What I’m Gaming Vol. 3

Welcome back to What I’m Gaming Vol. 3! I was able to play a lot of different games this week – I’ve been trying to whittle down my massive game collection before it takes over my room. Quite a few Xbox Live Arcade titles on the menu this week, with just a few retail games sprinkled in for good measure.

Games I Played

Crysis 2 screenshot

Crysis 2

Let’s start with a big retail title, shall we?

I remember when the original Crysis released on PC a few years ago. I don’t play games on my PC, nor will I anytime soon (if ever), but I was envious of that game. I may not have to be soon, though. It was literally a great looking game and looked like a blast, too.

Fast forward to the release of Crysis 2. As with many titles I want, I didn’t buy it right away. But Amazon had it as the Deal of the Day for $40 brand new, I couldn’t resist. I had just over $30 credit from doing surveys on Amazon Mechanical Turk, so the game only cost me around $10. Now, at that price, this game is an astronomical deal.

I played it initially for a few levels, but at the time, I was suffering a bit from shooter fatigue, so I didn’t go too far. Now that I’ve recovered, I jumped right in to the multiplayer, and right into ass whoopings. It’s got a perk and leveling system that’s basically a high tech version of Call of Duty, of course, customized to fit Crysis 2, so it didn’t feel too foreign to me (but I need to admit, I don’t play much Call of Duty to begin with). After a short time, I adjusted my controls and, aside from the advantageous unlocks and map knowledge of veteran players, I think I did alright. We played the Crash Site game mode, with is basically like Crazy King in Halo. I enjoyed it and I’ll definitely be back for more – and not just because of the ridiculous achievements.

HALF MINUTE HERO screenshot

HALF MINUTE HERO: Super Mega Neo Climax

When this game released two weeks ago on XBLA, I was initially unimpressed. But because of it’s Super Long But Awesome title and the innuendos that come with it, I decided to dig a little deeper.

Turns out, this title is a port of the original PSP game that came out a few years ago. It got a Wind Waker style makeover along the way. I had read the original graphics were still available, if you prefer pixelated sprites polluting your HDTV, but after taking a look, a passed and reverted back to the updated visuals.

The game’s premise is so simple, it’s almost disgusting. But it works. I played through the first few “stories” (each one requires you to save the world in 30 seconds or less) and it was actually pretty fun, once you get the hang of it. Even if you don’t like RPGs, you should at least check out the trial. If you like the trial, you’ll love the game. And with every part only 30 seconds long, even the parts you don’t like will pass very quickly.

Unbound Saga screenshot

Unbound Saga

I’ve had this game just sitting on my harddrive, collecting digital dust after purchasing it during a weekly sale a few months ago. I felt like trying something new, and I didn’t know what to expect going in. It’s pretty easy to describe. Think of it as a modernized, co-op version of Comix Zone. I didn’t care much for its predecessor, but I was able to enjoy Unbound Saga for several levels, despite being terribly bad at beat’em up games.

It’s available for 800 Microsoft Points, but I don’t know if I’d pay that much for it, still. If you see it go on sale, though, definitely consider picking it up.

Crazy Taxi logo

Crazy Taxi

When the now-defunct Dreamcast was still King, I was in love with this series, and I started right here. With the original. I remember playing the living hell out of this game (and its sequels), trying to beat my previous scores. And I was good.

Unfortunately, not all things are like a fine wine. That is to say, not all things get better with age. And my nimble thumbs and blazing reaction time were not subjected to the positive side of advancing age. I’m not old, but I’m definitely not as skilled in certain genres (racing and fighting, in particular) as I once was. And with this game, it shows. I spent a few hours frustrating myself because I couldn’t help but think of how good I USED to be, and how terrible I am now.

But don’t let my gripes deter you from playing this game – it’s still fantastic. The premise is extremely simple: You’re a taxi, and you need to pick up customers (only one at a time in the original, unfortunately) and get them to where they want to go as insanely and recklessly fast as you can, and collect the most fare (money) possible before you run out of time. If you’re thinking about getting this game, I’d recommend the Dreamcast Collection, since it can be had for $20 or less, and also includes Sonic Adventure, Space Channel 5: Part 2, and Sega Bass Fishing. The last two are kinda thrown in, but if you buy just the first two, you’re paying the same price anyway, so why not?

Turtles in Time screenshot

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Reshelled

If you read what I mentioned above in my Unbound Saga section, you’ll notice I said I suck at beat’em ups. This game takes full advantage of my shortcomings. I’ll contend that I am pretty bad at it (and the previous game, TMNT 1989 Arcade, too) but I really feel like this is a poor game.

I won’t outright say that it’s bad, and some people may even enjoy it, but it just feels really cheap to me. For example, the third level you ride through a sewer on a little board. Enemies spawn everywhere and there are little red things in the water that prick your foot if you touch them, causing an animation where you grab your foot and scream “My toes! My toes!”, all while enemies and other pricklies are still able to damage you and send you into even more animations. Oh, and there happens to be an achievement for not getting hit by any of the traps. Yeah. Once I finish this game (as in, the achievements), it’s gone.

X-Men Arcade screenshot

X-Men Arcade

If I’m gonna play a beat’em up, this is how it should be done. Short and sweet, not too cheap, and most importantly, fun. This game is very short, but has held up surprising well over time. It’s not nearly as stressful as other similar games because you really can’t lose, and you actually feel powerful when you utilize the Mutant Powers.

Oh, and let’s not forget the six player online co-op. Just like the coin-op machines you remember.

F.E.A.R

I just played this a little with a friend, continuing to help him with the multiplayer achievements. We’re almost done with them. Now, I just need to get back into the campaign for this game. I was working on my playthrough on Extreme and I was nearly halfway through.

F.E.A.R. 2

I saw another friend online boosting experience points toward the “Five Star General” achievement, so I joined in briefly. I only stayed in for about an hour, though. I guess I’m just not the booster I used to be. I’ll get it eventually, but I won’t be working on it five hours at a time.

Schizoid

Me and the significant other continued our co-op campaign for a few short sessions over the weekend, but we were a bit disappointed to see the “new mechanics” introduced in certain levels to be based almost entirely on luck, rather than skill. Still a great game, but I can’t say I’m enjoying those levels.

Tales of Vesperia

When I said this game will be in here for a while, I meant it. I’m playing this game almost every day, working towards the end. I’ve only got a few more hours before I finally beat the story once, but I still need to complete nearly two and a half more playthroughs in order to fully max the game out. I fully intend to do that since I’ve always loved truly completing my RPGs.

NBA 2K11

Another weekly entry. I’m always playing this with my bro. My win-loss was 5-4 tonight, with three wins and one loss having double digit margins of victory. All I really do is play with him online, but maybe I should spend some time finishing up the My Player mode?

The King of Fighters XII

My chart is almost full. I say another few days of working at it and “The King of Fighters” achievement should unlock and I can get rid of this disgraceful game. At least it has a high True
Achievement ratio, though.

Games I Bought

Hard to believe, but a week went by without me purchasing anything. No games, no DLC, nothing. Maybe if I have more weeks like this, I can actually reduce my current to-play list?

Conclusion

That about wraps up my gaming report for this week. Now it’s your turn – what have you been playing this past week? What new games have you bought?

Let me know in the comments.