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TheBuck27 Blog

We've Had Enough

This is moronic. But okay, I'll give it a try. This is the whole tagged thing where you put your iTunes library on Shuffle. You know how it works because you've seen it done a million times. Here's mine.

1. If someone says, "Is This Okay?" You Say:
Push - Matchbox Twenty

2. How would you describe yourself?
Canadian Idiot - Weird Al Yankovic [LOL I'm American]

3. What do you like in a guy/girl?
Smooth - Santana feat. Rob Thomas

4. How do you feel today?
My Ass - Jim Ross [LMFAO]

5. What Is Your Life's Purpose?

Give It All - Rise Against

6. What is your motto?
You Can't Always Get What You Want - Rolling Stones

7. What do your friends think of you?
Title can't be shown- Denis Leary (Rhymes with Gas Mole)

8. What do you think of your parents?
Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix

9. What do you think about very often?
Birthday Cake - Cibo Matto

10. What is 2+2?
7 - Prince

11. What do you think of your best friend?
Nothing Else Matters - Metallica

12. What do you think of the person you like?
Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi

13. What is your life story?

A Little Less Conversation - Elvis

14. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Soccer - Paul & Storm

15. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson

16. What will you dance to at your wedding?

The Concept of Love - Hideki Naganuma

17. What will they play at your funeral?

Another Brick in the Wall part 2 - Pink Floyd

18. What is your hobby/interest?

Raised on Rock - The Scorpions

19. What is your biggest fear?
Bill O'Reilly Flips Out Dance Remix

20. What is your biggest secret?

Fake It - Seether

21. What do you think of your friends?

Psyched Out - Supersuckers

22. What will you put as the title?
We've Had Enough - Michael Jackson

I take back what I said. This was actually pretty funny. A lot of these fit really well.

It's also fitting that the title is We've Had Enough, because I think we've had enough of this. So I'm not tagging anybody.

PS2 Still Selling Extremely Well. Anyone Surprised?

I, for one, am not surprised. If the PS2 still continued to sell well into the next generation of consoles, it wouldn't totally shock me.

I found out from this source,that the PS2 outsold the PSP last quarter by a margin of 400,000 units (PS2 sold 1.6 million, PSP managed to move 1.2 million). The PS2 also sold more than half the amount of consoles that the PS3 did. 1.6 million new PS2 games were sold in the last quarter.

With all these statistics, it makes me wonder why developers aren't really making PS2 games anymore. PS2 games are probably much cheaper to develop than current-gen games, and they'd be releasing them into a much bigger installed base. An installed base that's still growing, because PS2 sales are still going strong.

PS2 games are still technically being made, but most of them are simultaneous releases between the PS2 and current-gen consoles. Yearly games like Madden, Smackdown vs. Raw and Pro Evolution Soccer are common examples. Also, the new Lord of the Rings game, Aragorn's Quest, will be released on the PS3, Wii and PS2 along with the handhelds.

It might be too much to ask for developers to produce entirely new PS2-exclusive games from scratch, but there are other cool things they could do. For instance, they could port some popular, fun internet-based games to the PS2, much as they did with Alien Hominid years ago. One game like this I'd love to see would be Cave Story. That'd be amazing on the PS2. They already released it on the Wii, so bringing it to consoles isn't a new idea or anything.

Another thing they could do is to import some more Japanese or European releases to the States. Companies like Agetec have done a great job importing and translating Japanese games, but I'm sure there are other great titles out therethat we could get over here. I heard somewhere that roughly 70% of the games that are developed in Japan never make it to the States. There must be some more hidden gems over there that could sell decently and create some interest over here.

Finally, they could also port some more PSP games to the PS2, both newer and older games. For instance, even though it's now a 4-year old game, I'd love to have a PS2 port of Daxter. Despite its relative age, I could see Daxter selling pretty well on the PS2. It could create a whole new little stream of profit out of that game.

