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Tsuihosuro Blog

Mass Effect and CoD: Modern Warfare reviews up

Hey all,

I've had the Mass Effect review up for a while but wanted to announce officially that it's up, and also I just put up my review for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. I'd love to hear what you think about my reviews and if you find them helpful.

Now that I've had my share of intense big name games, I've decided to take a small break from epic games, and am currently playing Jak II on the PS2, just for fun. I've played it but never beat it and would like to see if I am capable of completing it. I'm also messing around with the Sims 2 and all the expansions on the PC.

Top 5 Xbox games will be up in a couple days.

Boo flu

I think I ate too much junk yesterday, or maybe I caught the flu, but DAMN I'm sick! :( . All I wanted to report is that I just picked up Guild Wars, which I've been wanting to play for a long time and finally now have the chance. I will probably start playing in the next couple days once I start feeling better and let you all know how I like it.

The Super Bowl 2008

Ah jeez. I really couldn't give two craps about the Super Bowl, honestly. I'm not a big pro football fan, I don't mind watching college ball pro is just obnoxious. And yet I'm going to a Super Bowl party today, mainly because it's a good excuse to drive up and hang with my friends. But seriously, who cares ;)

Top 5 games, Gamecube edition

Well I think enough time has passed to where I can put up the Top 5 of the Gamecube edition. Before I start, however, I have to say that I beat Mass Effect for the 360 last night, and to be completely mature and give my adult opinion, it was FREAKING AWESOME MAN!! I will be reviewing it tomorrow, please read it if you have a moment. Now, back to the Gamecube. You may scoff, but I am quite fond of my little purple box of gaming happiness. While I do agree that the GCN has many faults, specifically the selection (or lack therof) of mature adult games, but I also think that the GCN is woefully underappreciated, undercredited and hardly given a chance at all. If someone was to ask my what I thought of my experience on the Gamecube in one word, I would use the word "fun." Remember that word, fun? Back when video games were amusing entertainment and not something intense, frustrating and obligatory to play? (to see the definition of "obligatory," please look up World of Warcraft). Sure, the games on the GCN may be "kiddie," but so was the NES, and we aren't knocking that console, are we? Anyways. Soapbox aside, here is my top 5 for the Gamecube, again in no particular order. Please comment me with your opinions, anger, ideas, etc.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo, 2006)

Let me first say that I am a big Zelda fan, but I tried to put my baises aside for the purpose of this list. That said, I think Twilight Princess was one of the greatest games I have ever played on any system, ever. The storyline was deep, original and exciting. Link, for once, was a total badass, not the meek little boy that we see in the other Zelda titles. Hyrule looks beautiful, and the gameplay was mercilessly addictive. I've been wanting to replay this since I first beat it, and intend to very soon. Yes, I know it's on the Wii, but I don't have a Wii, and honestly, with a game like this I think I would prefer sitting on the couch playing with my thumbs rather than twirling around in my living room. GREAT game, recommend to all.

2. Animal Crossing (Nintendo, 2002)

I'm sure most of you (all four of you that actually read my blogs) knew that this game was going to be on my list, because if you pay attention to my profile picture, it's K.K. Slider from Animal Crossing. So let me tell you why I LOVE this little game. It's so much fun! Pure fun. Whenever I am in a bad mood, if I throw Animal Crossing in, it instantly makes me cheerful. The game in all essence is pointless except for collecting items, but that's still remarkably enjoyable. The characters are charming and humorous, the music makes you happy, and it ultimately relaxes you in a sense that the entire world could be blowing up around you, but if you are playing Animal Crossing, you're happy as a clam. A very fun game.

3. SSX 3 (EA Games, 2003)

SSX 3 is on all platforms, I own it for the GCN, but if I owned it for a different system it would be on my top 5 there as well. This is the best snowboarding game I have ever played to date, and I have tried a LOT of them (including many new releases). First off, the game is beautiful, even by today's standards. The slopes are breathtaking and a blast to go down, events are exciting and challenging and the characters are a lot of fun. Not to mention the soundtrack is killer. I recommend this to anyone who even remotely enjoys playing in the snow.

4. Super Smash Bros. Melee (Nintendo, 2001)

Oh, Smash Bros. In my opinion, the abosolute best multiplayer game, ever, all systems. To keep with the fun theme of the Gamecube, Smash Bros usually has my crying on the floor laughing so hard at the hysterical ways you can wipe out all your favorite Nintendo characters. Levels are for the most part creative, noise effects are a riot (nothing beats hearing Princess Peach scream as she flies off the screen), and gameplay is an absolute blast. Smash Bros is played nearly every week at my house when friends come over. Nothing beats it.

5. Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (Nintendo, 2003)

Again, I'm a big Zelda fan, but I wouldn't put this up on my top 5 if I didn't think it belonged. I didn't put Ocarina of Time up for a simple reason: it was a port from the N64. If I owned a 64, I would TOTALLY put it up on my top 5. Also, it wasn't an official release, it was a promotion for Windwaker. So, Windwaker. What an original take on a huge series! Though I wasn't a fan of it at first, the cel-shaded theme of Windwaker really makes it stand out from other Zelda titles. The art therefore is fantastic, and even though a lot of people screamed, hollered and moaned about the lenghtly amount of sailing, I enjoyed it, it made the world seem so big, and really if you took the effort to beat that boss in the middle of the ocean, you could warp, which was no big deal at all. I absolutely love the storyline, I love the fact that Hyrule is now underwater, that Link and Zelda are frozen in time, etc. A real, true, creative sequel to Ocarina of Time.

There's my list. I'm sure that GCN enthusiasts will appreciate it, or disagree, either way, I'd like to know. For those that don't yet own a GCN, give a shot, really. Even if you own a Wii, still, give it a try. They usually only cost $40 anymore at game stores or pawn shops. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. You will feel like a kid again.

Top 5 games, PS2 edition

I've been spending all morning trying to figure out what my top 5 PS2 games are (DEEPLY studying my options..while I attempted to beat Guitar Hero II on hard. My arms hurt.), and really, that has proven to be quite the stunt. Choosing just 5 games is almost impossible, due to the sheer volume of PS2 titles, and the fact that I haven't played half of them. So. I'm spewing together five titles that I graded on replayability, gripping gameplay, and overall sheer enjoyment. And before you scan my selections and start writing your hate mail, bear with me, read the whole thing, and THEN send me hate mail :)

In no particular order:

1. Grand Theft Auto series: Vice City and San Andreas (Rockstar, 2002 & 2004)

Let me tell you a little backstory about this series for me. I dinked around with GTA III on my friend's PS2 many many years ago. I bought a PS2 for the sole purpose that Vice City was being released, because III was that fascinating to me. This series has completely raised the bar of console gaming, period. Throw the controversy aside, I'm not a violent person. But sometimes when you come home from a rotten day of work and sit in traffic for an hour, you REALLY want to blow something up, run over a person, etc. Honestly, I couldn't care less about the storyline of these games (Vice City's is way better though), just running around causing havoc is what the game is all about, and I have probably logged 100+ hours on both Vice City and San Andreas. Physics are great, there's tons of things to do, wide open gameplay, HUGE map, mindless violence at it's best. And I couldn't choose which was better, so I chose both Vice and Andreas.

2. Devil May Cry (Capcom, 2001)

Wow. Just, wow. Another one of my first purchases for the PS2, I was beyond intrigued at the design of this game. The stylized gameplay was of like nothing I had ever seen before. The storyline is fantastic and gripping, and Dante is a bad mother flower. Enemies are of many shapes and sizes, and battles are exciting, not to mention freaking TOUGH AS NAILS! The game in it's entirety was a pain in my rear end to beat, and it's still one of the tougher games I've played. But it's so satisfying that even an impossibly hard game such as DMC is worth replaying many, many times.


3. Kingdom Hearts (Squaresoft, 2002)

Now I can hear all you shouting "Ashley, you girl, why the hell would you choose such a wussy title?" Well, I AM a girl, but that doesn't mean I play Barbie's Pony Adventure. My taste in games varies from the light to the evil, nasty, gory greatness. And all you arm pumping manly men who think that you are too manly to play Kingdom Hearts, try it. I guarantee you'll change your mind. Let's talk about originality. This game is so original! What an interesting marvel to bind Disney characters with Final Fantasy characters. The story actually meshes pretty well, and the levels are fun. Remember that word, fun? This game is plain fun. I had an absolute blast going through the levels of movies that I grew up with. And if you didn't, you're lying. Gameplay is simple but amusing, and certain bosses, levels, and mini games are quite challenging. It's definitely not a kids game. I could play this one a thousand times over.


