Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Evil Zone (PSX)

Evil Zone PlayStation PAL title screen
Hi, I'm Ray Hardgrit, and I'm currently making it my mission in life to play games beginning with the letter E for an hour or two each to figure out what they are and if they're any good.

Today I'm playing late 90s Japanese PlayStation game Eretzvaju, known in English as Evil Zne (who knew there was an italic version of the Venus symbol?) It's just plain Evil Zone in the US though, and as far as I can tell the only reason it's been given a female gender symbol for the European title is because the main villain is a woman.

The game is by Japanese developer Yuke's Media Creations, known for games like Power Move Pro Wrestling, WWF SmackDown!, WWF Royal Rumble, WWE WrestleMania, WWE Day of Reckoning, Rumble Roses, Wrestle Kingdom, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw, and Finding Nemo, so you probably won't be too shocked when I reveal that this is... a fighting game.

An ANIME fighting game!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Deus Ex: Invisible War (PC)

Today it is my great honour to present to you a selection of words and images chronicling my first experience with the game Deus Ex: Invisible War! Except it's not really my first experience as I finished the game years ago on the Xbox. I've got a terrible memory though so it'll be close enough.

I do remember that I didn't much like the game, at least not compared to the original, and I get the impression a lot of people share that feeling. Nice to see that the proper spinning 3D logo is back again though. It was replaced for the PS2 port of Deus Ex 1 with an inferior variation for no good reason I can think of, but all is well again.

(Click the gameplay screenshots to augment their resolution.)

Monday, 7 April 2014

Driver: San Francisco (PC)

Driver: San Francisco PC title screen logo
Today I'm having a look at Driver: San Francisco by Reflections, makers of Shadow of the Beast, Destruction Derby, Stuntman and a whole lot of Driver games.

To be honest I've never been much of a fan of the Driver series; I found the first game to be pretty painful to play, Driver 2: Are You Sure You Want to Restart is astoundingly unforgiving, the third game seems like it's a broken mess and Parallel Lines... I can't even remember why I don't like that, but I'm sure there must be a good reason. Still it introduced me to the track 'Suffragette City' by David Bowie, so it's not all bad.

There's actually two versions of Driver: San Francisco: the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3/PC game I'm playing and the Wii version which has an entirely different story despite the fact it has the same name and cover art. In fact the Wii game is a prequel to the first Driver, so basically they were straight up trying to mislead people with it. Hey Ubisoft, here's an idea: if you're releasing a different product DON'T SELL IT IN THE SAME BOX.

(Click the pictures to expand them into a glorious 1280x720 resolution).

Friday, 4 April 2014

Dust: An Elysian Tail (PC)

Today the 'D' titles continue with a game request: indie platformer Dust: An Elysian Tail. It comes with a subtitle attached because when you're not id software it can be hard to make a one-syllable common word title show up in search results (especially when games like Dustforce and From Dust are already out on virtual shelves). If you're wondering what the symbols mean by the way, they're Korean and they spell out... 'Dust'. I was as shocked as you are.

This was originally an Xbox 360 game, but I'll be playing the PC version as I still haven't found the screenshot key on my 360. I'll get the hang of this game capture thing some day though.

(Click the images to view them at 1280x800. Might not be all that impressive, but you'll get a better view of them than at 640x400 res at least.)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Duke Nukem Forever (PC)

Duke Nukem Forever title
Here's a game I've been wanting to play for the site for a while. Today I have the pleasure of being able to show off the first few hours of the controversial Duke Nukem Forever!

Everyone knows that Duke Nukem Forever was left in the oven a little too long and if you've ever visited http://duke.a-13.net/ you could probably list a fair number of things that have come out while the game's been in development as well (like six Final Fantasy games, the first seven Call of Duty games, every Infinity Engine game, the entirety of the Unreal and Half-Life franchises etc.). But it's hard to visualise exactly just how long FIFTEEN YEARS really is... unless you have a handy chart full of games to compare it to I guess.

Luckily I just so happen to have one right here:

Friday, 28 March 2014

Cyber-Cop (Genesis/Mega Drive)

'Sup. I'm mecha-neko, and I'm going to be playing Cyber-Cop on the Sega Genesis!

Since Hardgrit is doing this alphabetical thing, my choices here are Cyber-Cop and Cartoon Kingdom, and I don't think we'd survive the latter.

Never heard of Cyber-Cop? Well, maybe you'll remember the Amiga game Corporation from waaaaay back. It was the 11th game that Ray properly played for this site back in 2011. He didn't get out of the first room because, well, by the looks of things the game was an inscrutable mess.

It was ported to the Sega Genesis two years later and given a sneaky name change in the US to Cyber-Cop, so people didn't mistake the game for being a business sim or something. Such as the earlier Commodore 64 game Corporation which really is a business sim about managing mining operations in space. (MobyGames link)

But I'm going to retrace Ray's steps and start with the original Amiga Corporation and see where that leads me. Here goes!

Crusader Kings II (PC)

Crusader Kings 2 launcher background
My odyssey through the alphabet shall continue, but today I've reached the final 'C' game I'll be playing this year: Crusader Kings II, and man what a C it is; I've definitely saved the best 'til last, typographically speaking.

I have to admit, I've been deliberately putting this off as long as I could, because it seems like it's horrifically complex and strategy games aren't really my genre at the best of times. This is really out of my comfort zone and I won't be surprised if I get hopelessly stuck halfway through the tutorial, and have nothing else to show to you.

I know, tell you what; if the worst case scenario happens and I get absolutely impossibly lost in the game, I'll quit and fill the rest of the space up with more screenshots of Charly the Clown.

(Click the images to restore them to their previous size.)

Semi-Random Game Box