The same can be said for God of War: Chains of Olympus and Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops, among other games. These games are also a few years old now, so porting them to the PS2 probably wouldn't damage the PSP sales. Considering how many games have been either developed simultaneously for the PS2 and PSP, or games that have been ported in both directions, it wouldn't be that hard.

So, those are just my thoughts. I think the ideas above would be very cool, and I hope some game developers will look at the PS2's sales numbers and think the same thing. Overall, with its low price and amazing game library, I'm not surprised the PS2 is still going strong. It's still my console of choice, and I'm sure it will stay that way for quite a while, even if they never release a single new game for it ever again.

Pokemon Gold finished.

A lot of times, a sequel can be a better gamethan the original, but for one reason or another I still prefer the original. Especially if I'm very nostalgic about the original game. In order to truly top a game like that, it takes a sequel that's just head and shoulders better and makes me fall in love with the game all over again.

The original Pokemon games were amazing, to be sure. But Pokemon Gold was better inevery way. I had my doubts. The original Pokemon was one of my favorite games and it has a huge nostalgia factor to me. But Pokemon Gold managed to be the sequel that beat the original.

I can't even put into words how amazing this game was. All I can say is, if you haven't played it yet, you must.

I love Game Boy games. ButI don't love the Game Boy. I don't enjoy playing on such a little screen that's so hard to see. Having to find a light, having to play with those tiny buttons, having to replace batteries. I just don't enjoy it. So, I bought a Game Boy Player for the Gamecube.

This is a fantastic gem of adevice. You just plug it into the bottom of your Gamecube and the Gamecube sits on it likea platform. To play, you pop in the Startup Disk and just play. You can choose whether to use your Gamecube controller or plug your GBA into it and use it as a controller. It's compatible with all Game Boy, GBC and GBA games. Best of all, all the BS that usuallycomes with the Game Boy, buttons that are too small, batteries that run out and not being able to see anything, it's all a thing of the past. These games look great . These games look great on television. Maybe it's just me, but they seem more colorful.

I'd say at least 95% of the Game Boy games I play will be on the Game Boy Player from now on, because I rarely play games on the go anymore.

Anyway, that's about it.

How Pokemon Really Works

My next game: What I decided

My last blog I asked for you guys to pick from 5 games I was considering for an Amazon order. I'm very happy with the amount of comments. But I thought it was kinda funny that some of you named 4 out of the 5 games. Very helpful. But I still appreciate the input.

Kill Switch seemed to receive the most votes, but it also seemed to have almost as many votes against it. So I decided to shelf that for a while.

It came down to Sphinx and X-Men Legends. In the end, I couldn't decide, so I ended up going with both. Hey, why not? Turns out shipping would have been $11.50 if it weren't for me spending over $25. That's ridiculous. It's how Amazon has managed to be so successful, nobody buys from them unless they spend at least $25. Both Sphinx and X-Men Legends combined totaled less than $11.50.

YOU Choose my next PS2 game.

Tonight, I'm placing an order on I need to add one more item to make my order over $25 and get free shipping.I decided to make it a PS2 game because they're very cheap andsome are eligible for free shipping.

Everyone who reads this, please reply with your two cents. Even if you've never played any of these games, just reply with which one sounds the best. But if you have played one of these games, I'd appreciate if you can give an argument for or against a certain game. It'll help me decide.

Here's the choices:

Tourist Trophy

Kill Switch

X-Men Legends

Quake 3: Revolution

Sphinx & The Cursed Mummy.

Time is important here, so try to reply quickly. Thanks for your help!

PS2 Game #190: Fire Pro Wrestling Z

You know how, when you lose something important, you look all over the place for it, but you can't find it? Then, a few days later, you're looking for something completely unrelated, and you don't find it, but you do find the thing you were looking for a few days earlier?

Thathappened to me the other day. I lost my CD version of Swap Magic, the disk needed to play import andhomebrewgames. It comes with two disks, a DVD version and a CD version. Since the vast majority of imports and homebrews I play on PS2 are DVDs (the silver disks), I keep the DVD version on the shelf in a case, while I keep the CD version in a paper disk envelope in a box of stuff.

