Games I’ve Beaten: 2013 Edition (Through August)

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Borderlands, Games on August 26, 2013 by slateman

I wrote about the same thing just last year but since it’s now almost 2/3 of the way through 2013 (madness), I thought I’d look back. Unlike last year, I had a lapse in my GameFly subscription for a while, but since I’m not touching my 360 nowadays, my PS3 trophy list should shed light on everything I’ve played! This is a general list:

  1. Aliens: Colonial Marines
  2. Army Of Two: The Devil’s Cartel
  3. Army Of Two: The 40th Day
  4. Borderlands 2 DLC
  5. Darksiders II (just started)
  6. DuckTales: Remastered
  7. Dead Space 3
  8. Guacamelee! (Platinum)
  9. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
  10. Heavy Rain
  11. Ibb & Obb
  12. Just Cause 2
  13. Labyrinth Legends
  14. The Last Of Us
  15. Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean (Platinum)
  16. Ratchet & Clank
  17. Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal
  18. Resident Evil 6
  19. Saints Row: The Third
  20. Tomb Raider
  21. Velocity Ultra
  22. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward

tr-reboot2Now, there were others, like Sleeping Dogs and Demon’s Souls, but I never dedicated enough time to even count those.
As for fighting games, I went back to Super Street Fighter IV, played Tekken Revolution and Darkstalkers Resurrection. I would’ve beaten The Cave if the stupid patch didn’t delete my save game. :) I couldn’t get through RE6…it just dragged on and on and on…Saints Row 3 was actually a blast. I’ve never finished a GTA game, but this one was just so fun and unique, I loved it.

However, among that list, I’ve completed 14 titles…however, that’s deceiving. I’d beaten Heavy Rain before (but this time with a different ending.) Both R&C games were just HD re-releases. Army Of Two was my 2nd time playing (but 1st time on the PS3 – I’ll beat part 3 in the next few weeks.) Zero Escape was ‘beaten’ but I keep getting bad endings!

My tally would stand at 8:Guacamelee!, Ghost Recon, Just Cause 2, The Last Of Us, Lego Pirates, SR3, Tomb Raider and Velocity Ultra. Among them are two A+ titles in The Last Of Us and Tomb Raider. And while Naughty Dog’s masterpiece was among the most innovative and memorable games in recent memory, I’m thinking TR was the game of the year just due to how fun it was. Both games had you upgrading weapons and each wove an interesting and unique tale. However, when TLOU was done, I wanted nothing to do with it. It was an exhausting, emotional tale that took something out of me. TR was just a blast to play, to collect items, to go back and to complete. I’m certainly looking forward to a sequel and I sincerely hope The Last Of Us never gets one. :)

So, there you go. In the coming months, I look forward to GTA5 and finishing The Devil’s Cartel w/ my buddy online. I don’t know what else is on the horizon but I don’t see myself getting a PS4 or XB1 any time this year.

Shooters I’m Lacking…

Posted in Blog, DoDon Pachi, Games on August 25, 2013 by slateman

Now isn’t the time of my life to ‘waste’ on expensive videogames. It it were 10 years ago, I would have imported these games by now and this post wouldn’t even exist. However, it’s just not going to happen and I was thinking about how much I’d like to try these out. Of course, saving up cash for a PS4 (which will eventually happen) doesn’t help…

Muchi Muchi Pork & Pink Sweets
Cave released a budget version of this game and it can now be picked up for under $35. That’s not a bad deal for two full games. Now, I haven’t even touched MMP but people say it’s a fun title with pretty cool visuals. On the other hand, I played the first Ibara game and this ‘sequel’ looks like sheer nonsense. I guess that’s the point…and for $35, this will be part of my collection at some point. Yes, it’s the cheapest, but it’s also the lowest on the priority ladder.

ESP Galuda II
I loved ESPRa.De. and its sequel ESP Galuda was one of my favorite shooters on the PS2. While there are iOS ports of the game, I want the full title with an actual controller. The only problem lies with the fact that I can’t dedicate the time to really master these games. This game appears to be cheaper, also released as a budget title, but it seems to be out of print, so perhaps tracking down the region-free release will prove troublesome. Should’ve bought it years ago.

DoDonPachi: Saidaioujou
Ah, this is the reason this list even exists. I love me some DDP and the fourth entry into the series DoDonPachi: Dai-Ou-Jou made my favorite games ever list. While I enjoyed DFK, SDOJ is the developer’s swansong and it must be experienced! I’ve written FAQs for both DOJ and DFK and it’s my favorite shooter series. While this one is still expensive, it’s still easy to find. Despite the price, this is a priority. I will get this game…eventually.

