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Dustin's Quick Thoughts - 2012

December 26, 2012

Just Cause 2 (PC) - It’s a good open world ‘crime’ game with an action movie style. There are really two problems with the game: you have to travel to a destination in order to fast travel there (and exploration can be boring), and you don’t earn money (for weapons and vehicles) fast enough to be able to enjoy it. The ending came a little too soon for my tastes, but the game immediately puts you in ‘Mercenary Mode’ so you can do missions and explore.

Tales of Game’s Studios Presents Chef Boyardee’s Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa (PC) - This is an incredible game that everyone should play. Watch Space Jam, then play.

Shank (PC) - I beat it in (slightly) less than 3 hours, and have no real desire to play it on Hard mode or try co-op. The game became somewhat boring after the first 20 minutes, and then it became trivial to beat once I found the one move that you can repeat over and over to easily beat enemies. There are many weapons, but I found myself just using the chainsaw and shotgun (which are two of the earliest weapons one finds).

December 9, 2012

WWE All Stars BrawlStick (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) - I paid $30 for each of these controllers, and they are good controllers for that price. This controller uses imitation parts that are an incredibly poor substitute for real Sanwa Denshi parts. The buttons are less sensitive than real Sanwa Denshi buttons, and are likely not as durable. The stick on the BrawlStick is bad, and feels worn-out even when the controller is brand-new. Using the BrawlStick for long periods of time is uncomfortable. The BrawlStick is usable, which is more than I can say for the last arcade stick that I bought for $30.

Under Defeat HD (Playstation 3) - This is a game that makes me scratch my head. After spending some time with it, I cannot get past the second level. Is it the unmodified BrawlStick that I am using the play this game? Is it because of weird-looking bullets from tanks and boats? Is it the weird way your helicopter turns when you are dodging enemy fire? Something about this game seems off. I’ll have to play it some more and get back to you on it.

Zanac X Zanac (Playstation 3/PSOne) - This is an excellent compilation containing two versions of Zanac, Zanac Special Edition, and Zanac Neo. All three games are excellent and challenging. If you’re into shoot-em-up games, I highly recommend the inexpensive Playstation Store version.

Rock Band Blitz (Xbox 360) - This is a weird game. It’s kind of like Rock Band, but you play it with a normal controller and you can switch between instruments at any time. That’s an oversimplification. To properly explain the game in writen form would take a textbook. Rock Band Blitz is too complex for its own good, and that complexity nearly ruins what should be a fun experience.

November 23, 2012

Hori Real Arcade Pro VX SA KAI (Xbox 360) - This is a good arcade controller. The stick itself is responsive, and I prefer it over the Happ stick that I currently have in my Pelican Real Arcade Universal (a PS2/Gamecube/Xbox stick). The buttons are highly sensitive. If you’re playing something like Raiden 4, do not rest your finger on a button because you will accidentally use bombs. This works on a PC, shows-up as “RAP .NX”, and works with games that require a 360 controller (like Wizorb).

WWE All Stars Brawl Pad (Playstation 3) - This pad did not work when I first bought it. I had to shake the USB receiver multiple times before the pad was functional. The direction pad on it is smooth but has a ‘mushy’ feel to it. The buttons are large and responsive, and the six-button layout feels natural for games like Marvel vs. Capcom 2. This works on a PC and shows-up as “PS3 RF pad.”

DmC: Devil may Cry (PS3, Demo) (reposting from Facebook) - The demo for the Devil May Cry re-imagining is out. Reminds me of Enslaved (game from the same dev) more than DMC. Dante hasn’t been ruined, but Jigsaw’s cousin is his boss. Go check it out. I’m not jazzed enough about DMC to buy it. Play Bayonetta instead.

November 12, 2012

Super Crate Box (iOS, played on iPod Touch) - This iOS version has a huge problem: lousy virtual buttons. The buttons for ‘left’ and ‘right’ are far apart, making it difficult to switch directions quickly. There is no auto-fire option. The virtual buttons are often unresponsive. Maybe there is a problem with my device? Thankfully, I got it for free during a sale.

The Pinball Arcade (Playstation 3) - I already own this game, but it sounds like DLC for the 360 version has run into serious issues. I decided to, for the moment, start buying full tables for the PS3 version. It still has some technical problems (there is no version of TPA without technical issues), but this version has 6 tables (including Taxi and Creature from the Black Lagoon) that are currently unavailable on the 360 version. I feel like the PS3 version was worth buying.

October 21, 2012

Costume Quest (Xbox 360) - This is an alright game. The core turn-based RPG gameplay is very basic, but the humor & plot progression was frequent enough to keep me playing. There’s also a decent amount of (optional?) exploration-based gameplay.

The Pinball Arcade (Xbox 360) - I’m a big fan of The Pinball Arcade and what FarSight Studios is doing to preserve classic pinball machines. But updates for the 360 version have been very slow, and will likely continue to be slow in the future. Impatient pinball fans should buy this for a different system.

Pinball FX2 (Xbox 360) - Tables range in quality from terrible (Street Fighter II Tribute) to mediocre (Rocky & Bullwinkle) to excellent (Ghost Rider and Moon Knight). Compared to TPA, this has slightly flipper physics (& better ball control) but overall worse table design.

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (Xbox 360) - It’s a Sega-themed kart racer made by Sumo Digital (the dev team responsible for every home version of every Outrun 2 game). If you’re an Outrun 2 or Outrun 2006 Coast 2 Coast fan (I am) and you can tolerate kart racers, you should try this game. I like it more than recent Mario Kart games.

TRAUMA (PC) - Please do not buy this game. It’s boring, melodramatic, and uninteresting in every regard. I can think of one complement: I can actually play TRAUMA. That’s more than I can say for Nidhogg or Johann Sebastian Joust.

El Shaddai (Xbox 360) - I don’t really like this game, but I am glad that I finished it. The combat is a little too simplistic to be engaging, and the plot is uninteresting, but the game’s graphics are unique and worth seeing.

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