Quality reviews of computer and video games, from Pong and Pac-Man to present.

12 / 23 / 2011

One last update before the Festivus festivities commence. Today we're continuing the vain search for a Ghostbusters game that isn't shit. Ghostbusters: The Video Game (PC) comes the closest yet of all contenders but still trips up in the gameplay and level design. And then there's Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 for NES, which I hope no one was expecting anything out of.

12 / 19 / 2011

OK, next up on my list was this amazing game called The You Testament. You follow around a Jesus who looks like a tweaker, and he periodically gives you wrestling moves and black magic spells to use on Roman guards and assholes that try to jack your apples.

Unfortunately, when I went to install the game I found that it tries to force something called MDickie Bulldog Toolbar on you, which has some pretty bad malware reports out on it. So I passed and just watched this hilarious Let's Play made by some brave soldiers instead. If you don't have time for that, you can get the broad strokes with these videos of your disciple going to the Dark Side and Black Jesus supplanting that fraud White Jesus with a wrestling match in the desert. Apparently this guy MDickie makes no end of amazingly terrible games, but I'm not playing any of them while they try to force some bullshit malware on you.

One bizarre game I actually did play was Hatoful Boyfriend for PC, which seems to be pretty dark and grim as pigeon dating sims go.

 

12 / 18 / 2011

Damn, but we're on a roll now that vacation has started! Catching up on some Steam sale impulse buys with Ben There, Dan That and Time Gentlemen, Please! , two indie adventure games that are about as close to replicating the experience of old LucasArts adventures as probably anyone is ever going to get.

12 / 17 / 2011

Congrats Persona series, you've gone from "Man, what is this overrated mess" to "Man, I'm looking forward to Persona 5."

Persona 4 for PS2

12 / 15 / 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's been a while since we've given the Atari 2600 any love ... unacceptable for a machine that Pele quit soccer for! So here we go with Keystone Kapers , an OK action-jumping game from Activision, and Karate , an embarrasment from some joke company.

12 / 2/ 2011

 

Stop the presses, I actually like a Persona game. I've been playing Persona 3 Portable (PSP) on my commute and it's great, it's like they made this game specifically to address every complaint I had about the previous game. Well ... I didn't ask for a J-Pop soundtrack, but other than that ...

 

11 / 27 / 2011

Alright, this is it for the Humble Bundle 3: Hammerfight and Steel Storm

 I'm recusing myself from Cogs because I hate sliding block puzzles possibly more than anything else on Earth.

11 / 25 / 2011

Eff some Black Friday, man. Enjoy climbing all over each other to get to the ten $200 Extra Big Ass TVs or whatever. I'ma kick it at the crib with my indie games.

Plowing ahead with Humble Bundle 3 - this time, Crayon Physics Deluxe and VVVVVV

 

11 / 22 / 2011

Alright, got a week off for Turkeygiving, time to catch up on some fine gaming. The Humble Indie Bundle 3 that's been sitting around gathering dust seems as good a place to start as any. How about some And Yet It Moves and Atom Zombie Smasher

 

11 / 18 / 2011

Can you believe it's almost 2012 and I've never played a Crash Bandicoot game before? Cracking into the series with the original entry for Playstation, Crash Bandicoot , and the fourth entry and first for the PS2, The Wrath of Cortex

11 / 6 / 2011

Totally random update today. Lost in Time for PC, a really obscure adventure game from the early 90s, and Life Force , the beloved-but-maybe-not-as-good-as-you-remember-it-being shooter for NES.

 

11 / 2 / 2011

Ok, enough Japanese zombie nurses, time to get back to business.

I wasn't the biggest fan of the first Yakuza, but I came across a copy of Yakuza 2   in great shape and decided to snap it up while it could still be had for a reasonable price. Unfortunately it seems the game is one of those sequels that just totally recycles the assets and engine of the original and cobbles together a new story with them. Still, it added a few new areas and new things, and made a few little tweaks and improvements.

10 / 29 / 2011



Seems it's that time of year again ... Mandatory Scaaaary Update Time!

This year we have Parasite Eve and Parasite Eve 2 , which are, um ... sorta horror games. I guess. Close enough.


10 / 21 / 2011


Quickie quickie update today. Jeanne D'Arc for PSP, a strategy-RPG that's well-made and pretty but also very conservative in design and kind of boring on the whole.

