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TheBuck27 Blog

Why I can't play Guitar Hero.

Whenever I do any kind of activity that ties up both of my hands, it always happens. My face, eyes, nose or scalp get itchy, just to be annoying. I can't scratch them without taking my hands off the controller, which means pausing the game, but I almost always end up missing a note or two in the process anyway, and losing my combo multiplyer. But I need to scratch, because it's so itchy that it gets so IRRITATING. GAH...

The same thing happens when I wash dishes, mix meatballs or meatloaf, bring in the groceries, or any other activity that I'm using both hands and can't scratch. Why do I get itchy at that exact moment? Why, I ask, WHY???!!!!111one.

I can't say that I can't play Guitar Hero at all because of it, but it does make it annoying sometimes.

I didn't get too much stuff on Black Friday, because I didn't feel like going out early in the morning. I went to Wal-Mart at 1PM to do grocery shopping, and in the process I looked in the Black Friday discount sections.

In the PS2 section, there was a bunch of shovelware, as well as a few Guitar Hero games. I already own the original Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. The only one they had that I didn't own yet was Guitar Hero 2, so I picked it up.

I've never been the biggest fan of the series. I like it, but I'm not absolutely crazy about it. I think they've overly saturated it with the billions of sequels they've put out, but I still find it pretty fun.

That was the only game I picked up. I also got two movies,the original Terminator, which I've already seen many times but didn't have on DVD, and The Dark Knight, which I actually haven't seen yet.

I also picked up George W. Bush's book "Decision Points", which was on sale for $14. Not a bad price, and seems to be a pretty good book.

Not a hugely exciting Black Friday haul, but I don't usually buy anything on Black Friday at all, so this was kind of a rare occurrence for me.

Itchy Tasty

I didn't get this shirt, sadly.

PS2 Game Unboxing and Gamestop Thoughts.

Already posted a blog about these games, but I had things to say about Gamestop's online shop so I decided to make it an unboxing video. Never done one of these before, let me know what you think.


Going Insane. OR, In Honor of PS2's 10 Anniversary.

I haven't ordered from Gamestop in a while, because I've been buying games one at a time. This paycheck, I had a bit of extra money, so, in what is likely to be my last video game order for a while, I decided to drop $30 at Gamestop.

I got 14 PS2 games for that price. Thanks to a sale for 15% off orders of $30 or more plus free shipping. But also partly due to the fact that I didn't order any games more expensive than $3.

Even though I'm ordering 14 games, I've done extensive research on each one. Only 1 of these 14 games got below a 7.0 from Gamespot. Some of these games got over an 8.0. They're all games that intrigue me in some way.

Some of these games have been in my wishlist for years, while others I've played demos and loved. This a great list of games. At this price, how can you go wrong? Here's the list, with very short explanations because I don't want this blog to end up book-length.

The first 8 games are $3 apiece, the other 6 games are $2 each. I included the Gamespot review scores in parenthesis.

1: Timesplitters (8.4): Finally getting into this series. I'm starting with the original and working my way up. I've heard nothing but good things about this FPS.

2: Armored Core 2 (7.8 ): This is one I've wanted to play for a while but never got around to it. Seems to be a pretty unique mech series.

3: Pride FC (8.1): My first MMA game on the PS2. This is another one that I've been following for a while but never pulled the trigger. I always liked Pride more than UFC, and I heard this game was really good.

4: MX Unleashed (7.9): My first game in this series as well. I played a demo of this one and absolutely loved it, so I can't wait to play the full version. This is so much fun.

5: Serious Sam Next Encounter (6.5): The only game on this list that got below a 7. But I played a demo of this one and loved it. I think the reviews are full of crap. This is a really fun, crazy FPS.

6: Kya Dark Lineage (8.2): I actually never heard of this one until very very recently, like only a few weeks ago. But I've heard nothing but good things about it. It got a great score from Gamespot, and I've heard it's a very solid platformer.

7: Dynasty Warriors 2 (7.8 ): I've actually never played a game in this series before. It has about a billion sequels on the PS2 which is kind of overwhelming, one reason why I haven't gotten into the series yet. I heard this is fun though.

8: Rygar: The Legendary Adventure (7.3): Another one I only heard about for the first time a few weeks ago. I heard this was a solid action/adventure game with some similarities to God Of War. That was pretty much all I needed to hear.

9: The Mark of Kri (7.5): Yet another game I've been waiting to buy for a while, as I've heard a lot of good things about this one too. For 2 dollars, just unbeatable.

10: Bombastic (7.1): A puzzle game that seems very complex but looks very fun. I saw a gameplay video of this and I think it's crazy.

