's lots of great voice acting and interaction between characters, and throughout gameplay Spidey still whips out his wisecracks and remarks whenever possible, though during boss fights it can get particularly tedious.

Spidey's got a decent set of moves on him; he can deliver a three-hit variety of punches and kicks, can shoot webbing and use it in conjunction with the D-Pad to use it four combat orientated ways, can websling and crawl on walls. You can use L1 to aim at specific areas to either sling to them or to attack enemies from afar, and it is the only true camera control you have; it'll centre behind you if you stop or press L1, but otherwise if you need to stay on the move or keep track of an enemy it can be a bit of a hassle. In outdoor areas it's not too bad, but later on you're often in cramped tunnels and keeping an eye on enemies shooting you is a real drag.

The main problem is that everything's a little clunky, and you're never in as much control as you want to be - the D-Pad web attacks can be difficult to pull off precisely, especially when if you flub you just spit an ineffectual amount of web at the enemy, which is as good as throwing a wad of feathers in the air. The L2 button goes completely unused and it would be nice if you could use it as a shortcut to a web attack, but that kinda feature's mostly for PC games. It's never too much of a nuisance, but the websling button is a bit random - in cramped areas you sometimes properly websling, and sometimes you just zip to where the web would've been placed. There's a separate button for zipping straight to the ceiling but it can't be used at any other angle, and when you're in a level where you need to zip to a wall before instant-death water rises, it would be nice to have more precise options, but it's not like it breaks the game.

A serious plus for the game is how varied the levels are. There's some that are simply trekking to the exit (and beating up goons along the way); the second level places heavy emphasis on stealth; the third level is a race against time to reach the Daily Bugle; some are more puzzle-orientated with mazes, switches and doorways to find; one particularly enjoyable level is a long chase across rooftops, buildings and cranes while being pursued by a helicopter gunship; and another distinctive level is basically an obstacle course of floating platforms in an electrified tunnel coated with laser-beam turrets. It keeps you on your toes and does its best to make the most use out of Spidey's various abilities, though admittedly the game does drag a fair bit in the middle - you're given some nice locations during the start of the game, and then you're dumped in the sewer and the basement of the Daily Bugle for a needless amount of levels, before things pick up with a trap-filled underwater base. The more combat-orientated areas do get rather tiresome, especially on Hard mode where you're best dropping them off a ledge if possible rather than wasting time punching them to death.

The game's only about twenty levels long (it's kind of hard to judge when a level ends and begins, but whatever) and I completed it on the day I bought it, but it's got three difficulty levels and there's a decent variety of stuff to do such as unlocking all the costumes and collecting all the comic books in each level, not to mention the amusing What If? mode, so while it may be a clunky and imperfect licensed video game, at least it's got plenty to keep you occupied.

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Completion: 100%.


Further reading: One of many games I played in 2009.

Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro

RATING: 2/4

WHEN: Sep 2006

NOTES: Gift from a friend.

Too cumbersome for the new features.


Since Neversoft went back to their Tony Hawk games, Traveller's Tales were given the task of developing the sequel. I've no beef with them, and from a technical viewpoint they did a reasonably good job - the levels are now much, much larger and the framerate is smoother. The first game had an almost claustrophobic feeling at times as levels were never really that visibly large; if it was a rooftop level it was essentially a straight-line from beginning to end, otherwise it was just lots of separate tunnels and rooms. Most levels never seemed to let you go far before you reached a loading screen. I just saw it as a quirk and it never bothered me, but it's interesting that the new environments allow Spidey to make better usage of his web slinging. Also, hey, you can shoot webbing while you're jumping!

The problem with the game is for all the good these improvements do, the flaws of the original game just come back to bite it. Neversoft seemed to know about those and worked around them, so although they were present, they were never exactly frustrating most of the time. In every boss fight of the first game, the camera would focus entirely on the boss. I recall only two fights that did that in this version; for every other fight, it was the same camera as a regular indoor stage. In some cases it was because they featured a more blatant puzzle element to them (The Lizard needs you to summon some tranquiliser serum for your web fluid with a computer puzzle, and then pick those up and shoot them at him before you can start walloping him), but for the most part it seemed very needless, and offered nothing but some cheap attacks that you couldn't actually see. Mega Man Legends offers it, Ocarina of Time offers it - why does Enter Electro not offer you a button that keeps the camera locked on your opponent? In addition, the first game's boss fights were usually fairly simple. Yes, in hard mode some of them did go on for a while, but never to the extent that you thought "Christ, can't I just get this over with?" I played Enter Electro on Normal and a lot of the bosses just seemed needlessly long or complicated. Hammerhead is decent since it makes intelligent usage of your web powers, but Sandman is almost farcical in the ridiculous crap you have to go through just to make him vulnerable, and then your fists do barely anything to him. The fights rely too much on throwing crap at the boss for my liking.

There's still regular levels, of course, and some of them are now set on the city streets. They're not bad, but not incredible either. The main problem is that the outdoor levels are very, very large, and quite frequently require you to explore the whole damn area for a few small targets, usually under a time limit. There's no map, everywhere looks alike, and it is very, very tedious, especially when one of these levels appears very early on in the game. The outdoor levels are decent due to their comparatively helpful cameras, but once you move to an indoor stage, it wedges itself on Spidey's back and gives you very little room to see. Also, thanks to the larger levels and complete lack of checkpoints, levels drag on for way, way too long for my liking. One level begins where you have to slowly scale a tower via floating platforms (you can't climb on the wall or else you get zapped and fall into a pit) and turn off a force field, and then make your way back inside and turn more of them off, the switches usually guarded by laser turrets and flying robots. There's challenge, and then there's exercise in patience.

Not that the game isn't enjoyable, there were levels that were perfectly enjoyable and to the same quality as the first game, if not better. My real problem with it is that it seems very hit-or-miss whether or not the next level is actually going to be any fun. I won't deny that after Hammerhead, I used a level select code to get through whatever level I lost the patience for. If the engine had been smoothed out and cleaned up I'm almost sure the game could've been quite enjoyable, but the constant annoyances and flaws just made it particularly tedious for me; you know something's not right when you fall through the floor on four separate occasions. If you've got plenty of patience it might be worth a shot, and the game's clearly had some moderately decent production values, but I just found it cumbersome.

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Completion: Close enough, on Normal.


Further reading: One of many games I played in 2009.

Spyro the Dragon

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1999/2000

A pleasant little game that seems to fly by incredibly quickly.


No review, but I'm almost certain I had written a reasonably sized review for the game at one point... though as long as I remember, it's just said [no review] here. Am I dreaming, or did I just accidentally remove it? I'm dying to know!

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Completion: Need 100%.

Tomb Raider II

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1997

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Vagrant Story

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 2000

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.

Worms

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1997

Simple is good.


[no review]

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Completion: No ending.

Worms Armageddon

RATING: 1/4

WHEN: 2000

What went wrong?


I bought this on the day there was a talk about the Armageddon in my place of religious worship. Whoops?

While the game is definite step upwards from the original Worms, it's a step downwards from Worms 2, considering the customizing features are now stripped bare and hideously clunky, and it's difficult to get the game you want. And when you do, you're given these silly rules like being restricted from using certain weapons until a certain time, being unable to move or simply being refused to use certain weapons at all. It's hard to get a good multi-player experience going when you have to keep fiddling with menus and crap just to have a good, long, enjoyable game. And then when you play with computers you have to endure them standing there for a minute before they do something, usually achieving nothing in the process. Stick with the previous games.

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Completion: No.

Xena: Warrior Princess

RATING: n/a

WHEN: 1999

Haven't played.


[no review]

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Completion: No.