Shooters have been among my favorites since the old arcade and Turbo-Grafx 16 days. While I may not have the time to play these as much nowadays, I’m still a huge fan and love Cave games. The rumors of Ketsui coming to the PS3 only adds to the allure. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to keep up more actively on these types of games.

New Bone Fire MP3: Thirteen V

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on August 20, 2013 by slateman

I’ve had more free days to myself this year than the last few combined. It’s fucking awesome, don’t get me wrong…but I do miss the wife and kids. However, after wasting yesterday entirely, I wanted to do some recording today but inspiration wasn’t hitting me. I had some OK rock songs and then I just sat back and did this. It’s brief, it’s essentially a waste of time, but who cares? The ending is pretty cool, just some fun with effects. I present to you, Thirteen V, b/c I got bored with making song titles several years back. Enjoy!

New Cubes: Thoughts (Camouflage 3x3x4 & FF 3x3x5)

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Cubing on August 16, 2013 by slateman

c4u-ff3x3x5I sold The Last Of Us (remarkable game) and got myself a pair of cubes for less than $2. I was psyched to add to the collection, like always, but this first one is more of a replacement/upgrade. After my surgery and hospital visit, I returned to work to find my Cube4U 3x3x5 gone. I haven’t located it in the seven months prior so I figured why not get a fully-functional 3x3x5 this time. The cube is identical in solving methods; it just adds a shape-shifting element to its first step. However, I find it just to be OK. The cube is great, though a little lube wouldn’t hurt, but I guess after a 3x3x5 and 3x3x7, the simple method of solving isn’t so exciting. There’s nothing wrong w/ the cube…and it’s certainly worth the money. It’s just not my favorite.

Now to a completely different puzzle. The WitEden Camouflage 3x3x4. This holds a special place in the collection because I have absolutely no clue how to solve it. It baffles me and even comprehending its existence proves elusive. I just mean that it’s an entirely different beast. Turning on the axis that it does gives it an element I’ve never seen before (unlike the familiarity of the FF 3x3x5 and I suspect once I figure out WTF is going on, it could be fun. However, for now, it’s in a solved state and may remain that way for a while. This is the first cube to completely beat me (tho the 3x4x5 had me going for a good week). I suppose that’s a good thing…but I can’t say I like it!!!

Kidrobot x Street Fighter: The Odds

Posted in Best / Worst, Games, Street Fighter on August 14, 2013 by slateman

kidrobotThis is the type of spur-of-the-moment purchase I never make. Seeing this type of thing online almost never ends up being a purchase. However, yesterday, it was my treat. I allowed Aiden to pick a box (they’re all blind) and off we went to pay. I looked at the box (pic to the left) and pondered…Blanka, Chun, Guile…OK. I like Honda nowadays. Balrog (U.S. Vega) would be sweet. Ryu, Ken, OK. Sagat, Zangief or Dhalsim would be cool. The only one I wasn’t into was M. Bison (U.S. Balrog). His design (well, Mike Tyson), was never my favorite. I prefer Dudley as my boxer anyways. And you know it, the 1/40 chance (2.5%) came true to find an M. Bison. Ah well. He’s kinda cool and fits well with the small collection of SF toys I have. Most are still in boxes, but I’ve got some stuff on the shelf now. Ryu from the SFIV collector’s edition. Reko from Mushihimesama, Barrett from Final Fantasy VII and a handful of other SF chars. Oh, a Lego stormtrooper and a chocobo, too! Anyways, I’d love to go back and get another…I guess that’s how this stuff hooks you. That 1/80 is Vega (U.S. M. Bison). That would be cool too. Those Comic-Con ones are sweet too! Evil Ryu & Shin Gouki in particular.

DuckTales Remastered

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games on August 14, 2013 by slateman

With but one update in all of the month of July, I’m going to try anew to keep this site updated with the latest and greatest of my life. How great it all may be is up for debate, but I’ve had ideas of what to write…just not the inspiration to write any of it. Today, however, I downloaded DuckTales Remastered and thought I’d share some quick thoughts. First off, it’s all nostalgia-based. While I played the original back in the day, I don’t have those strong, fond memories of the theme song. I do, however, remember games playing like this one did and for that reason alone it’s a fun romp. Upon seeing Gamespot give it a 4.5/10, I was a bit shocked. Listen, this game really can’t be compared to anything but its ilk. You don’t review Scary Movie 5 compared to Gone With The Wind! You compare it to…Scary Movie 4 and The Naked Gun 33 1/3.

