Thursday 20 December 2007

PS3 Kicks Ass, or just kick the PS3's Ass...

Okay, so Max finally got himself a PS3, and in usual pose-o-matic style, brought it round on Tuesday night for my expert opinion. Against all odds, I... ... ... liked it. Admittedly, I still would not fork out the money Sony are asking for one, but it was not the testicle sized iron maiden experience I expected it to be. Before trying out the game(s) that Max had also procured, I set about finding out how it could be abused. I must admit, I did like the ability to remotely access it from my PSP. It gave me the same feeling that I get when I have to remotely access computers as part of my regularly paid employment, that sort of 'hacker, but a friendly one' type of feeling. Then we put in Virtua Fighter 5. And the PSP could not handle it. Considering how Sony seem to go out of their way to prove that they are different and better than Microsoft, they still succumb into the same pitfalls.

So, PS3. Yes, but no.

Virtua Fighter 5 on the other hand... Oh yes. Yes indeed. Max brought round a handful of games, but we did not progress any further than this one. What a sublime gaming experience! I have been a fan of VF since it's inception, and apart from the most recent title obviously, I have every incarnation of this epoch making series. I even have all of it's bastard offspring, like VF Kids, Fighting Vipers, Last Bronx and Fighters Megamix. These are all good games - but really Virtua Fighter has always been up and above anything else. It is one of those few games where each sequel spawned is a whole world of improvement over the last. Even Tekken pales in comparison. Tekken has always been okay, but nothing has ever made me want to stick with it. After years of Streetfighter, and thinking 'Where on earth can they go from here?' Almost the very next day, I clapped my peepers on Virtua Fighter arcade. Real martial arts on screen in front of me! And not just stuffy boring moves, spin kicks and suplexes! I desperately went about learning all of the moves - on the controller as well as physically. As a budding martial artist, I saw a whole new way to add to my fighting skills. As a result, I am Jacky Bryant!

No other game has had the same effect on me, and with every new version, that feeling of excitement and ability returns. The Graphics, the moves, the backgrounds, characters, fighting styles, personalities, effects... there is no part of the game I am not completely bowled over with. And they don't have to rely on cheap tricks like big tits in the way that certain other titles have resorted to.

Only one thing ruined the whole experience. That was when the wireless controller started to run out of charge. And there was not a spare USB cable. Something I was expecting from the PS3. Way to fuck up an excellent winning streak!

Speaking of fucking up something excellent - come on Sony, get the Playstation Store sorted out guys, I want Gran Turismo 2!

Friday 14 December 2007

SNK vs. the world

I'll be the first to admit that I am sometimes a little slow on the uptake, but the last few weeks a revalation has hit me between the eyes.

I have always quite liked SNK's fighting games but have always been leaning heavily towards Capcom's Strret fighter games for preference. I have found that they are more accessible and easier to master and that SNK had fidly controls and odd characters (Choi Bounge, Earthquake, etc).

Fatal fury I liked a lot because it felt a bit like street fighter, but the king of fighters never quite did it for me.

But now ten years on, and with street fighter 4 more than a year away (more on that later), I have been snapping up King of fighters games for 4 and 5 quid.
This time I have been practicing hard and have come to the conclusion that they might actually be better than Streetfighter!

Before Galford vomits blood at this sacriligious statement, let me explain...

I will always love Street fighter perhaps more than any other games out there but even as a loyal Capcom fanboy, I have to admit that some of their releases have been lazy remixes of previous games with little to distinguish them apart.
I will always buy each and every fighter they release but I know that they will never push me out of comfort zone and make me earn my skills.

SNK however reinvent the wheel with almost every KOF title buy changing the moves and the rules. It's also interesting to see how so many of their ideas made their way into the capcom vs. series.

So does that mean that KOF is better than SF?

Perhaps not but its a very close call, besides I for one am very glad to have rediscovered the joys of KOF and maybe I should spend a little more time with Samurai showdown and Guilty Gear.

Of course, the best damn fighting game in existance is Capcom vs. SNK 2 so that says it all really.

With Street Fighter 4 heading into psuedo 3d territory, I wonder if one day we can look forward to SF vs Tekken, Capcom vs Virtua fighter or Dead or alive vs Bloody roar.

OK, thats enough rambling for now.

Tuesday 11 December 2007

And About Time Too!

Okay, so I have always been annoyed that Gran Turismo Mobile never surfaced for the PSP. Despite some of the games I own, like all other Sony Products I have come into contact with I thought that the PSP was really failing to hit the mark when it came to gaming satisfaction. I also think that it is the least portable of all the extensive handheld gaming technology that I own. I had heard rumblings from the 'underground movement' that it was very possible to play PS1 games on the PSP. This excited me, as I always believed that the very limited collection of original Playstation titles I own would go very well on a PSP, as games like Tenchu completely outshine their portable counterparts.

