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Dominuss Blog

Classic Ps2 Remakes

So for the past year or so, I've been going through Ps2 games I've never had the time to try, though always knew somewhere in the back of my mind I should.

Those games that are raved about by everyone, those games that when you talk to people in the know and tell them you haven't been able to find the time to get to THOSE games, you get the raised eyebrow and the look of contempt.

Those games are ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, Beyond Good and Evil, Prince of Persia Trilogy and several others.

All of the above mentioned are now available either on both X360&Ps3 or PS3 exclusively as HD remakes.

And I must say - I've been having a blast playing through each and every one of them.

ICO & Shadow of the Colossus are games that are playing straight to your emotions - you will emerge a different human being than the one that started playing them. The HD textures and 3d absolutely do not hurt the experience.

Beyond Good & Evil HD has been a journey in and of itself - being a unique experience, as it combined elements of alot of gaming genres, and meshed them together quite well. Combined with a Assimovian/Zelaznyian blend of a storyline, it is not your every day adventure/shooter/racer/brawler/{insert descriptive game genre here}, but rather much more - as the whole is made bigger than the sum of it's parts.

As for Prince Trilogy 3d - I'm kinda still in the process of playing through it, so I can't comment on whether its as good as the previous mentioned 3 games, but the 3d in that game is quite impressive.

So what am I saying up til now? HD remakes make absolutely fantastic games available to new gamers and people like me who missed the train when they were first made available. Also - it doesn't hurt to replay them - if you ever did in low resolution.

One exception to that rule is 'Tomb Raider Legend'.

Though this game has been on my 'to play' list for about 8 years, I've never gotten to play it start to finish, for many reasons. The game is the story prequel to the fantastic 'Tomb Raider Underworld', and though I've finished Underworld twice already, it's taken me three more years to play through Legend. The camera control of the original version - be it PSP, PS2, Pc etc, was absolutely awful. Actually, come to think of it - especially on the PSP. I must have played the first mission like 50 times from all the versions I've checked. The remake/port of Legend on the 360 makes it bearable to play, but the game itself is not something you'd feel missed unless you're a very hardcore tomb raider fan. It definitely was not worth my time for the extra achievements.

On a different note - Though what I said above is also valid for God of War collection HD, I *HAVE* played God of War 1&2, and it's PSP counterparts when they first came out, so it's not the same experience as I've had with BG&E, ICO and Colossus...

Bottom line? If you haven't played ICO/Shadow of the Colossus/Beyond Good & Evil, and you consider yourself a connoisseur of good gaming - why are you doing reading stupid blogs instead of getting your hands on them?

Rock Band 3 vs. Rocksmith: One Year Later

Well, it's been a year or so since my last rant/gush about the real guitar experience games.

What has transpired, what has changed and has my opinion swayed as my skills improved?

Let's see. In the past year I have been trying to divide my free playing time equally between the two - and frankly, looking back I think I've put more time into Rocksmith rather than Rock Band 3.


1. While both games feature a weekly DLC - RB3 only features one Pro track per week. RS features at least 3.

2. In the past year I have made the transition from 'Easy' difficulty in RB3 to 'Medium'. And still in somewhat early stages of that as well. On the other hand, while I'm not playing any Pantera licks or grand solos - I've already performed a song in 'Master' mode in RS. That is - without on screen notes, and in front of a virtual audience.

3. Lately customs songs for RS have been starting to show up around the net, letting me play custom songs that are not released by Ubisoft... which is cool. For the most part. (as is the deal with customs).

4. RS has released a PC version, and if I'm too lazy/short on time I can always skip on turning on my 'box' and just play a few songs on my PC.

5. And this I think was bothering me quite alot without me noticing - RB3 features a 'wrong note' sound every time you play the wrong note as the name suggests. This is the most irritating sound for someone who's trying to hear himself/the song/the guitar play.

And two days ago I found out that this sound can be disabled, and a renewed sense of faith towards RB3's features washed over me.

I think in the long run, namely - by April 2nd when RB's DLCs stop and all I'm left with are the ones that were already released - which are about 300 tracks and about half of them are decent, Rocksmith would surpass RB's playlist. But only time would tell.

Also - a new contender is about to enter the ring - BandFuse. And I say - the more the merrier. You can only get better from these, not worse....

100%ing a game

Well, It's finally happened.

I managed to get Duodecim to 100% (Shop, Story, PP Catalog, Theater, Labyrinth, Battlegen and Accomplishments) after [drum roll] 312 hours of my life....

That's 13 days....

Granted - I only had an average of 40 minutes a day, but still...

I also recently finished Assassin's Creed 1 @100% - That means all achievements and flags and everything.

That thing took me 6 months to complete.

At some point I start to wonder if getting to 100% gives you a sense of accomplishment and fulfliment for games you love, or rather you start thinking if you should go see a doctor for OCD diagnosis....

Either way - games were great, but they occupied my mind during the time I played them (I had numerous excel sheets and browser tabs for Duodecim, and Assassin's creed had me print up maps and instructions for the flags).