Somehow I lost the CD. Spent two days looking for it, all over the place, didn't find it. I gave up. The next day, I'm looking for some earphones in a clustered drawer, and lo and behold, I find the disk.

The reason I needed it was because I just bought a game off of Ebay, my 190th PS2 game (yup I'm still keeping count, although that's only because I add every game to my Gamespot Games List and they keep count). It's Fire Pro Wrestling Z, a Japanese import game which happens to be a blue CD disk.

But it all worked out in the end. I got the Swap Magic and played it. Overall, my early impressions are it's a fantastic wrestling game, and an amazing game in general. However, I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a diehard fan of the series and want to play every single game.

The Fire Pro series is very unique, because it's gone through several console generations with virtually no gameplay changes. A little while ago, I played Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium, which was the Super Nintendo game. The gameplay is literally identical to the PS2 games. Sure, the PS2 games have sharper graphics and more features, but everything is still the same. It's still in 2D, and many of the animations from the SNES game are still used in the PS2 games.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I reviewed the American release of Fire Pro Wrestling Returns, which was the direct sequel to Fire Pro Z. I gave it a perfect 10. I also have the Game Boy Advance game, Fire Pro Wrestling, which also has identical gameplay. I'll probably review that soon.

I'd strongly recommend you pick up a copy of Fire Pro Wrestling Returns. It was the only non-handheld console game to be released in America, so it's the most inexpensive, easy and convenient. Being a wrestling game, it will probably be enjoyed mostly by wrestling fans, but even if you're a diehard gamer, you'll probably appreciate it too.


Gameplay footage from Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium (1995 - SNES)

Gameplay footage from Fire Pro WrestlingReturns (2005 - PS2)

Is there any other example of a series that has gone this long with so little changes? Well, it's still the best.

A Decade of Fire Pro Wrestling

On Terrorists Playing PS3.

Gitmo Detainees Allowed to play PS3.

Next time you log on to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, be aware. The terrorists you're fighting against (or alongside), may be real terrorists.

This really makes me wonder where this places Obama in the console wars, with the choice of PS3 for Gitmo detainees as opposed to 360 or Wii. Does this mean Obama is endorsing the PS3? Or does it mean Obama is equating the PS3 with terrorism? The jury is out.

Are Xbox 360 owners outraged that our tax dollars are buying PS3s? It should be noted, Microsoft was the fourth largest contributor of campaign funds to the Obama campaign in 2008. Can Microsoft be happy about this? Or does Bill Gates feel Obama did him a favor by not associating his console with terrorists?

What games are the detainees allowed to play? Are they allowed to play Grand Theft Auto IV and live out their wildest terror fantasies on their flat screen TVs? Do they play Ratchet & Clank, and then use Skype to relay to their fellow terrorists information on new advanced weapons they learned from it?

Most importantly, would Harold & Kumar have wanted to Escape from Guantanamo Bay if they knew the detainees had these luxuries?

All fine questions.

But in all seriousness, this aggravates me to no end. I mean, I can't even afford a PS3, and yet Obama uses my tax dollars to buy them for terrorists that want me dead? I can't even begin to explain how wrong that is. My mind is about to explode from "wrongness overload" it's so wrong. I can't even explain it. All the outrage is bottled up inside me and I don't know how to get it out.

I gotta figure out how to get into Gitmo...

Pokemon Gold, where've you been all my life?

Back in the late '90s, I got into the Pokemon craze, just like every other kid at the time. I played the original Pokemon games(the first I played was Pokemon Red)on Game Boy, and they had the distinction of being the only turn-based RPG other than Earthbound that I've ever genuinely loved. I played Earthbound many years before on the Super Nintendo and I just fell in love with it. I guess then, it's no surprise that I also loved Pokemon, because Pokemon had quite similar gameplay, graphics and story structure to Earthbound. I still always preferred Earthbound though but that's another blog.