10 / 13 / 2011


Ah, the world of an international man of mystery. It's Super Spy Day with Spy Hunter for PS2 and Alpha Protocol for PC

10 / 3 / 2011


Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection for PSP ... really, it gets the Good rating just for being the best version yet of the original FF4. The Interlude and After Years are forgettable experiences, don't buy it just for those.

9 / 27 / 2011


Right on schedule my Annual Fall Head Cold rolled in to town. Thanks to not being able to sleep more than like 3 hours a night plus having to turtle inside all weekend due to hacking phlegm everywhere, I caught up on some reee-views.

Today, Accolade's somewhat half-hearted attempt to clone Leisure Suit Larry. Les Manley: Search For The King and Les Manley: Lost in L.A. , both for PC

9 / 25 / 2011


Just a couple of DS obscurities today, prob. not even worth reading - Custom Robo Arena , Nintendo's recycling of Pokemon sets with spazzy simplistic Virtua On battles thrown in, and Scurge: Hive , some game that isn't even trying to hide the fact that it wishes it was Metroid.

9 / 21 / 2011


It's nearly fall again and the smell of Football is wafting through the air.

Pigskin 621 A.D. (Arcade) and Super Play Action Football (SNES)

9 / 18 / 2011


Two indie digital download darlings today - Terraria , the 2D take on Minecraft, and Recettear . Both for PC.

9 / 7 / 2011


I rammed the raw, and the raw won :(

Judge Dredd for SNES is your typical Acclaim movie license poo sidescroller. Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death for PC is ... surprisingly decent, and in the mold of Duke Nukem 3D and Timesplitters. Not worth the $8 Steam regularly asks for it, but for the 0.75 I got it for last Xmas? Most definitely.

9 / 2 / 2011


Every day I get emails about Max Paynis Enlargement, figured it was time to finally check it out!

Max Payne (PC) was just the warmup, this Max Payne 2 review is a stirring work destined to go down in the annals of video game journalism, and will no doubt net me numerous lucrative job offers from such fine publications as Kotaku and Gamepro. Sorry I'll have to fold the site up so abruptly, but sometimes you just catch lightning in a constipated bottle, what can I say.

8 / 30 / 2011


Only good vampire movie ever made tbqh

...

VAMPIAAAAARS. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines is a highly touted PC game by people who tout such things. Vampire: Master of Darkness is a Game Gear game that wants to be Castlevania soooooo bad. But is not.

8 / 26 / 2011


After all those hours of heavy RPG and strategy games how about some brainless arcade action?

Eco Fighters is a forgotten Capcom shooter from the mid-90s that puts you in the role of a spaceship-flying hippie eco-terrorist. Fantasy is one of SNK's first games, and Tac-Scan is a primitive shooter that we've covered the 2600 port of previously.

8 / 20 / 2011


I'm done with Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PS1) early 'cause I didn't get anywhere even near finishing it. Man, at one time I was looking forward to playing these games, now I'm just glad they're done and over with. Gotta find something new to load on my PSP for school starting back up this week now, I guess.

8 / 17 / 2011


Is this even an actual thing from Warcraft? ... I choose to believe it is.


Warcraft is a nostalgia trip that you may want to think twice about booking tickets for ... aged TERRIBLY. On the other hand, Warcraft 3 is a very solid game and has held up pretty well.


8 / 12 / 2011


Some lovely bouts of insomnia have helped me get through a couple of indie freeware games. An Untitled Story and King's Quest III Redux . Former is a Metroid/Cave Story type thing by the guy who does some of the Adult Swim Flash games, latter is the most recent remake project from the always excellent AGD Interactive team.

8 / 10 / 2011


After stumbling into the final boss of Persona 2: Innocent Sin and discovering how bullshitty he was and how much Grindan Forever he was probably going to require, I just decided to watch the ending on Youtube instead. Man. Best decision I've made in recent memory. What an overrated mess this game is. Just toss in some Japanese culture and some post-modernist jumbled-up confusing symbolism and watch the shut-in console RPGers beat a path to your door!

Remind me not to play any RPGs from the late 90s for a very long time. Thx.

8 / 9 / 2011


Maaaan. So apparently, I'm really close to the end of Innocent Sin, but the last dungeon is this super-long slog that requires Moar Grindan to handle. I'm doing that in very small doses. And I'm told that Eternal Punishment is like 10 to 20 hours LONGER than this game? O_O. That one is definitely waiting for my long bus commutes on the PSP when school starts up again. But I'll try to knock out IS in the next couple days just to get it done.