11: Spy Hunter (7.8 ): This game had quite a little following back in the day, being a modern remake of an old-school Midway arcade driving game. Looking forward to finally playing this.

12: Tribes Aerial Assault (7.2): This game was mostly marketed for its online play, but I heard it also has a single-player mode. Seems like a good FPS.

13: Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder (7.7): I've always been a big Tony Hawk fan, and this is a spinoff of the Tony Hawk series. I've played a demo of this as it was included in Tony Hawk 3, and it's a lot of fun. I actually liked it more than the SSX series, so it could become my favorite snowboarding game.

14: Sky Odyssey (8.3): Another game I just stumbled across for the first time, but this game has a lot of love out there. This will be my first flight simulator game on the PS2 (I have arcade-style flight combat games like Ace Combat and Star Wars Starfighter, but no actual flight simulator). This seems like a really cool game.

So, I carefully selected each one of these and did research on them. Even though they are $3 or less, I wouldn't drop $3 on just any video game. There's a research process that I go through every time I buy, to make sure to maximize my chance of liking the games that I get. I don't like getting bad games, unless I get them on purpose, heh.

My only issue here is going to be finding time to play all of these. Getting 14 games in one order is overwhelming, so it'll take me a while to even try all of these out.

I'll give you some impressions when I get them.

Update: For the umpteenth time, I ordered this with Value shipping, which was free because of the sale, but Gamestop shipped it though the much better UPS Ground. They must be doing this on purpose now, seriously. They've done it so many times with me. Either way, I love them for it.

10 Years of Playstation 2.

Happy birthday, PS2.

This is a few days late, because I've been busy for the past few days.

October 26th, 2010 was the 10th anniversary of the North American release of the Playstation 2. The console is still selling strong, and with 200 games in my collection, I still show no signs of slowing down. I just ordered a package of 14 more PS2 games from Gamestop, and I'll do a blog with more details about that tomorrow.

The PS2 is the only console I've ever built up this sized collection for. It's also the only console I've ever modded to play import games, and the system I've owned the longest continuously of any console.

To truly understand my love for this system, you'd have to go back to the beginning, the late '90s to early '00s. I was a relatively closed-minded gamer. I only really played a few games. My games on the PS1 were the Resident Evil series, Tony Hawk, and my favorite, WWF Smackdown, as I was a big wrestling fan at the time.

I heard that the 3rd game in the Smackdown series would be released on the new system, the Playstation 2. That alone made me make the leap. I got my first PS2 in late 2001, with my first and only game being WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It. I was blown away by the improved graphics. I immediately fell in love with this machine.

Smackdown stayed my only PS2 game, until my brother introduced me to a game that would change my life, which was Grand Theft Auto 3. I became a huge fan of the GTA series, which I still am to this day. I also played Tony Hawk 3, which made me go crazy, I loved it.

For a while, my PS2 collection stayed small, because I didn't have the money to buy most games. I got a few Greatest Hits games, Metal Gear Solid 2, which my first game in what became one of my favorite series', and SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals, which I actually loved for the single-player, I didn't play it online until many years later. Another was Tekken 4, which also became one of my favorite series.

For Christmas 2003, I got the last PS2 games I ever bought at $50, which were Jak 2 and True Crime: Streets of LA. Both games that I loved. But from then on, I never bought another game at full price again...

In 2004, I discovered the used game market, and I never looked back. I found out I can buy used games, which are a few years old, and I could get them for a tiny fraction of their original cost. My first used games were Red Faction and Star Wars: Starfighter, two games I played demos of, and still stand as two of my favorite games.

From then on, it would be almost exclusively used games. Although I picked up some games sealed, it was only in their Greatest Hits form. I bought games like Bully and both God of War games like this. But mostly, it was used games, most of them less than $10.

Here it is 2010, and I'm still collecting used PS2 games. My collection has grown from only a dozen games, to a few dozen, to 50, to 100, and now to 200 and beyond.

I can honestly write a book on all the awesome games I've played for this system. Other than the ones mentioned above, I'd also like to mention the Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper games, the Burnout series, Medal of Honor Frontline, Max Payne, Freedom Fighters, Psi-Ops, The Godfather, Half-Life, Killzone, Marc Ecko's Getting Up, the Onimusha series, the unorthadox games like Alien Hominid, Katamari Damacy and Viewtiful Joe, and just countless others that I can't even name off the top of my head.

I can't even really describe the feeling of getting addicted to a game. It just becomes an obsession. I can't think about anything else except that one game. This has happened so many times on the PS2 that honestly it's all a blur.