Anyway, the odd thing about me and Pokemon is I was a huge fan of the first games, but never even heard of the second set of games until years after they came out. By that point, I was no longer following Game Boy games as my gaming life was wrapped upcompletely in Playstation and later even more strongly with the PS2. I guess I didn't have the room in my heart for more than one game system back then.

My Game Boy was sold. Years later I got a Game Boy Color (which I still have)and Pokemon Blue (which got sold itself a while later), also from the original series. Fell in love with the game all over again. Still didn't play a sequel or even really look into it.

My theory is that back in the late '90s and early '00s, I still cared about fads. As a national fad, Pokemon after the first 151speciesnever caught on. It seemed to die down almost overnight.

Fast forward to2010. I'm now more of a "gamer" than I've ever been as I try to seek out and play the most fun games. I don't give a flying poop (that's an airplane dump) about fads, they just don't interest me anymore. Fads nowadays strike me more as a freak show than anything else.

I began to seek out Pokemon one more time. I bought Pokemon Yellow, which was the special edition of Red/Blue. I played it to death, and captured more species of Pokemon than I ever had (about 120, which is nearly the most that is possible with a single cartridge). Pokemania was back in this household.

So I finally looked into a sequel. I planned to buy one, but it took a few more months before I finally pulled the trigger. I bought Pokemon Gold, my first Pokemon sequel, last week. Managed to get it for $8, shipping included on Ebay. Pretty good price considering Pokemon Gold, Silver or Platinumusually runs at least $10used before shipping.

I've been playing it for a few days now. I think it's incredible. It's extremely similar to the first series, but there are some huge improvements. Two of the somewhat annoying things I found about the first games were fixed in the second ones. The first thing is the item system. Too often in Red/Blue/Yellow, I ran out of space to keep my items. But in Gold/Silver/Platinum, you can carry a lot more items so you rarely if ever run out of space.

The second improvement is more subtle, but big for me. In the original games, the only way you could figure out how close your Pokemon is to leveling up is to open a menu, and even then all you got was the number of EXP points you needed, so some math was involved too. Inthe second games, there's a sliding bar that shows during fights. Getting EXP fills the bar, and when the bar is full, you level up. It's much better this way.

There are other changes, such as a bunch of new Pokemon and moves, and some balance issues were fixed (the ghost Pokemon for example are nowhere near as dominant as they were in the first games). And of course, a new world to explore. But other than that, it's the exact same game. And that's why I love it. I don't know why it took me so long.

My only issue is, I still don't know why they release 3 different versions of the same game? Why can't they just release one version, like 99% of the other video games out there? Oh well, whatever. cya.

P.S. Two times in the last two weeks I've been mentioned in another Gamespotter's blog as having been an inspiration, but zero times said blogs have mentioned my name. So I'm 0 for 2 there. But hey, I'm not in this for the publicity, I'm in this for the games.:P

My Reviews.

On this Gamespot account, the first text review I posted was on April 5th, 2006.

I've been looking back at some of those old reviews, and wow I couldn't write or critiqueto save my life. Definitely not as bad as some reviews I posted before this account, but I'm not even going to get into that.

Some of my opinions on a few games were pretty unpopular back then, but I'm surprised to report that I pretty much stand by everything I've said in these reviews. I seem to have more reviews with down thumbs than up thumbs. I'm not sure if that's just a disagreement with my opinions, or just downthumbing for the sake of it.

But that said, some of my reviews have gotten great responses as well. I'm especially happy with my responses for the Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier review, A Bug's Life, and Zoey 101 for the GBA (a game I plan on buying a new copy of pretty soon!)

I love writing reviews, but my least favorite aspect of reviews is talking about graphics. I always did it, thinking it added something to the reviews or something. ButI always glossed over it because of my lack of passionfor the subject. I finally decided that I wouldn't betalking about graphics at all in any of my futurereviews, unless I reallyhave something to say about it. That should also make my reviews a bit shorter and easier to read.