I had some fun going through the stages and memorizing the patterns. Let’s face it, that’s how games were and this remaster is just a visual overhaul. It’s not meant to be more. So, it looks pretty, it’s just like I remember and it’s kinda fun. It’s somewhat difficult but after a few runs through both the Amazon and Transylvania, I managed to come out alive.

There are so many complaints about these types of games but I never understand why. If it’s not for you, don’t buy it! With PS+, I got it for a discount (and with Ibb & Obb, got $3 back). The demand is there because our generation grew up on these things and now as 30 and 40-somethings, we pump the money back in. Nothing wrong w/ that. OK. That’s it for my 2nd update in two months. Pathetic. More soon?

New Bone Fire MP3: Thirteen IV

Posted in Blog, Downloads, MP3s, Music on July 11, 2013 by slateman

I have had zero interest in posting anything online as of late. All my web sites are suffering and I haven’t been motivated enough to care, sadly. Tonight, however, I had a few minutes and now since the boy is no longer in our bedroom (he’s sharing a room with his sister), I have free reign of the PC after hours. The product is an interesting one. After playing some Saints Row: The Third w/ a friend, our game ended and I let the game idle on the title screen. The theme song was kind of catchy and so I grabbed my guitar, wrote a little theme and this track was born. Therefore, I must give credit to Malcolm Kirby Jr. as he is the author of the basis of this track. Please don’t sue me…it’s just a bit of fun and I won’t be making any money on this! So, here it is!

The Last Of Us

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Games, The Walking Dead with tags on June 19, 2013 by slateman

The_Last_of_Us_logo_RGB_whiteSo far, I’m not entirely sure what to think of this game. The basics are obvious. It’s gorgeous. The voice-acting is spectacular. It’s grueling and intense and conveys the most evident of facts: I want nothing to do with the undead…or whatever these infected are. The gameplay truly is intense and I’d much rather avoid combat entirely if at all possible. I don’t have enough bullets and it’s tiring fighting these guys. The downside of all of this is that for the first few hours, the game almost didn’t seem…fun. I want to go back to it because of all the polish, but the fun-factor is…strange. I’m scared to death of running around clickers. I don’t particularly want to go into that room! Scavenging materials is so essential; I’m thoroughly excited finding a few scraps of metal and half a pair of scissors. It’s insane!

But I am compelled to continue. I can’t wait to get a chance to sit down and play more. The audio is brilliant, with clear, crisp sounds coming from corners and every dialogue worthy of attention. I’m loving the relationship between Joel and Ellie and can feel the weight of the world. This is unlike any game I’ve played before, with the exception of The Walking Dead: The Game. It’s scary to think how vested we’re becoming with gaming characters; this is the true leap in gaming this generation IMO.

So…I’ve still got a long way to go…and I don’t see it getting any prettier as it goes along! That’s not to say it’s not worth it.

New Cubes On The Way!

Posted in Blog, Cubing on June 16, 2013 by slateman

CaseCubeLast year, I replaced my Windmill Cube with a new one and that puzzle remains one of my favorites to solve. It’s a lot of fun and while it’s relatively easy, it looks impressive. Now, a year later, the same student who wanted my original puzzle (I ordered one and gave her mine) wanted another one. So, I’m finally getting a Windmill Cube in black and I opted to get a Case Cube as well. This appears to be an extended Windmill Cube, really, and I don’t expect much out of it. However, it only cost me a few bucks in the deal and it should be a cool addition to the ever-growing collection. I’ll post my thoughts when it arrives, likely in a few weeks.

Kalmah: Seventh Swamphony

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music, Reviews with tags on June 16, 2013 by slateman

Seventh SwamphonyAfter hearing the title track in advance, I was, for some reason, underwhelmed. Could Kalmah really put out a less-than-spectacular album? I was prepared for disappointment. Then, I listened to it.

Holy fucking hell, this album is incredible. Production? Flawless. Riffage? Old-school and fucking heavy. Solos? Better than ever. Drumming? Spot-on, solid, fast! Songwriting? Barring Moonsorrow’s masterpiece, this may be the best metal album in years. From the under-appreciated title song to the catchiest-song-in-their-catalogue, Deadfall, this album starts off with everything. Blistering fast, melodic grooves, memorable and heavy as hell. Hollo would have to be my least favorite, a very different type of track – but it is not bad, just different. Then the second half is impeccable. Windlake Tale, Wolves On The Throne, awesome. Black Marten’s Trace, whatever that means, is so fast and so heavy. The Trapper has its catchy intro riff and an epic outro that leads me straight back into track 1. I love this album. It’s got everything I love about metal and it proves that Kalmah is the best band of this century. They’ve yet to put out a bad album, and even the lackluster For The Revolution is better than most band’s better efforts. Play it again. And Again……