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Scandalous!

Who else saw this link on the top right of Gamespot and immediately thought something else?

Since all it says is "Mario Arrested After Attacking His Mother", I seriously thought it was about this Mario:

Mario getting ready to beat up his mom

And I was thinking "Oh well, it was just a matter of time before he snapped". But it turns out, it was just about some singer I've never heard of. Whatever. So I guess Mario will remain E-Rated.

I'll talk about Kingdom Hearts next.

Sign O The Times

For the first time since I started seriously collecting games about 8 years ago, I'm selling off some of my games. I put 17 of my original Xbox games on eBay in one auction. This will almost, but not quite, cut my Xbox collection in half. Most of the games are multiplatform titles, some of which I intend to get the PS2 versions later. Others are Xbox exclusives that I plan to never play again. Titles in the package include Ninja Gaiden, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Mercenaries, Sonic Mega Collection, Star Wars Battlefront among others.

All of them are good games, but for one reason or another I just want to get rid of them. The biggest reason is storage space. Although I have a good sized bookshelf, and I plan on building new shelves that are even bigger, the collecting of games over the years has just rendered my space smaller and smaller. I could also always use a bit of extra cash.

I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed the post the link here because of Gamespot's rules. I'm just posting this blog because it's kind of a big deal to me that I'm finally selling a few games, because I was such a packrat for the past 8 years. If you want more information, come find me.

I don't plan on selling any of my PS2 games. My collection there will likely continue to grow. PS2 game #198, Kingdom Hearts, is arriving tomorrow or soon thereafter. My next game after that will probably be Beyond Good & Evil , before I'm planning on Shadow of the Colossus to be #200. So, no shortage of epic games to come there.

[oldmanvoice] Things were different in my day. All I had was a controller.

I've been in a huge slump as far as recent blogs go. I haven't done any good rants, mostly because I haven't had much to rant about as far as games go. Most of my attention has been on politics. But ironically, in the last month of the midterm election, things are kinda slowing down. So I'm ready to really sit down and talk about games again.

Where do I begin? Well, I guess the best place is the video game industry imploding before our eyes. It's kinda sad, really. I mean, now it's gotten even worse, because the three console makers have taken their consoles, which already had subpar libraries of games, and added useless, overpriced "enhancements".

Microsoft has Kinect, which makes me so excited, that I rarely remember the name. I actually had to Google it to find out what it's called. Apparently this is supposed to be the saving grace of the 360. But it looks like the Eye Toy to me. I mean, it's a camera that tracks movement and basically, you use your body as the controller. The Eye Toy wasn't the greatest, so how could I expect this to be the best thing since sliced bread?

Nintendo was better in my opinion. At least their consoles didn't have a massive failure rate. But that said, they were gimmicky. My friend Douglas got a Wii for his birthday a few months back. I played it over his house about 3 times. It was fun, but I never intend to play it again. Last time I went over his house, I noticed the Wii was collecting some serious dust.

But now they've graduated to my award for most overpriced useless technology in modern video games, the 3DS.

Now, when games became 3D (that is, 3D graphics, which was first popularized by Virtua Fighter in arcades and the Playstation at home), that was a big difference, because it allowed you to do meaningful things in gameplay that you couldn't accomplish in two dimensions. It wasn't about looks, it was about bringing games to new heights.

The 3DS on the other hand is 100% cosmetic. Outside of new special effects, what will it add to gameplay? Not to mention the rumored $300 price tag, which is ridiculous for a handheld. Didn't Nintendo learn anything from the Game Boy days?

The Game Boy had extremely primitive graphics compared to its competitors. Many of the Game Boy's competitors had cutting edge visuals, but they lacked in the games department, and also cost too much. It seems to me that Nintendo is repeating the same mistakes that killed off its competitors.

Wow this is getting long, but I'd like to quickly mention Sony, which obviously had the biggest fall from grace this generation. While Microsoft and Nintendo both outsold their 6th gen efforts, the PS3 will likely be the worst-selling home Playstation console yet.

So, they decided, to spice up PS3 sales by bringing in a completely original idea. The PS3 Move. I mean, this is amazing. How did they come up with it? I mean it's a remote, that lets you play motion games. Brilliant, unprecedented, never been attempted before. In fact, it's totally REVOLUTIONARY.

It should have a disclaimer on the box that says "Any Similarity to other video game consoles is purely coincidental.. lol j/k, it's a total ripoff".