Other than that, reviewing games has lent me the opportunity to practice my writing,which I think has gotten better over the years.

The biggest piece of advice that helped me in my review writing is this. The best way to improve your reviews, is to read more reviews. Not that you should copy peoples' writing styles, but reading a good review is a good way to learn how to write one. You know the old saying. When you steal from one person, it's plagiarism, when you steal from many people, it's research.

Once you know how to write a good review, then you should focus on developing your own style of writing. As for me? Well, I'm still trying to learn how to write a good review.

I thought I'd have more to say, but I guess this is about it. I encourage everyone out there to write more reviews, especially of games that don't get reviewed much. If you find a game that you own, that doesn't have either an official Gamespot review or any user reviews, definitely write a review for it. You'll be making the world a better place.

My 3 favorite reviews:

Zoey 101. My first review to get a decent response.

Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. A surprisingly great game. Every PS2 owner that likes platformers should play this!

Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier. My highest-thumbed review, probably because it's the first time since 2007 when I posted a review of a basically brand new game at the time.

My 3 worst reviews:

Donkey Kong 3. I could've put more effort into this one.

ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron. Again, could've put more effort. One of the biggest problems was I didn't put enough time into the game. I could have played it for a lot longer, but I hated it so much that I couldn't stomach it.

Art Alive. Basically a failed experiment.

More reviews coming.

SOCOM II finished. Some thoughts.

Wow, that was easy. I'm kinda surprised, considering how hard the last mission of the original SOCOM was (I still haven't beaten it, but I haven't attempted it in a while so I might go back and try it again now). I'm also kinda surprised at how anticlimactic the ending was.

I think the coolest mission of the game was when you're defending the U.S. embassy from onslaught. Definitely the most action-heavy mission. The worst mission is when you're escorting the technician (Flatfoot) to get intel. Escort missions suck, and Flatfoot is a useless pinhead, constantly getting himself killed. I finally figured out the way to beat the mission, keep him the hell away from you. Put the baby in a safe spot and then the "adults" can go kill the terrorists. Works pretty well as long as you're thorough insweeping up the bad guys.

All in all, it was very similar to the first game. I actually played SOCOM 3 before this (I only played two missions because I wanted to mostly wait until I beat SOCOM II first). SOCOM 3 added a lot of the cooler features, like vehicles, swimming anddiving under the surface of the waterto avoid being seen.So I think SOCOM 3 advanced the series much further. SOCOM II feels more like an expansion pack, whereas SOCOM 3 feels like a true sequel.

Those are the closest things I can come to complaints about SOCOM II. All in all, one of the best third-person shooters on the PS2. A great game overall. Definitely recommended.

As always, when Ibeat a game, I have an incredible back listof games waiting for me to finish. I'll usually play them for a little bit and see if any one of them grabs a hold of me and doesn't let go. Gamesin the queue this timeincludegames I've barely started like SOCOM 3, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and AirBlade. Games that I've liked but never really got that immersed including Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Escape From Monkey Island, The Getaway (which gets better every time I play it), Mafia and Rayman 2. Two games I've beenvery close to beating for a whilebut I can't quite finish are SOCOM 1 and Medal of Honor Frontline. All great games, it's just a question of which one will suck me in next.

And I notice I haven't posted a review since February. I plan to remedy that soon. I've got a lot of reviews in mind so I'll get started on one pretty soon. I might take a look back at my old reviews in the next blog, just for fun.

P.S. Gamespot's blog writer tool has a relatively new bug (at least one I recently discovered). It's starting to erase spaces between words, so there's a lot of words smashed together likethis. It's annoying. I apologize to any readers that haveto deal with this.Iusually edit my blogs because I'm a perfectionist, but then Gamespot erases more spaces, making it pointless.Gamespot, when, if ever, do you plan on fixing some of the bugs on here? Spend the money and get some halfway decent tech guys, please? Jeez...