This is what makes the PS2 the greatest system in my opinion. Although there are good games on every system, I think the PS2 has the best library of them all. Consider me a personal testimonial to that.

The PS2 has actually opened my mind to many new different kinds of games that I never would've played before. I said at the beginning of this blog that I was a closed-minded gamer. But as time has gone by, I've become more and more open-minded. Now, thanks largely to the PS2, I'm open to playing just about anything. I've had so much fun gaming because of this, and in so many different ways.

I have nearly 9 years of history with this system that's been around for 10. I'm still making my own personal history with the PS2. I just bought Shadow of the Colossus, and it's become my latest PS2 addiction. It's more than a great game, it's just an epic experience.

I don't know how long the PS2 will stay on the shelves, and I don't know how long I'll keep playing it. But I know that as long as I do, there will be fun at every turn.

Sony releasing new PS2 bundle?

Although very few games are being released for the PS2 at this juncture, I look around occasionally to see if there's anything coming out. Sometimes, a hidden gem shows up.

I searched on Gamestop, and I found out that Sony is coming out with a new PS2 bundle pack which will contain the new PS2 version of Toy Story 3, bundled with the console. This will be available at Gamestop and I also found it on Amazon, not sure if you can get it in other stores.

Honestly, this makes me kinda curious about what this Toy Story 3 game is all about. I'll probably just be a stripped down version of the current-gen versions, which I never played so I can't give an opinion on those. Still, they felt the game was important enough to bundle it with the console, and they felt the PS2 is still important enough to bother putting the bundle pack together in the first place.

Other than Toy Story 3, there are only 4 pre-release games on Gamestop, two of which are WWE games. Now, I happen to be a wrestling fan, so I like the fact that WWE is still continuing to put their new games on the PS2, even though the Smackdown vs. Raw series is nowhere near asfun as it once was (back when it was simply the Smackdown series).

I'm more excited to see WWE All Stars on the PS2, which will be a different game from the SvR series. That'll be a spinoff game, where the wrestlers will look even more jacked up on steroids than they actually are, and the game will be more arcade-like and exaggerated. It kinda reminds me of the old-school Smackdown series (minus the steroid muscles part), I hope it plays like the old-school Smackdown games as well.

I mean, obviously, the PS2 is far past its glory days as far as new releases are concerned. However, Toy Story 3 and WWE All Stars are two games I'm looking forward to on the PS2. Maybe they'll be good, or maybe they'll be crap. Either way, I'd like to find out.

Interesting fact about WWE All Stars. The creative director of that game is Sal Divita, who played Nightwolf, Sector, Cyrax and Smoke in Mortal Kombat 3. Back when MK had digitized graphics. The good old days...

Happy 200 To Me.

It's been just under 9 years since I got my first PS2, and I'm still collecting games for it today. I just hit a big milestone. As I've added both Gun and Shadow of the Colossus to my collection, I've now hit 200 PS2 games in my collection.

I originally planned for Beyond Good & Evil to be in Gun's place, but I had trouble finding a good condition copy on Amazon for cheap, and I discovered it's cheaper at Gamestop, $6. But, in order to take advantage of Gamestop's flat rate shipping, I never buy from Gamestop unless I buy four or more games inone order, and I didn't feel like making that investment this paycheck.

So, I decided to put Beyond Good & Evil on hold for a little bit and got Gun instead, which I managed to get from Amazon for $5, shipping included. I also ordered Shadow of the Colossus, which was a bit more pricey but not too bad.

I got them both today, but haven't had the time to play either of them. I have played a demo of Shadow of the Colossus before so I pretty much know what to expect from that. It's amazing. Gun, I haven't had a chance to play at all so that'll be a surprise. I'll give my impressions soon.

The question is, now that I've hit this milestone, is it time for me to give up on the PS2 and pursue other gaming options? I've thought about this, but I've ultimately come to the conclusion that I'm still happy with the PS2. I still get excited like a little kid when I get a new PS2 game, just like I was the first time I played this system.

It seems a week doesn't go by without me seeing one of my tracked people here on Gamespot telling a story about how they're giving up on gaming entirely, or coming close to giving up. So, I'm not exactly jumping at the chance to switch over since I'm still happy with what I'm doing right now.

Of course nothing lasts forever. When I do eventually exhaust the fun out of this system, I'll see what happens. I've tried to put a number on it. I had pegged the number at 250 earlier, that I could probably hit 250 games and then I'll have run out of desirable games. But that was before I watched ebbderelict's PS2 collection videos as well as Pete Dorr's PS2 collection on YouTube and in those videos, I learned about a lot more PS2 games that I'd previously never heard of. I now think I can easily hit 300 before it's all said and done.

