Editorial: December 2018 – Urgh, I Have to Remember to Write ‘9’ After This…

Merry Happy Winter to you all! … except anyone reading in the southern hemisphere… in which case… Merry Happy Summer to you all! 

How’s everyone’s gaming going out there? Are any of you embroiled in the Fallout 76 fiasco? I was pretty curious about the game; sure, Fallout 4 was nowhere near my favourite entry in to the series, but I did at least play it to “completion” … well, the end of the main story. 76 seems to be ricocheting from problem to problem from severe technical issues at every turn, the canvas bag caper, leaked player account details, and roaming homophobic gangs… overall it would be an understatement to describe its first few weeks as shaky. The problem is that so many games are now “released” in a state less than finished that it’s tricky to know if the concept is flawed or these are just release jitters.

Whatever the explanation I don’t think I’ll be exiting vault 76 anytime soon…  Continue reading “Editorial: December 2018 – Urgh, I Have to Remember to Write ‘9’ After This…”

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”

PlayStation 2 Games Snarfle; P.S. To The Attic!

Remember way back at the beginning of October when I wrote about wanting to revisit Silent Hill 2 in that month’s editorial? No? …hmmmm… anyway, the whole thing got me hankering for some PlayStation 2 action, after all the PS2 was the last console that I was heavily invested in. Sure, I have a Switch now, and it’s great, but most of my gaming is firmly in PC territory. The problem is that I couldn’t track down my PS2 games; for younger readers you may have yet to experience your belongings being scattered between various places due to moving from ‘home’, maybe away to study, some tiny flat somewhere, or a house that you’re trying to decorate and fit a loft hatch in. The crouton-on-the-soup was that I was pretty sure that I had packed up my favourite PS2 games and brought them with me to our new home (well, almost four years ‘new’ now) and stashed the remainder safely with my Brother. Sure enough my Brother did (and still does) have some of that collection, but many of my favourites were missing and no amount of searching repeatedly in the place that I knew they were could change that.

Finally, last week, my Mother and I (quick shout out here because I know that she reads this; “Hi Mom!”) delved into the depths of the attic cupboard at my old family home and revealed yet more of my belongings that I neither remembered putting there or have space for in my house, but we did find that elusive box of PS2 games, my original PS1 and 2 consoles, the guitar hero controller … and an EyeToyContinue reading “PlayStation 2 Games Snarfle; P.S. To The Attic!”

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”

Editorial: November 2018 – I Know of No Reason

… And another great big “Haloooo” to everyone out there, it’s time for the Hundstrasse monthly editorial… *Plays Theme Music* I hope everyone had a great Halloween whatever you got up to? As I mentioned last month, Halloween hasn’t ever really been a big deal for me growing up, but one tradition has manifested itself over the years and that is the Halloween evening family … Continue reading Editorial: November 2018 – I Know of No Reason

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”