I might actually respect Sony more if a Sony spokesman actually got in front of a mic and said
"Yeah, this is a ripoff of the Wii. Of course it is. Any idiot could see that. But we don't give a damn, we're gonna do it anyway. YEAH, I said it. You gonna do something about it, punk? Huh? HUH?"

Ahem, sorry.

I really do feel like an old man. None of this stuff appeals to me. All I want is a game and a controller. Is that too much to ask?

A 'Red Dead' Game and 'Feeling Hawkish'

My video game winning streak is continuing. I've beaten two more games since we last spoke, both of which have sit on my shelf for quite a while. The first was Disaster Report. An amazing game that's kind of a combination of an old-school adventure game (no combat, just puzzle solving and story), with a sort of survival horror (except instead of zombies, your enemy is natural disasters, such as earthquakes, buildings collapsing on you and parts of the level collapsing under your feet). It's awesome. I got stuck on a particular puzzle several months ago, but I figured it out, and then beat it. Unlike most adventure games which can be hard to figure out, most of the puzzles in Disaster Report are quite self-explanatory and intuitive. I highly recommend it.

The second game I beat was Zone of the Enders.I loved the gameplay, however the sound, story and characters weren't for me, so I played most of the game on mute, with Prince on my CD player. It was a lot of fun. The gameplay is pretty unique. Kind of short game and there are somecryptic puzzles which took me a while to figure out, but it's a good game. Another recommend.

Two new games arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Thefirst one has "Red Dead" in the title, but it's not the one you want me to talk about. No, that's a current-gen game. No, I got Red Dead Revolver for the PS2. The second game was TonyHawk's American Wasteland, the 5th PS2 game in the series and the 7th game in the series overall.

Red Dead Revolver is a very solid 3rd person shooter in my opinion. I'll admit though that other than the setting, there isn't much special about it. However, I am enjoying it. It's nonstop fun. Even though this is often an overlooked title, I'd recommend it.

Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. The TonyHawk series is one of my favorite series' of all time. The first time I played the Tony Hawk series was on the very first game on the PS1. It was simply revolutionary, and the subsequent sequels improved the formula even more. That said, the later games in the series didn't really add much to the formula. It was more of thesame.

And that's what American Wasteland is. It feels like I'm playing the exact same game. With that said, it was amazing then, and it's still amazing now. It's one of the most fun games I've ever played. But I'm a bit disappointed about the lack of additions. I've beaten the Old-School Mode. I started Story Mode but I'm still on the first level. I only played the Story Mode for a few minutes because it starts out very slow, and I wanted some instant gratification so I moved over to the Old-School Mode. I'll get back into the story mode though.

Overall, great games all around, despite the flaws. The PS2 continues to provide me with countless hours of amazing entertainment.

3 days, 500 limbs later... Soldier of Fortune finished.

Today is the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, but I'm sure you knew that already. Unfortunately, 9/11 has faded from the memory of many Americans. For a little while after 9/11, you couldn't drive down a street without seeing an American flag on every house. Nowadays, we've taken our flags, and we're focusing all of our energy on partisan bickering. I, for one, will never forget the memory of the thousands of Americans killed on that day or their families.

Now, for the regularly scheduled blog. As the title says, Soldier of Fortune Goldfinished. I mightreview it.

For some reason, I've been on fire lately when it comes to finishing games. Although I haven't had as much luck with other games. My copy of Dog's Life for some reasonnow freezes on the opening credits, and multiple cleanings haven't fixed the problem. My copy of The Getaway works fine, but it's such a frustrating game that I doubt I'll finish it.

I've decided to devote my first Video Review of a game to The Getaway. I think I'll go ahead and do the reviewwithout finishing the game. I've played it more than enough to form my opinion on it. As soon as I get new AAA batteries for my camcorder, I'll do that. It'll mostly be audio anyway, but I don't have a mic so I'll have to use my camcorder to record my voice.

As for Soldier of Fortune. Good game, not much unique about it except for the insane amount of gore. But I'll save my more detailed thoughts for my review.

Also, I purchased Burnout: Revenge on Amazon, it should be arriving sometime late next week. It's my second Burnout game (my first was Burnout 3: Takedown). I've never been the biggest racing fan, but Burnout is one of the greatest games ever made, so I'm really looking forward to finally playing Revenge.

From the "vault".

I'm extremely thrifty for a game collector. Most of the PS2 games I buy are under $10, and for the last few months, due to more expenses I've had, I haven't even bought any games at all.