But the PSP is a very expensive piece of kit, and the only way I knew of playing such games involved custom firmware, downgrading, upgrading, the chance of bricking the fucker, downloading pirated games, a certain amount of incompatibility, etc, etc... Basically, I did not want to run the risk of ruining what is undeniably a great piece of kit by experimentation and inexact sciences. But then, I heard about the Playstation Store.

Initially, this (like so many other aspects of Sony) was shaping up to be a total let-down. For starters, it was only accessible through the PS3. A games console I really, really don't want to own. This was going to make it a store for total loyalists. Secondly, I thought that knowing Sony, games weren't going to be cheap. Therefore, imagine my excitement when recently I discovered that someone with half a brain in the huge conglomerate decided to put it out for the general public via the Sony site. Then, imagine my glee when after signing up and boosting my PSP to a frankly dizzying firmware version I found that classics like Wipeout and Destruction Derby only cost about £3.50 each for a direct download to my PSP, with the added bonus of free demos and trailers! This is the sort of thing I like to expect from big gaming companies. I had always liked the idea of Virtual Console on the Wii, and hoped that others would jump on what seemed to be a very sensible bandwagon. The online store itself has only been running for 2 months, and it does seem that the classic games have undergone a little modification to improve compatibility with the PSP. Therefore, at present there only seem to be a handful of titles available. But hopefully soon, the back-catalogue will broaden and I will have the chance to have games like Gran Turismo 2, Streetfighter EX Plus Alpha, and Tenchu 2 on a system that I can finally carry around with me without having to lug bagfuls of very fragile UMDs too.

Congratulations Sony, you finally did something right. Hats off to you! (Now back on again. It's fucking COLD here!)

- Galford

Thursday 6 December 2007

Passion reborn....or the rebirth of HADOUKEN!!!!

We here at are proud and sometimes smug faced fanboys of streetfighter and a load of other fighty-jumpy-bitchslapathonic-biff'em ups.
Recently though I have found I have drifted away from the genre I have always loved so dearly. I have continued to buy most fighting games that come out but have generally been uninspired by them.

SVC chaos, Mortal Kombat deception, Tekken dark resurection and Neo geo collosium have all graced the gaming shelf in the last year or so but having played each for about half an hour there they have stayed.

Then a few things happened....

I recently visited Galford and got beaten more thoroughly than he has any right to expect on Street fighter Alpha 3, Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Street fighter 3. This caused shame upon my face on quiverrings of the lip (not really I'm a badass really...but anyway).

Street fighter 4 was anounced and the promo video doing the rounds for it has me very very very very very very excited indeed. I will use it as an excuse to buy a xbox 360 (I hope and pray it isn't a PS3 exclusive or I will be very upset but probably fork out the cash anyway.

Then insomnia and illness hit me and I was feeling pretty pissed off with noisy neighbours and bloody giunea bloody pigs bloody chewing bloody their bloody bars bloody bloody bloody!!!!!
I needed to lose the agression in a hurry and Street fighter 3 jumped from the shelf with a triple salto split legged moonsault into my xbox (ok thats a lie)

I began badly with a vague memory of the newer characters I resorted to Ryu and Ken.
I lost and lost and lsot and lost again, and then I began to get my touch back. Before an hour was up I was stringing together mindblowing combos and cursing like a blue-arsed sailor who has just lost a Mr. Blue arse competition.

The love was back.
I was a happy man.
I was king of the world.
And then Gill appears!

Anyway, having finally beat him using a frankly embarrising ammount of continues, I felt it was time for a change.

Surely SVC chaos couldn't be as bad as I remember it.
Lets give it another try.
Hmm, this is one ugly game.....although the pyrotechnics are pretty sweet.
Didn't do to well, the timing is screwed up.
One more go....
A bit better that time.
Maybe just one more try.
Lost again.
I wonder.....
(picks up instruction book for the first time)
Oooh you can play as Violent Ken and Zero from Megaman, and the reason the moves aren't working is....
Got it, yayayayayaya I'm doing great.

Hang on Aren't I supposed to hate this game?

Well, I will be reviewing SVC chaos at some point in the future but I will leave you with this thought...

Practice really does make perfect and the thing I had forgotten in this age of instant thrills and take-your-hand tutorials is that in the days of the megadrive, games were harder and the more you played them the better they got.
You don't have to be able to finish every game and flashy graphics can hide a dog but sometimes the ugly games do have a wonderful personallity if you learn to look deeper.

Signing off for now
The phenomonal Zigganoid Bonkneck