Now if only I'd invested that time in practicing my guitar I'd be much better :) Is there a 100% accomplishment for playing guitar? :)

Rocksmith vs. Rock Band 3

So it's been about 6 months since I've opened up my horizons and life to learning real Guitar playing through games.

On my visit to New York in June I've purchased myself the amazing Fender Squier Stratocaster that was built for the Rock Band 3.

The guitar with the built in sensors for the game to teach you where to and how to put your fingers in the right places.

It's been a very rocky start, and I'd find myself trying for hours the same basic notes, until I was good enough to get 100% on those phrases and move to the next phrases.

Way I saw it, Rock Band 3's teaching technique was quite cleverly crafted - get good enough to put your fingers in those needed places, at the requiered speed, you pass and move to the next stage of teaching, and eventually you're good enough to start playing easy. Get 3 stars on all the game's songs, you're either good enough to go for 5 stars on Easy or just move forward to learning Medium and so on.

And it was good, I can't complain - the songs are varied enough to keep me interested, and more DLCs keep coming out with Pro upgrades, unlike the Keyboard for instance, which is quite a neglected instrument in the whole Rock Band 3 lineup, though it was promised to be an integral instrument (I got myself one of those as well).

About two weeks ago I received my Rocksmith copy, and my whole perspective changed.

I found out that I've been pressing the strings too hard on the fret board, thus - in Rocksmith, producing a different note from the one that I actually was meant to play.

In two and a half weeks I've learned about Palm Muting, String Bending, Hammer-ons, Pull Offs, Harmonics and moved on to Chords.

I'm not saying I'm good, but it's a very different experience when you can hear what you're playing - for better or worse.

In Rock Band 3 if I disengage the string mute, the game plays fine but the strings' vibration messes your streaks.

As I've mentioned before - Rock Band has got a wide variety of songs - Specifically I've got about 250 songs with Pro Upgrade in my arsenal, as opposed to ... err... 60? in Rocksmith (I dunno - haven't got that far) *WITH* the DLC.

It's two different experiences, as Rock Band puts a better emphasis on the gaming part - the score is derived from a multiplier you receive as you play a string of notes in a row, whilst RockSmith ups your Phrase Level if you play better - thus challenging you to play faster and better in time.

One thing that exists in Rock Band that I really would have liked to have in Rocksmith is the 'Practice Song' feature. I mean, there is a feature for 'rehearse song', but you can't slow the song down, play parts of it or practice the solo. It's either the whole song or nothing. And if the only thing you're having trouble with is the Solo of that specific song, you need to play the song from the beginning to try and improve your solo - every time.

Both of the games are amazing, but given some free time, I'll most likely play Rocksmith, for the simple reason that my progress isn't based on my thinking I'm better so I can move forward, but rather the game itself would enhance my difficulty level, and with it - my experience...

342 hours, 48 minutes and 52 seconds...

That's how long it took me to reach 100% completion in Dissidia.

That's one year and give or take 4 months of playing almost daily.

My god. During that time I've finished... let's see - Prince of Persia + dlc's, Tomb Raider Underworld + Dlcs, Shadow Complex, Gears of War 2, Comic Jumper, Trine, God of War III, Uncharted 1 and 2, I'm halfway through Bioshock 2... and probably more I can't remember...

It's been one hell of a ride, and as with anything that takes that long to reach it's end, I'm left with kind of a vacuum... fortunately (or un-?) it won't be for long - as Dissidia 012 is out, I'm having a back-log of games for the PSP such as God of War: Ghost of Sparta, KH: birth by Sleep, Patapon 2 and more...

But if one should ask me - should I invest the time in playing this game, I'd say Hell Yeah. It's one of those few games that keep you wanting to get to 100%. Even though the gameplay is mostly the same, and the story not amazing and doesn't take more than 50 hours to see fully, it's worth your time...

Hard Gaming - Is playing games on the hardest difficulties really worth it?

Well I've never felt the need to blog about my gaming habits, much less express an opinion about their difficulties.

And I'm not talking about hardcore online multiplayer games with kids who sit all day playing and enjoy kicking other people's butts around.

Over the past year I've found myself replaying games I've finished in the past, just for the sake of playing them again on the hardest difficulty.

Now, I've always had an aversion from hard difficulties in games. Essentially I was playing medium and was content with it. In my mind it was too time consuming to try the same things over and over again and time is one thing I don't have in abundance....

It all changed when I got my Xbox360 and the achievement system kicked in.

In order to achieve certain goals in certain games - u need to finish them on the hardest difficulty.

So this past year I've replayed Bioshock, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Gears of War, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Final Fantasy - Crisis Core, and several more - all from the beginning - And I've enjoyed every second of gameplay on hard difficulty.

Apparently I've been missing on the fun of it all this time I've been settling for the medium difficulty. Games are made to be most enjoyable on hard.