4. Ratchet and Clank series (Insomniac, 2002, 2004)


Let's be clear about something before I start. I'm talking about the above three R&C games, Ratchet & Clank, Up yor Arsenal, and Going Commando. I see these as the basic R&C games, not the little spinoffs and the PS3 title that I have not yet played due to lack of PS3. So here we go. Ratchet and Clank. I could explain the entire series in one sentence: It's a blast. No pun intended. Seriously though, it's one of the greatest platformers of the newer systems. There's a good deal of humor in the series, which I am quite fond of, and even defeating enemies is really humorous. It's light hearted but takes a chunk of strategy as well. The weapons of variable and all are fun to use, and each one is useful in different situations. The levels are pretty in their own right, more cartoony than anything but adds a bit of originality to the series. Each game is equally replayable. One of my favorite series of all time.

5. Medal of Honor: Frontline (EA Games, 2002)

Ohhhh I know I'm going to eat a lot of dog doodoo for this one, but I can't lie. I love this game. I am a guilty WWII game addict (Hi...my name is Ashley....and I'm addicted to WWII games...."hello Ashley".), but I've played a lot of them, and I wouldn't necessarily throw them up on a top 5 just because they're WWII games. This game is just that good. I've always been a fan of the MoH series and this won gets, well, the Medal of Honor. The game starts out on Normandy beach, which is just wild to be thrown into a game so intensly. Battles are long and glorious, you find yourself ducking on your couch trying to stay low enough not to be sniped. Levels are grey and smokey, much of what I would expect a ravaged Europe to look like during war. It doesn't take long to beat the game, which is disappointing, but it's a great shooter, and it makes you thirsty for more. I've replayed it many many times. It never gets old.

So now that I have my top 5 up, I know you're all saying WTF mate?! No Final Fantasy? No God of War? No Shadow of Collosus? What is wrong with you? The simple answer is: I haven't played them yet. I own them, all of those mentioned. And I'm sure that once I do play them my top 5 may change. If you look at my game collection, I own over 200 titles on 8 different systems, so obviously I haven't gotten to everything yet, and I won't play a game that I own simply because I feel like I have to. I wait until I think "hmmm, I think I'd like to try this one out". I'm also not like those schmoes that can play 11 games at once and keep the story straight (like my husband...), so I only play one game at a time (currently Mass Effect). The other thing about choosing 5 top games is that there are only FIVE. Simply choosing 5 titles on the PS2 is like choosing 5 teeth and pulling the rest. There are just so many good games for that system. And no game so far has really stood out like "I am the best game EVAR!", it's a matter of choosing great games out of a collection of great games.


I do however have some honorable mentions that aren't necessarily the top, but they deserve to have the "hey I'm pretty cool too" award.

1. Guitar Hero: Rock the 80s, because it's the best compilation of songs of any GH, but I don't own it because I have the 360 version of GH

2. Star Wars Battlefront II, because it's one of the better multiplayer games for the PS2

3. Killzone, also for it's multiplayer. Not a good single player, but amazing multiplayer.

Okay, now you can send me your hate mail. :)

WORST SONG EVER on Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero II, that is. And it's "Institutionalized" by Suicide Tendencies. Guitar riffs are decent, but the vocals are so FREAKING OBNOXIOUS!! It shock and awes me that the production team actually thought that was a song worthy of the main playlist. They should have at least made it a bonus track so that we aren't REQUIRED to play it. Yuck. What a stupid song.

That ranting is aside. Top 5 games for the PS2 are tomorrow (and it'd be cool if y'all actually commented this time ;) )

Top 5 Games, PC edition

I decided to start a series on this blog about my top 5 games of every system. Why? Because I can..because I feel like sharing....because I'm bored while the husband is at work? Maybe. Who cares, here it is. To launch the series, I'm starting with the trusty PC, what got me started gaming in the first place (my first video games was Space Quarks on the Apple 84. Hot). I'd love to hear your thoughts, agreements, outrages, and personal favorites as well. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Diablo II (Blizzard, 2000)

Diablo II is everything you've ever wanted in a hack n' slash RPG. For one reason or another, dungeon crawling never gets old in this game, enemies are interesting, the skill tree takes a lot of thought to be able to succeed later in the game, and the story is fantastic. I have played and replayed Diablo II ten thousand times and never gotten tired of it. Lord of Destruction can sit in here and take the glory too, because I almost see them as one game, it's such a great expansion.

2. Command & Conquer: Red Alert (Westwood, 1996)

The C&C Red Alert series could easily be my favorite series of all time, but the original RA stays close to my heart. I am a sucker for RTS' and I've never found one that I enjoyed so much. The story is honestly lacking and I'll admit that playing the Soviets is WAY overpowered than the Allies, but who cares? Not me! It's fast paced, ****c good versus evil WAR! It makes you think, it doesn't allow you to relax, and killing invaders with Tesla coils is probably the funniest thing known to gaming. I used to play this so much that I would dream about hordes of little soldiers marching across the map. Hardly any game in this world is as fun to me as Red Alert.