Chances are, I'll buy at least one game next paycheck (a week and a half away), but until then, I've been dusting off games that I haven't played in a while. In my last blog, I talked about Twisted Metal: Black, but I have a few others now.

One is Half-Life. I wonder why the PS2 port of Half-Life didn't get more attention, being to my knowledge the only console port of the original Half-Life, and with a lot of improvements over the original PC version (or so I'm told, as I've never played the PC version).

A long while ago, I don't remember when but maybe 2 years ago, I bought Half-Life and made it about halfway through it. But I got stuck on a certain part, and after I couldn't figure it out, it sat on my shelf. But,a fewdays ago, I decided to pull it back out. I got passed the part I was stuck on, and yesterday I beat it.

Half-Life is such a crazy game. I just love it. It's one of the games that managed to be even better than my high expectations for it. It's also one of the longest FPS I've ever played. It's not broken up into levels, it's just one continuous story. But it seems to go on forever, getting more and more intense as it goes on. I'm not sure how many hours it ended up taking me to finish it, but it definitely felt very long. Despite this, it never got boring.

In fact, after beating Half-Life, I was still in a mood for a Half-Life-esque First Person Shooter. So I pulled out another game I hadn't played in a while, Soldier of Fortune Gold, whose gameplay is clearly based on Half-Life.

I originally got stuck on the very first level on Soldier of Fortune.I couldn't figure out where to go, which kind of embarrassed me. Luckily, I saw a gameplay video which spelled it out for me. The levels in Soldier of Fortune are indeed confusing, as they often go in circles. I have a few other complaints, but ultimately I'm having a lot of fun with it.

I'll probably find a few other games too. I'd recommend some of you other game collectors try looking on your shelves for games you never finished or didn't play much. If you've been collecting for a while, there's probably a great deal of fun to be had if you look around.

"A Twisted Comeback" OR "Back In Black"

Have you ever had a game that you bought and played a few times, and just couldn't get anywhere with it and didn't like it. But then, a long time after, sometimes years later, you pick it back up, and end up loving it?

It's actually happened to me a lot of times. And it just happened again. Except this time, it was probably the longest time span. I bought Twisted Metal Black about 5 years ago, give or take. Although I had been slowly collecting games for several years before then, this is when I was really starting to consider myself a PS2 collector. As such, I gravitated toward the more heavily hyped games first.

Twisted Metal Black got a 9.5 at Gamespot, and that was when they didn't round up scores to the nearest .5. It also had a huge following on the internet, with people saying it was one of the best PS2 games you can get your hands on. Naturally, hearing all that, I went out and bought it.

I don't know what it was. The controls seemed weird to me. Using the left analog stick for steering while using the right analog stick for the throttle/reverse, it was a little too much of a departure from other driving games I had played. Also, the difficulty of the game put me off. It's a very hard game. Other than Twisted Metal Black, the only two vehicular combat games I've played were Vigilante 8 and WWE Crush Hour, both of which I find much more forgiving than Twisted Metal Black.

So I put it on my shelf, and that's where it sat. For, like I said, about 5 years. I tried it a few more times, but ultimately I still couldn't get into it. Twisted Metal Black became an example I used when thinking about giving in to hype. It got to the point where I thought the game would sit on my shelf forever.

As a PS2 collector, I never get rid of any games. I never sell them, trade them, or anything. Usually, after I beat a game, I go back through my library and try to find games that I've given up on in the past and pop them back in, just to see if my feelings on the game would change.

As I said in my last blog, I beat Ratchet: Deadlocked a few nights ago. So, I had a list of about 5 games that have sat on my shelf for a while, that I planned to play again today. But, in the end, I was only able to play one of them. Because the first game I tried out, ended up spinning in my PS2 for the entire rest of the day. It was Twisted Metal Black.

I don't know what was my problem with the controls before. The controls in Twisted Metal Black, while a bit strange at first, are just, genius. It makes it so that you never need to move the position of your fingers. That allows you to focus every second on the action. After a while, I didn't even think about the controller. It just became natural.

I still find it to be a hard game. However, it's not as hard as I once thought it was. That's probably because I'm constantly refining my skills as a gamer. Games that once struck me as impossible aren't as difficult to me now.

It's a long more strategic than other games in its genre. If you just try to use brute force, you'll get killed very quickly. You need to fully exploit the weapons in the level and the health power-ups, and have good timing in order to win.

The battles are very long and drawn out. That's because you have to kill either 7 or 8 enemies depending on the level. They can take a lot of damage, and since the levels are huge, it can take a while just to find enemies sometimes.

