Tony Hawk’s Underground

th underground

I’m not a sports fan by any means but damn I love the old school Tony Hawk games, my favorite being the first Underground. You create your own skater and custom board and go from random skate punk in Jersey to superstar while dueling your rival Eric for the spot as pro spanning throughout the US and even going into Moscow on a fun as hell adventure. I had a blast being a skate punk, causing havoc and doing tricks. The skating is top notch and controls great better than the games that would come console generations later. I love the huge selection of licensed music at your disposal and the varied locations you can travel to, including a KISS concert as a bonus level with none other than Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man as a unlockable character. The most memorable moment I can recall is doing the 360 McTwist off a skyscraper over a helicopter. This game gave me a lot of awesome ideas growing up that went into my book throughout the years. I highly recommend this game. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

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Star Wars pod racer 64

star wars racer 64

When Star Wars reignited after Phantom Menace debuted, there were a crap load of video games. One of my favorites capitalized on the pod race scene, which besides the final lightsaber fight was Menace’s most memorable part. Extreme speeds and a lot of damage, pod racing was the shit. This racing game used to make my heart stop as the other racers would smash the hell out of my pod, forcing me to pull back and repair my engines so I didn’t explode. The worst was getting slammed off course mid jump and crashing to my fiery death. Make no mistake, this game was a hard son of a bitch but it was really fun for a racing game which I’m normally not into. If you were disappointed by Star Wars Episode 1: the game on PlayStation, this makes up for it on the N64. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Star Wars Episode 1: the game

menace game

With the final movie of the Skywalker saga in Star Wars coming out at the end of this year, I’m going to start looking at pieces of the Star Wars I growing up. Given to me as a gift way later in life so I checked it out before upgrading to the PS3, brand new at the time. I can tell you this game did not age well at all.

The Phantom Menace game recounts the events of the game ( minus the pod race and thankfully the debate scenes). You play as Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Padme, and her bodyguard dude I can’t remember the name of. For Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan you primarily use your lightsaber and try to reflect blaster shots back at the enemies which requires pretty acute timing but is still hit and miss. You can use a force ability which helps. The other two characters are strictly shooters which wouldn’t be so bad if the game didn’t use tank controls. Yes, tank controls, so be ready to feel like you are going through a chore. The graphics are pretty bad, and you don’t get much resolution in the characters which can look kinda creepy at times. The music is fine but loops too often and the sound is Ok. This is one of those games I rage quit and didn’t look back from; between getting lost so often with the bad controls and bullshit deaths I just couldn’t bring myself to get past level 4. I can’t tell you if I would’ve liked this game more back then but in a more modern day, hell no. Regardless of your opinion on the movie, I can say you are good to skip this game. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Pokemon snap

pokemon snap

So the other day, walking down memory lane, I covered Hey You Pikachu and decided today why not cover an unusual Pokemon game that actually works. Again, much like Hey You Pikachu, this game was a cool concept: go on expeditions through various locales taking pictures of the native Pokemon that inhabit the region. It was a cool concept done surprisingly well. The camera was fluid and the expeditions were pretty fun; I remember a volcanic area full of fire Pokemon which were some of my favorites at the time. An unexpected bonus was how much fun it was playing with a friend, seeing who could photo bomb more Pokemon and who could get the cooler shots. Violet and I had a ton of fun doing this as kids. I feel if replicated today, the modern game market would abuse the hell out of this game, adding who knows how many DLC packages and micro transactions which makes me sad a bit. In the end, it’s a simple, wholesome game I recommend for Pokemon fans or families with younger kids. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Hey You Pikachu

hy pikachu

I can’t lie, until randomly at my job that isn’t the blog, I forgot this game pretty much existed. Once I recalled it, I had to think to a time way back to when there were only 151 Pokemon and Pokemon: The First Movie was THE movie in my school and news of Pokemon 2000 was the equivalent of Star Wars hype. But, I digress… Hey You Pikachu was a game for the Nintendo 64 with a lot of ambition. Requiring a special microphone attachment for the N64 controller, you talked to Pikachu and had him to command and essentially lived your own little Pokemon fantasy. As far as I’m aware of, there was no battling, so there goes a huge chunk of that fantasy. I have to be 100% honest, I’ve never seen this game in person actually really work. Talking to Pikachu became ultra frustrating super quickly because the controller itself was nearly useless and the entire game was trying to talk. When you’d get Pikachu to follow your instructions it was so cool, but then enjoy the 15-20 minutes it took for his next command to register. I’ve seen people pitch hissy fits and whip there controllers over this game. Simply put. I can’t recommend this game to anyone. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Final Fantasy 8 Remastered

Oh Final Fantasy 8, how I have loved thee since I was a child. The GF’s, the characters, the world itself and the monster designs. As a kid, I used to love these things. However, did this translate to modern times and how did this remaster come out? According to my Platinum trophy pretty damn well.

The story is as you remember, that hasn’t been altered. You play as Squall Leonhart. Student of Balamb, member of SeeD. After being sent on his first mission and meeting Rinoa Heartilly things suddenly take a weird turn and our crew ends up on a quest to stop the Sorceress.

The story aside that I don’t want to delve into deep. The graphical upgrades to the characters are amazing, tho I am a bit disappointed the same treatment wasn’t given to most of the environment. The upgrades to the combat system are nice for an odd reason. You can up the game speed by 3 times, have no encounters and easy combat which basically makes you invincible unless you get killed in one hit, makes your gauge charge almost instantly and your limit breaks will always be charged. This makes the game a breeze to play outside of certain battles. However, if like me you are impatient and hate how long drawing all the magic takes, you can now do in minutes what used to take hours. That alone for me is worth it.

For the trophy hunters in this group, I won’t call this one easy but I will call it straight forward. Only about 3 of them are missable and if you are careful, those aren’t hard to get anyway. You only have to go slightly out of your way for them the benefits for doing so are pretty worth it.

The only issue is if you use the 3X speed upgrade, the game feels really slow in combat when you stop, and it’s really tempting to use the combat assist to heal yourself. Unless you are strong-willed or just want to experience the story avoid using them at all.

I did, however, love the game and have no real complaints with the remaster itself. I for one am glad to finally see this on a modern console and encourage everyone to give it a shot. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Dragon Ball Z Budokai

dbz boudaki

Well, after one of the longest stretches I’ve ever done on this blog, I’m nearly at it’s end after covering DragonBall Z: The Buu Saga so I thought I’d take a look at the first DBZ game I ever played. Budokai covers the beginnings of Dragonball Z ( The Saiyan Saga) to Dragonball Z: Android Saga (Cell Games) and is essentially an old school fighter. For most part, I have to admit, the game follows the events of the show faithfully to a reasonable degree. The controls are solid enough and the combos are simple enough to execute. The cut-scenes are pretty well replicated and with the classic voice actors, narrator and so,me of the show’s classic music and a great feel for the fans. Besides story mode, there are the usual vs mode but you can also face off in the famous World Martial Arts Tournament.

There are some down sides to the game however. The character roster is pretty limited and doesn’t go past the Android saga and doesn’t touch the movies. Also I don’t like that transformations take spaces in your attack inventory in which you only get 7 slots; Goku has 4 transformations which takes most of his attack slots. Another detail I don’t like is the beam attacks just look like puffs of light and have no range to them what so ever; normal ki blasts are far more effective and have a way farther reach. Because of the small roster and limited game modes, the game will eventually get stale but its fun for a go if you are inclined and worth a play. May the gaming gods bring you glory.