The last game I've finished was Chains of Olympus, and yeah - it was brutal, and there were fights I had to re-play 10-20 times (the last boss fight took me several hundred tries, and while playing this game I actually broke my PSP's analog stick), but it only contributed to the general feeling of satisfaction from having reached the finish line and actually feeling I couldn't do anything more in that game to make my experience more enjoyable. I beat it at it's max, and it was worth the time and effort.

So if you're really into a game and you think like I did up until recently - that it's gonna be too hard to play it on 'HARD' - don't let that put you down - Give it all you can, who knows? - you might enjoy it...

4 months later


It has been quite a while since I last blogged. About 4 months or so... wait... oh, five months ... And what do I have to show for it? hmm... I've clocked alot more time on the FF7 Crisis Core, at 58 hours now and counting ,second way through (new game+).

It's an awesome game, and it has a captivating gameplay experience, even though you've already been through most of the story, there is so much to do that I haven't done before... Just like the original Final Fantasy 7... Finished the original in two weeks, then spent three months upgrading to beat the emerald and ruby and get the knights of the round materia... hehe....

Aside from that I bought myself an LCD tv to play my XBOX on HDTV at long last... which is awesome.... And still the game I clock most time on the X360 is Ninja Gaiden I.

What else....oh, yeah - I got the DRUM KIT for rockband! Bought it back in May, and haven't had much time to practice - been only through easy mode in RB and RB Track Pack, but I have a week of vacation coming up... I also bought a multitap for the PS2 and managed to get several friends together and do all 4 instruments at the same time, which was awesome (except for the singer, who will never touch the mic again - I promised myself :) ). I also experimented on playing four instruments with three people - that is, I got myself a mike stand, and sang while playing the guitar and the other two played the drums and bass. Was awesomer...

On a side note I passed my RHCT exam, so that is great.

On a further side note - I still have four emblems on gamespot... for over two years now... wonder what I need to do in order to get more....

That's it for my ramblings.... write you when I get either GH:WT or RB2...! Hopefully sooner than expected.

P.s. - Awesome revamp Gamespot - I just love the 540p videos that came with the new site design.


Xbox 360, Psp games and more...

So I've been trying to write this blog for several times now the passing two weeks, but every time something else interrupted me and I had to abort...

So what's changed.. let's see... I bought an Xbox 360, I have finished Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2, God Of War: Chains of Olympus (which was excellent), Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow - which is excellent on all counts, and I got Ninja Gaiden Black working on my X360!!! Sweet, sweet game...

Anyhow, now I'm considering buying a Rock Band drum kit... actually I've been considering it ever since it went out solus in February ,but the shipping prices and taxes have put me off to this point. But now that Amazon is selling the drum set for 49$! it's alot cheaper than it used to be.... We'll see...

I'm actually pretty excited about the new Guitar Hero: Aerosmith that's coming out next month, and the GH: World Tour that's coming in November, and am less excited about the Rock Band: DLC's for the ps2 track listing... they could have picked a better listing in my opinion... I mean - two Rock band releases and not even one good Bowie song? and that's just the beginning of it...

In non-console related news, I've decided to install myself another PC just for gaming purposes. (for all the free time I don't have). Idealy it'd be used for playing all those adventure games I've been putting off for a better time... such as Runaway 2, Broken Sword 4, and several more....

Oh ,and I'm also excited I managed to get my Xbox streaming my videos from the computer through Tiversity.. I've struggled with it for quite some time...

That's about it.

signing off for now...

New console on my horizon?

Hey there my one reader (if you even exist) :-)

been a while since I've written down here...

So, after my ps2, my second ps2 (which I sold last week) and my Psp, I intend on adding an X360 to my console collection and immerse myself in the world of Xboxians and online gaming. (yeah right, like I have the time).

I even considered purchasing the whole Rock Band package for the 360, because importing the drums for the ps2 would cost me like a new x360 rockband package.

But then again, I reached to a conclusion, that importing the whole Rock Band package would cost me like two rock bands, and that was just not worth it...

So until I can get my hands on a reasonably priced drumkit, I'm playing rockband on the ps2 with my two guitars (from the Guitar hero - one wireless and one isn't), and the Singstar mic.

So what if I won't get to download more songs for it and compete against other people online and play the full world tour scene? The game is great no matter how you cut it, and the hard difficulty isn't as hard as you'd think, so it's even given me hope of playing the hard difficulty with the guitar soon...

Which reminds me to get back to playing the hard career on the first Guitar Hero ... I got stuck in the third quartet of songs I think...

So... Xbox 360 and drumkit for the rockband.... too bad we don't get presents for passover here... I could open a wish-list... :-)

Rockband! Rockband!

YEAH!!! cool

Rockband is finally here!

"How I've waited for you to come,

it's been so long..."

Rock band actually rocks dudes!

Awesome game, (from what I saw/played so far) amazing gfx, superb soundtrack and an exhilirating experience.

Now, since I only got the standalone game (already got two guitars from the Guitar Hero 1&3), I have to wait til the Drums and Mic go out for sale on February to enjoy the full experience... can't wait.

Just thought I'd let you know...:-)


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