To take a small break, I got the urge to cover some more Tengen garbage. For those who aren't NES vets, Tengen was Atari's little shill company that they created in the 8-bit age to sell a bunch of unlicensed ports on the NES without having to sully the Atari name or something. I actually used to have their versions of Gauntlet and Rolling Thunder as a youngster, with their redonculous gigantic cartridges that had special circuitry to circumvent the NES lock-out chip (Gauntlet was actually officially licensed and I guess originally had a properly sized cartridge, but once Atari started up Courtroom Beef with Nintendo, they started selling it on the giant cartridge? Not sure. There are two versions though, look it up on GIS. I used to have the giant black one that sticks out of the NES.)

What I didn't know about Tengen until now is that Sega apparently licensed them some of their major IPs to smuggle ninja-style onto the NES! That's why the NES has ports of games like After Burner, Fantasy Zone and Shinobi even though the two companies were at each other's throats at the time.

8 / 5 / 2011


Did I say something about regular updates? Hmm.

OK, so the plan was originally to play Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment back to back and write those up next. About 15 hours into Innocent Sin, however, I realized that there was no way in hell that was gonna get done before September, and also that I'd probably need a lengthy break after IS before even thinking about EP.

So the plan from there was to just do IS then review it here. I just spent, like, six hours clearing two back-to-back overlong dungeons, however. So instead, by reader request, we now stock Battletoads . And while we're on the theme of "otherwise very good NES games ruined by inexplicable over-difficulty", here's Double Dragon 3 as well.

7 / 28 / 2011


The Cavern is back on regular updates, at least for a month or so, until Skool rears its ugly head again.

I enjoy Penny Arcade, so I was vaguely aware they had released some games of some sort in the last few years, but the vagaries of my rock star lifestyle prevented me from looking any further into them. At least until they popped up together in a Steam sale a few months ago for $3. Turns out it's like a Telltale episodic adventure game (but significantly simpler) meets a Squaresoft "Active Time Battle" JPRG (but significantly more complex and frenetic) with some Paper Mario timing and button presses thrown in to spice the battles up.

So, Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 1 and Episode 2 , for PC

7 / 25 / 2011


Shinya Nishigaki was taken from the world too soon. He was a true auteur in the making and had some interesting and unique ideas to bring to horror games. I would have loved to see what he came up with after having got some more design experience under his belt, but all we have are his two and only releases as a director, Blue Stinger   and Illbleed   for Dreamcast, which are both interesting and charming but also significantly flawed in the gameplay department. 

7 / 22 / 2011


Flight of the Amazon Queen for PC, Out of this World 2 for Sega CD

7 / 15 / 2011


Gauntlet Fest '11!

Arcade: Gauntlet , Gauntlet II
NES: Gauntlet , Gauntlet II
Master System: Gauntlet
Amiga: Gauntlet 3
Genesis: Gauntlet 4

7 / 4 / 2011


Happy America Fuck Yeah Day, let's celebrate with some good games. Bioshock (PC) takes shots at individualist exceptionalism, while Guerilla War (NES) stars Che Guevara and Fidel Castro blasting their way through La Revolucion.

>_>

7 / 2 / 2011


The Summer of Disappoint continues with Silver Surfer (NES) and Space Giraffe (PC)

:(

6 / 24 / 2011


Today we take a break from the high seas and sail off into a galaxy far, far away ... lord knows why since I don't even really like Star Wars all that much, but here we go. Dark Forces , LucasArts' Doom clone, and Knights of the Old Republic , LucasArts' Baldur's Gate/Neverwinter Nights clone. Both for PC.

6 / 16 / 2011


It's too hot out for witty repartee.

Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004) for PC, North & South and Columbus: Golden Dawn for NES

6 / 11 / 2011


Nose activated! Mayor safe! Console backlog finally and totally cleared! Onimusha and Onimusha 2 for PS2. Both could have actually been really good but the control and camera systems suck a butt.

Now, on to that massive Steam/PC pile ... eep

6 / 10 / 2011


Just clearing up the dregs of my console backlog with Arc the Lad for PS1 and Arc the Lad: End of Darkness for PS2

6 / 9 / 2011


What? Blow the dust off the MMOG Bog after 2 or 3 long years of neglect?

It's true, batten down your hatches for the Japanese/Korean take on the Age of Sail with Uncharted Waters Online

5 / 29 / 2011


Wind Waker deserves a place in anyone's Gamecube/Wii collection just for being one of the most gorgeous games ever made, but it also has a sense of exploration of a giant world and wonder not seen since the very first Zeruda game, and probably not likely to be recaptured with SKYWARDU SWORTU.