As great as the gameplay is, it's the atmosphere of the game that makes it amazing. It has this dark, brutal atmosphere that's just crazy. I would argue that Twisted Metal Black is the most mature game on the PS2. Even though games like Grand Theft Auto have more graphic violence, it's all wrapped up in this sense of humor that ultimately makes it less brutal.

Twisted Metal on the other hand, has no sense of humor. It's just, insanity. I see this game legitimately giving kids nightmares. Even though it's not really a horror game per se, I'd say Twisted Metal Black has given more kids nightmares than any survival horror game you can find.

Also, for Coulrophobics, Sweet Tooth is your worst nightmare. Heh.

I'd say my favorite character to play is Mr. Grimm, because his speed makes the game very exciting. Story-wise, my favorite would probably be Junkyard Dog.

Anyway, enough rambling. Basically, I played the game all day. I never thought I'd ever get into this game, but I think it will end up being one of my favorite PS2 games of all time.

I wasn't expecting to fall in love today. It just kind of happened...

Ratchet: Deadlocked, two sittings and it's over.

Gary Coleman. Baby kittens.The Beatles song "Her Majesty". The Free Credit Report commercials (miss those). One-liner jokes. Ratchet: Deadlocked.

All examples of things that are wicked awesome, even though they're quite short.

Haven't done a blog in a while. Just haven't had a lot to say. I admittedly haven't been playing many video games lately. I'm going through a bit of a dry spell That changed when I popped in Ratchet: Deadlocked. An amazing game. So amazing, that the second night I played it, I stayed up all night playing it.

That's really the way I tell how a game is great. If it makes me stay up all night playing it. It's just a testament to the sheer greatness of the PS2 library that I'm still finding games that make me stay up all night.

Only problem is, two nights and it's done. The first two Ratchet & Clank games were pretty long. As I recall, they were at least 15 to 20 hours each. Up Your Arsenal's length was very disappointing. I got through it in about 7 or 8 hours.

But Up Your Arsenal was long compared to Deadlocked, which I managed to beat in about 5 hours, and that includes all of the side missions. But that shouldn't deter anyone from playing it. It's still a fantastic game and I'd recommend it to anyone.

I plan on writing a review for Deadlocked and a few other games. Also, I'll be filming a video review soon, which I mentioned in my last video blog. That's coming soon. Anyway, that's about all I wanted to say. So, later.

The Greatness of Common Sense

I was just watching some TV, and I came across a commercial for a video game site called Common Sense. They call themselves a game review site, but they only give tiny descriptions of how good or badthey think a game is. Their primary purpose is to say whether or not a game is suitable for kids. They struck me as the standard anti-video game crowd.

But, they don't seem to be that way. They give more detail than the standard ESRB ratings. But they do seem to be gamers, the fact that they can give such detail shows that, unlike the ESRB, they actually play the games before rating them.

But that's not why I'mwriting this blog. I'm writing this blog to share some of the unintentionally hilarious quotes they have on this site, because I found it amusing. Check out what they said about God of War. The stuff in between the big green quotes is from them:


"

Role models: Kratos is a very violent character. He shows no restraint in executing innocents who are in his world.

Violence: Suicide, genocide, violence against women and children, rewards for killing innocents, and buckets of blood and gore. God of War has it all.

Sex: The game opens with Kratos kicking two naked women out of his bed after an implied group sex encounter. Also features a bevy of topless goddesses

Language: No obscenities during gameplay, but included "making of" video features some foul-mouthed game developers."

Here's the best part:

" Families Can Talk About

Families can talk about whether Kratos's ends justify his vicious means. Do you agree with him, or is there something troubling about this view? He kills innocent people; is this ever an acceptable thing to do? "

Maybe it's just me, but I laughed really hard at that last one. I really don't see any real-life family having that discussion about Kratos. I dunno, do you guys think this is as funny as I do? It should be noted, it's after 5AM and I haven't slept, so that might have something to do with it. Not to make fun of these guys because I think what they're doing isn't necessarily bad, but some of the stuff they write is unintentionally funny in my opinion. For kicks, I had to look up the most obvious one, GTA. I looked up San Andreas.

"Families can talk about the presence of adult content in video games. How do you feel when you are doing things that are clearly illegal or immoral? The game is a way to experience criminal life without societal consequences -- is it the "forbidden fruit" aspect that draws so many people to it? "

I dunno, someone tell me if this is asamusing as I think it is.I'm gonna try to get some sleep.