3. Half-Life (Valve, 1998)

Oh, does everyone remember exactly where they were when they first played Half-Life? WOW. This game redefined PC gaming on a whole other level. The story is deep and beyond imagination. The gameplay is wicked intense and completely edge of your seat. It looked great for it's time, and the aliens are unforgettable. Headcrabs are still some of my favorite foes of any game, and who doesn't remember how CREEPED OUT you were when you tried to sneak by the giant moaning tenacle creatures? Yikes! I love the intensity of Half-Life. It keeps me coming back even though I love HL2 as well.

4. Rollercoaster Tycoon (Hasbro, 1999)

Oh, Rollercoaster Tycoon. This is entertainment at it's best. It puts the FUN back in videogames! I love theme parks, and I really love making theme parks! Building your own rollercoasters is always entertaining, especially when you build them so intense that nobody will ride it (c'mon, I'D ride it!). The atmosphere of the game is light and joyous, the music is addictive, and I never tire watching patrons get off my rollercoaster and throw up. Another timeless game that I've replayed a thousand times.

5. The Sims 2 (EA Games, 2004)

You can laugh at me for choosing this game, but really, it's a blast to play. I love building homes to my fancy and watching my little family grow and expand their knowledge on the world (or not). For me, the game is more humorous than anything. My Sims always end up setting their kitchen on fire or doing some bizarre thing that makes me laugh for days. For example, the other day my Sim took a sponge bath in the KITCHEN in front of the maid, and she flipped out! Hahaha. I also love the little soap opera you create. I created a Sim that I decided was an immigrant from Germany. He ended up falling madly in love with some chick who was engaged to someone else, she moved in with him and he got her pregnant, and she still doesn't even like the guy! Hahaha. I find this game incredibly entertaining.

Sonic the Hedgehog....

Is a f*$!&ing hard game. I'm talking original Sega 1991 Sonic the Hedgehog. My old 16 bit directional pad skills are lacking, or are too rusty, or something. Because dammit if I can't get past the third level in the Marble zone. I must be getting stupider in my age, because I remember getting way further in it back when I was, oh I don't know, seven? That being said original Sonic and Sonic 2 are the best of the series, period.

Promises Promises Promises

With the dawn of 2008 comes the excitement of long awaited big name game releases. Or does it? I'm beginning to wonder if 2008 might not just continue on with the big-title-delay calamity we suffered through last year. Grand Theft Auto IV, with a promising release date of Fall '07, is now thrust back to Q2 2008. In my experience, any release date with a "Q" in front of it and no actual release date means that it will actually be released sometime in the "Q" following the promised "Q". Remember Fable 2? At this time last year Fable 2 was scheduled for yet another Fall '07 release. Now the best thing Microsoft can come up with is a "TBA 2008". At least the lackluster "Q" dates are more specific than a release date of "sometime in 2008...maybe...hopefully." And how about Super Smash Bros. Brawl? First given a 2007 release, then pushed back to February 2008 and NOW pushed back yet again to March. I don't even own a Nintendo Wii (though I want one, anyone wanting to contribute to the Poor Wii-less Gamer Donation Center please contact me) and this bakes my noodle.


Such promises upset me, but wouldn't so much if once the final version was released, it was actually a clean, bugless game. But it's not! Games are delayed for months, years, millenia and yet they still end up shipping out a buggy piece of crap. Delays from game companies such as Blizzard and Valve are calmly tolerated, because in the end the games come out as crisp and squeaky clean as as your baby's butt after his first bath. All others need to take notes and study these companies' time management materials.

I suppose as gamers we will never be satisfied. We don't want buggy games but we don't want to wait for 300 years either. We want glorious big titles two months after the game's announcement, or less. So I guess we as gamers need to learn to be patient. Or maybe dev teams need to use their time more wisely. Or maybe both. Either way, I suspect that 2008 will be chalk full of infuriating delays, and I'm bracing myself.

.hack//quarantine

I just spent about a month and a half and 70 hours of gameplay time to bulldoze my way through the first 3 volumes of the .hack series on PS2 (the old series, not the brand new one). Two days ago I beat volume 3 out of 4, and started calling around stores looking to pick up the 4th one, preferrably used, preferrably cheap. I called every mother fricken game store in the Pacific Northwest, and there isn't a copy ANYWHERE!!! I looked on ebay and it's going for 70 flippin dollars. Blah. I'm going to be pissed if I have to pay full price for what is sure to be a mediocre ending to a decent but kind of monotonous series.