Not so impressive is Overlord (PC), a game from Terry Pratchett's daughter that's great with comedy but not so great with gameplay and sustaining interest over the 40 hours or so it asks to complete it.

5 / 18 / 2011


Samus is a man I would not want to fight, cause she wears underwears with dick holes in 'em.

More completely unnecessary reviews today with SOCOM: U.S. Navy Seals for PS2 and Metroid Prime for Gamecube.

5 / 13 / 2011


The real NHL playoffs are just entering the conference finals, but my own personal season has come to an abrupt and screeching end thanks to the fatal bugs and glitches of NHL '07 for PSP

:(

5 / 9 / 2011


Today, the oddball Suikoden games ... both disappointing in their own way. Suikoden Tactics for PS2 and Suikoden Tierkreis for DS

4 / 24 / 2011


Today we go from zero coverage of Tekken to having like half of the series on the pile.

Tekken , Tekken 2 , Tekken 3 for arcade, Tekken 5 for PS2. Also ... seems like Groader's come out of winter hibernation to play this game where Professor X runs a brothel with a firm pimp chair. This is a real thing that actually exists.


4 / 22 / 2011


Smash-em-up racing for the PC today with Destruction Derby and FlatOut


4 / 17 / 2011


Today, two games that have absolutely no connection other than being kind of obscure and odd. Crimson Tears (PS2) starts with a really good concept - fusing beat-em-up gameplay with "randomized dungeon" RPG mechanics - but executes in a rather tedious way. The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom (PC) is an endearing and very solid platformer/puzzler that was easily worth the 50 or 75 cents I paid for it on Steam over Xmas.

4 / 15 / 2011


Our reviews are augmented today with Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War for PC

4 / 6 / 2011


Show us your pirate face, Lloyd! Delving into the Tales series a bit today, Namco's long-running action-RPG series. Tales of Destiny for PS1 was the second entry in the series while Tales of Symphonia for the Gamecube was the fourth, but the first to really evolve the gameplay significantly.

4 / 2 / 2011


A little dudebro PS2 racing action today - Corvette and Downhill Domination

3 / 25 / 2011


The thing you're "supposed" to say about the Prince of Persia: Sands Trilogy is that Sands of Time is great but the next two kind of sucked. I agree with the latter sentiment but as it happens I also think the original kind of sucked as well. Sands of Time , Warrior Within , Two Thrones , all for PC.

Honestly, tl;dr reviews: if you at all dislike "jumping puzzles", don't play any of these games because they really don't have much else going on.

3 / 8 / 2011


Debuting the Sony PSP section today with Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker ... also, Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions for PS1

2 / 19 / 2011


Aliens for the NES is a prototype game that just got leaked a couple of months ago ... not rated due to being an unreleased, incomplete beta, but it's complete enough to be considered a full game. Ghostbusters for the Genesis is actually quite decent, don't let the Meh throw you too much, but some primitive and inconsiderate design choices weigh it down heavily and it hasn't aged all that well.

The PC strategy game Ghost Master was supposed to be in this update too ... but apparently it's wonky with newer ATI Radeon cards and Steam/the devs can't be stuffed to patch it ... and I can't be stuffed to try the 50 different workarounds people were proposing in the Steam forums for a game that I bought solely because it was 75 cents and wasn't all that excited about playing anyway.

So, kinda a lamer update than it was planned to be ... sorry about that :(

2 / 16 / 2011


Two "virtual life" games, one about as cheerful and inoffensive as it gets, the other rather "grotty " as my Australian buds would put it.

Animal Crossing for Gamecube, and Maxis' Unnatural Selection for PC, the latter of which isn't rated due to having an extremely dense interface and my inability to find a game manual or walkthrough to explain what the hell was going on with it.

2 / 13 / 2011


Couple of music games today. Um Jammer Lammy is the follow-up to Parappa the Rapper and is a nearly identical experience down to the lovable goofyness and the often facepalmy gameplay. Audiosurf is a simple but neat little indie desktop game that doesn't cost much.

