Butterfingers: Seller’s Remorse

Two weeks ago I rambled on about that slightly bizarre outing in Raccoon City “Resident Evil Outbreak“. Aside from the obvious disappointment that ‘Raccoon Hospital’ and ‘Raccoon University’ didn’t feature little fuzzy tailed surgeons and professors respectively, there was also the slight disappointment that I’d ever parted ways with this game and its sibling (File #2) in the first place. Adding to that seller’s remorse were some comments I made the following week as I talked about my rediscovered PS2 collection, and the games that were absent from it that had slipped through my fingers some years before. Continue reading “Butterfingers: Seller’s Remorse”

Resident Evil Outbreak: Here Comes the B-Team

… as the intro kicks in we see the events of William Birkin’s confrontation with the Umbrella agents play out amid the unfolding imagery of the spreading infection. Outbreak is a game firmly seated in the lore and style of the original trilogy. 

It’s no secret that I love the first trilogy of Resident Evil games; they were the reason I owned a PlayStation and consequently a big part in why I graduated on to a PS2 as soon as it was released. Unfortunately there weren’t any Resident Evil titles confirmed for PS2 at the point of release and through its life it would play a surprising second fiddle to its contemporary consoles in those tales of S.T.A.R.S. & Co. especially considering how the first games had been such prominent titles in its predecessor’s roster. The two big RE titles that would find their way there were both ‘exclusive’ to other consoles at launch: RE: Code Veronica being originally made for the Dreamcast and RE4 setting sail with the GameCube. PS2 didn’t even receive the fantastic REMake of the original or similarly styled RE: Zero. I did play and enjoy RE:CV at launch on the PS2 but had drifted further away from the series by the time I would have been able to play RE4 and when I finally did get around to sampling it in recent years I wasn’t a fan of the new, action-heavy, style of gameplay.

Between these two titles was dropped the PS2 exclusive RE:Outbreak subseries (Outbreak & Outbreak File #2) which could be considered some of the last Resident Evil games to feature the classic style of gameplay and shambling zombies. They shared the fully 3D backgrounds of RE:CV, but maintained the fixed camera angles (albeit with panning and tracking) that defined the feel and pacing of the early games. Given my own background I find it hard to believe that I owned both of these games and barely explored them at all before trading them in – I think I may even have sold ‘Outbreak: File #2’ with the cellophane still intact given that I didn’t finish Outbreak itself. A couple of weeks ago however I spotted Outbreak for £5 in a branch of popular-chain-of-used-games-stores-here-in-the-uk and decided that it was worth a revisiting. Continue reading “Resident Evil Outbreak: Here Comes the B-Team”

QotM*: ScaredStrasse – Cosmic Chasm on Vectrex

*Question of the Month is a pumpkin spiced latte without the pumpkin or the latte and more of a chocolate mint thing going on… kind of just a minty mocha, with marshmallows, and a cookie on the side brought to you in your favourite armchair by Later Levels

It has been a while since I last participated in a Question of the Month. That last entry was something of an epic foray in to the world of my roaming imagination and seemed to consume an inordinate amount of my QotM energy. I think it’s about time to venture back in to that QotM world with my take on this month’s question.

For October, the month of the Ween-of-Hallow, the question has a distinctly appropriate spooky vibe and has been set by Megan over at A Geeky Gal; it’s an exceptional blog that I thoroughly recommend you check covering gaming, anime, and general geek-ery. Megan recently unleashed a set of her five personal favourite horror games that not only include some of my favourites, but are a neat place to start if you’re looking to explore her work and read something seasonally-appropriate at the same time.

As always check out the MONSTER POST! over at Later Levels for all the details and to see all of my fellow word-lers’ take on October’s question by looking through the comments. This month Megan asks:

In honour of Halloween, tell me what video game scared you the most. What is it about the elements, environments, music, or characters in the video game that scared you?

Continue reading “QotM*: ScaredStrasse – Cosmic Chasm on Vectrex”

Max Payne: Min Gain

… Let’s all head back to Roscoe Street Station for that bullet-dodging, slow-mo jumping, classic, Max Payne…

I’m not sure where my recent retro-mood has come from, but being at a bit of a loose end for a couple of evenings last weekend I scrolled through my Steam library looking for something to delve back in to and was warmly greeted by an old friend: Max Payne. The original PC outing was developed by Remedy studios and released back on 2001 for PC before being ported to a number of consoles and spawning two sequels, but it is the original game that has its own special place in my personal gaming hall of memories. I first played the game at a friend’s (who had significantly more PC horsepower than me at the time) house around the time of release but didn’t get my own copy until the PS2 port some years later. A quick search will tell you that 2001 was a darn-tootingly good year for gaming and with Max winning the BAFTA for best PC Game (this was at the time when games were shoved into the main BAFTA’s in the interactive media category) it must’ve been a standout title in a standout year. Continue reading “Max Payne: Min Gain”

Metal Gear (NES): I Feel Asleep

This is Mission Commander Big Boss. The following article contains spoilers for the original Metal Gear. The game is thirty years old, do I still need to warn you? You have been warned! 

In my recent 20 year retrospective about Metal Gear Solid for PS1 I mentioned that the original Metal Gear for NES was one of the few games that I own for that system and yet I’ve never completed it (to clarify, my NES is not a childhood console, I picked it up about ten years ago on eBay). With that thought gently turning the cogs of my mind I decided to finally play it and see where the series began and how it shaped the follow up monster of the PlayStation 1 era. Blowing the dust off both the console and the game I fired it up and…

Continue reading “Metal Gear (NES): I Feel Asleep”

Metal Gear Solid Twenty Years On – Here Are Ten Things

Snake… Snake! … Snnnaaaaakkkkeeee!!!” – Literally everyone in the game

A few weeks ago there was a flurry of twitter activity announcing the 20th anniversary of Metal Gear Solid. Undoubtedly one of the defining games of the PS1, I remember clearly the buzz of excitement around its release – which kind of strikes me as odd now. The original Metal Gear games were born in the 8-bit era with the Kojima approved version being the initial release on the MSX (not a system I’m familiar with) rather than the “butchered” (his sentiment, not mine), but more well known, NES release. The NES release of Metal Gear is actually a game that I own (it’s gathering dust somewhere along with a NES I bought some years ago) although I’ve never made it past the first few screens. I should revisit that at some point.

I guess my point is that is seemed to be oddly anticipated for a series that I’d certainly never heard; this might once again come down to the differences between the UK and US gaming scenes during the late 80’s/early 90’s.  Continue reading “Metal Gear Solid Twenty Years On – Here Are Ten Things”

Jurassic Park (DOS 1993) – Split Personality

“Who better to get the children through Jurassic Park than a dinosaur expert” – John Hammond … to be said in a warm Scottish accent… 

Who better indeed than Alan Grant? The embodiment of Good-Sam-Neil; as oppose to Bad-Sam-Neil that we all know and were terrified by in Event Horizon.

The latest in my very leisurely quest to explore the many Jurassic Park games goes right back to 1993 where it all started with the PC game released by Ocean software. Ocean were also responsible for the Nintendo (NES, GB, SNES) Jurassic Park games which all took a more top-down action approach when compared to the side-scrolling action of the SEGA games; but those are DNA strands to break down another day. The PC version is most similar to the SNES version with both isometric and first person segments, but they are two quite different games as I managed to complete the PC version whereas any time I’ve attempted the SNES version I’ve failed to make it more than one-hundred in-game meters from the opening screen. Continue reading “Jurassic Park (DOS 1993) – Split Personality”