Girls & Boys

TheBuck27 is chronologically confused about PS2 games.


Transformers (Atari), released 2004.

Transformers: The Game

Transformers: The Game (Activision), released 2007.

Almost the exact same title, but two completely different games made by two different companies.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (LucasArts), 2002.

Star Wars The Clone Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (LucasArts), 2009.

Seem to be completely unrelated. The firstClone Wars game was based on the movie Episode 2, while the second Clone Wars game was based on the animated TV series, which doesn't seem to have anything to do with the first Clone Wars game. But, both games took place around the time of Episode 2. So they're related, but yet they're unrelated. I dunno.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Konami), 2003.


TMNT (Ubisoft), 2007.

Only difference here is that one is an acronym. But again, made by two different companies, and one is based on the animated TV series while the other is based on the CGI movie.

Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat

Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat (EA), 2002.

Pirates: Legend of the Black Buccaneer

Pirates: Legend of the Black Buccaneer (Valcon Games), 2006.

I honestly thought Buccaneer was a sequel to Black Kat. But after doing extensive research, I haven't been able to find any connection between the two games. That, along with the fact that they were made by different publishers and developers, leads me to believe they're completely separate games. Ridiculous.


Diamonds and Pearls

I sold the Xbox games I discussed in this recent blog.

I figured that $10 was a fair price, so that's what I put as the starting bid. Anything above that was just gravy. As it turns out, I got $1.50 worth of gravy. They went for $11.50. At least that'll mostly cover the eBay fees. I'm just happy they sold.

My Xbox collection is a lot leaner and meaner now. This will allow me to pay more attention to the games that remain. I've played some Dead or Alive 3 recently, a game which was among the first Xbox games I ever got, but I never really got into it. I'm starting to get into it now though. There are others as well.

Selling these games has actually afforded me the opportunity to start paying some attention to my Xbox again. When I first got my Xbox, it was kinda equal, I played the PS2 and Xbox about the same. But lately, it's just been all about the PS2.

So, I guess any chance of getting a current-gen console is on hold once again. I'm waiting for a price drop, because I'm not willing to make that big of an investment for consoles that don't excite me nearly as much. We'll talk about it when the price drops. It's overwhelming enough just trying to clench my hands around the carotid artery of the last gen, let alone getting a stranglehold on this gen to squeeze the life out of that.

For some reason, gaming just seems so violent to me. Oh well.

The Morning Papers

I got a pleasant surprise the other day. I looked in my mailbox and all I saw was two of the newspapers I get. I took them out, and in between them was a bubble mailer, with Kingdom Hearts inside. Pretty cool. Okay, maybe that's not an exciting story. Whatever.

So, Kingdom Hearts. Now, I've played this game once or twice, but it was many years ago andI didn't get far in it at all. I didn't remember much of it, but considering how popular it is, I had high hopes.

It definitely strikes me as a well-made game, but I actually had a lot of problems with it. It's very hard to get into at the beginning, because it has a slow intro, followed by a couple of fetch quests which are boring and took me a long time.

The controls also could be better. I had two big issues with the controls. First, the camera, which you control with the R2 and L2 buttons, rather than the right analog stick as is usually the case.

Also, the game doesn't take full advantage of the PS2 controller's large amount of buttons. For example, in order to use magic spells or open a treasure chest, you have to use a little in-game menu and select between different actions, before pressing the button to perform the action. While you have magic spells selected, you can't use your sword, or vice versa. It would be much better if each function was mapped to a different button, the way it is in just about every other game of this type.

You can't skip the cutscenes, which would've been nice to have the option.

But with all that said, it is still a solid game. Killing enemies is fun, and the story is pretty cool. The mixture of the Disney characters with Final Fantasy characters (or at least, Final Fantasy-like characters, as I'm not sure if any of these characters have ever actually appeared in a Final Fantasy game, I'm not an expert on the series) is really cool.

Most games that have movie or cartoon characters suck, mostly because they started out as movies or cartoons, which were then made into a game. Kingdom Hearts is the opposite. It started out as a game, and then they added the cartoon characters, which is pretty cool. It's a game that has cartoon characters, not a cartoon that's been turned into a game. That's the difference, and it gives Kingdom Hearts a lot of advantages.

I don't know if I'll be able to get over my problems with the game though. It certainly has a lot of good qualities, but there are a lot of negatives in my eyesas well. All in all, I don't love it the way I hoped I would, but I could see myself warming up to it. I hope this blog didn't come across as too negative or complaining, because it's really not. I'm just telling my feelings of the game the way I've seen it so far. I'm still very early in the game so my opinions might change later.