2 / 9 / 2011


Today, a grab bag of arcadey "over-the-top" style sports games. MLB Power Pros (PS2) is the best all-around baseball game I've seen yet; simple easy-to-learn gameplay and appealing visual style yet enough depth for the Serious Fans Of The Sport. NFL Blitz 2000 (Dreamcast), on the other hand, is basically solid but not the best representative of the Blitz series. And Super Mario Strikers lacks single-player depth but is immensely fun and satisfying and might be the best overall multiplayer game on the Gamecube.

2 / 6 / 2011


The appeal of Devil May Cry has baffled me since five or six years ago when I played the first game. I thought it was juvenile, obnoxious and as repetitive as all those old Final Fight clones.

Time hasn't changed that impression at all. Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2 (PS2) .

2 / 4 / 2011


Did the first two Monkey Island games really need to be remade? Irrelevant question now, I guess.

Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition and Monkey Island 2: Special Edition for PC

2 / 2 / 2011


Marvel vs Capcom 3 is coming out pretty soon, right? We don't have any current-gen systems here so please accept Marvel vs Capcom 2 for Dreamcast instead. Sorry, no refunds.

1 / 30 / 2011


I'm the goddamn Batmang! Batman for NES is often ballyhooed by Nerdus Retro as one of the best games on the NES, but it really asks way too much of you. Bat-Man for the PC is a great remake of a terrible game ... also one of the rare Batman games seemingly based on the old Adam West TV show. And then Batman: Arkham Asylum for PC is just damn .

1 / 25 / 2011


Today, two PC games that I thought were very good, but still maybe a bit overrated in general - Portal and World of Goo .

This also closes out the Humble Indie Bundle stuff, as well as the Orange Box! Yeah, so I tried Team Fortress 2 despite my seething hatred for online competitive FPS ... constantly froze up on me, even Training Mode froze up on me. It was just sitting there taking up 7 GB and wanting to add 100 MB more like every time I turned around, decided that was way too much real estate for something I probably wouldn't even enjoy anyway. Sorry Valve, I won't be buying any $40 hats.

1 / 22 / 2011


I figured I would get my annual attempt to enjoy a Sonic game out of the way early this year.

Sonic Adventure probably needs no introduction. Sonic Championship is more obscure, though, being the first Sonic fighting game, and an arcade title headed up by Yu Suzuki and AM2! And then there's Sonic Battle , from the beginning of the Dark Times Of Sega.

1 / 20 / 2011


Alright, let's step away from the Orange Box a bit for a refresher and some variety ... time to start chipping away at a new series with Prince of Persia 3D (PC) and Prince of Persia: Arabian Nights (Dreamcast). Same games, different names, different platforms ... and surprisingly terrible for PoP games.

1 / 18 / 2011


"Our lives are worthless, unless spent ... on boo-tay." Half-Life 2 , Half-Life 2: Episode 1 and Half-Life 2: Episode 2


1 / 13 / 2011


Taking a break before diving into the massive pile that is The Orange Box ... back to working through the Humble Indie Bundle for a bit with Lugaru , some kinda rabbit kung fu thing that controls like an FPS. I love what Wolfire Games has done with the Bundle but as for their particular entry ... I just don't get the appeal at all.

Anthropomorphic martial artist bunny asswhippers is not a concept without precedent, as evidenced by Usagi Yojimbo for the Commodore 64. You might be familiar with the successful but low-key comic that's quietly been going on for 20 years or so, but more likely you saw this guy during his brief stint as a secondary toy in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lineup.

1 / 10 / 2011


All right ... today we begin to scale a mountain of Half-Life with the original game and expansions for PC - Half-Life , Opposing Force and Blue Shift .

Also, Penumbra Overture , which bears more than a passing resemblance to Half-Life 2, but is more of a survival horror game emphasizing sneaking around enemies and puzzle-solving. Very similar "physics engine" tho.

1 / 8 / 2011


Can't get your hands on Super Mario All-Stars? Super Mario Bros. Crossover is better anyway, at the recession-busting price of Free. Don't blow $100 on ebay.

1 / 7 / 2011


Wasn't expecting to update again so soon, but I was going through the first Humble Indie Bundle, and it turns out Samorost and Samorost 2 (PC) only took like 2 hours combined to knock out. Not bad little adventure games though, just not what you would call "meaty."

1 / 5 / 2011


Today we go under da seeeaaaa with Aquaria (PC), a Metroid-like game set underwater, and Jaws (NES), yet another of LJN's terrible movie license games

1 / 2 / 2011


Alright, 2010 is finally gone ... I thought that guy would never leave!

Let's ring in the New Year with the toast of four years ago at this time ... The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

(Gamecube)
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