Gaming With GADD

Week ending 7/15/14

Hopefully I can get out of my rut from last week, but as of right now I just have no desire for anything. I need something to kickstart my gaming again(DONATE TO MY KICKSTARTER! $100 gets me to play your game! $1000 stretch goal for me to actually finish it! Maybe!) or else this article is going to just get even worse, and I’ll lose the six readers I already have. Or maybe the number will start to go up as it becomes some kind of car crash mentality? The only thing on the docket right now is Mercenary Kings, and hopefully I’ll get back into other games that dropped off?

Wednesday

Rut still continues from last week as I just didn’t feel like playing ANYTHING today.

Thursday

Mercenary Kings
So my usual co-op partner and I decided to just power our way through the game with the hopes of beating it this week, as there’s another game coming out on the 15th, Abyss Odyssey, that we’re both interested in and will hopefully play through together. Beat the last Lt Colonel mission as PSN was being agreeable today, and did probably about half of the Colonel missions as well. It’s weird how this game is actually getting easier as it’s going along, as the temple is still the worst level to play, and we’re now out of that.

NBA 2K14
Played a few games of the opening round of the playoffs, against the Timberwolves (lol Suns vs. Wolves in the playoffs? I thought this was supposed to be a sim) and even though we dominated them with ease in the regular season, they won two of the first three games, with my guy having pretty pedestrian outings in each game.

Friday

Mercenary Kings
Was only able to do three missions today, as our schedules just didn’t work together well at all today. Nothing really happened worth reporting, and we’re still in the Colonel rank, but getting closer to the end of it.

NBA 2K14
With my Suns down 2-1 to the Timberwolves, and facing an early playoff exit, my guy went into beast mode in the second half of game 4, scoring 31 points along with 4 assists and 7 rebounds in just the second half. The hot streak continued into game 5 with me DESTROYING my previous career high of 40 points and coming away with a 60 point game (on 26/30 shooting), along with 7 boards, 5 assists and 1 steal. We went from looking to be in danger to now looking like we’re in control with a 3-2 series lead.

Believe it or not, all it took was a dominating performance in NBA 2K14 to rekindle my flames and get me psyched for gaming. You know how I’ve been saying ever since I get back that I just need to hook up my 360 and I’d likely get out of my rut? Well I…didn’t exactly do that, instead I decided to hook up my PS2! Gonna make the rest of the night a PS2 night and see where it takes me.

Odin Sphere
I semi-randomly picked a game out of my collection, and this was it. I don’t remember a whole lot about this game. It’s a fantasy action-RPG with a really awesome 2D art style to it, and I remember a whole bunch of people really liking it when it came out, but I couldn’t really get into it although I really don’t remember why. According to my save data I only played 97 minutes of the game, and it took me over a month to go from 72 to 97 minutes. Yeah, that sounds like me. But since it’s been six and a half years since I last played, I think starting a new game is probably the right move. I have to say, due to the 2D sprite work, that the graphics in this game still look really good, even if the game is being stretched to a resolution it wasn’t really intended to be displayed in. I actually just wound up playing a bunch of this, cause shit, it’s REALLY fun. Yeah, the combat is very basic beat em up style combat, but it’s responsive and just plain works. I don’t know why I didn’t like it when I originally played it. Maybe it was due to the difficulty, cause shit’s not easy. You can get hurt pretty badly by regular run of the mill enemies. It’s weird, for as much as I love hard as hell games like VVVVVV, Super Meat Boy, Trials and the like, when it comes to “regular” games that aren’t built around their failure mechanics, dying sometimes really ruins the momentum for me. Maybe it’s due to the very limited inventory space, which does really suck, as you can only carry around 12 or so items at a time, and I love to pack rat shit in video games. But even with that, this game is really good, and as I said before, the sprites still look damn nice plus a lot of the music in this game is just awesome. The voice acting eh…it’s hit or miss, some characters are voiced really well while others sound like Bob from the mail room was told to use a funny accent. Assuming that PS2 night wasn’t just a one night thing, I could see myself coming back to this.

Saturday

NBA 2K14
Just played one game to finish off the T-Wolves and advance to the second round. Then I decided to go back to the PS2 but just playing more Odin Sphere isn’t my style and decided to go with

Tsugunai: Atonement
I have an odd feeling that nobody will know what this game is. Tsugunai is a very early PS2 JRPG where you play as a non-Casper friendly ghost who possesses people and helps them in order to….do something or other. Look it was like 12 or 13 years ago, I don’t remember it all that well! I remember liking it when it came out, but it didn’t review all that well and I’m pretty sure it sold even worse. A quick search online shows that it sold 60K totals WORLDWIDE. Holy shit I didn’t remember it selling that poorly. My first thought when starting up was that damn, this game really didn’t age well as it’s blocky as hell. My second thought was, “Wait, what the hell am I doing starting up a JRPG? There’s no way I’m going to leave the PS2 connected long enough to make a dent in this thing!” Then the game made my decision for me and locked up less than 5 minutes in. So, let’s go to a game that I actually AM planning on beating!

Valiant Hearts: The Great War
It’s been a little while since I put time into this. Finished chapter 3, and according to the menu there’s only 4 chapters in this game, but I have a feeling there might be a secret fifth chapter. I had another issue with the game fucking up a puzzle to the point where I couldn’t complete it, as I needed the dog to do something for me, but the wall collapsed without the dog being able to get through, so I had to exit the game and start over hoping the dog would make it this time. I don’t think I wrote about it last week, but at same point I came to the realization that the dog in this game and Ellie from The Last of Us are both the exact same fucking character. They’re both completely invisible to the enemies and can run around freely without consequence, while the slightest wrong move by you gets you killed. Their main gameplay purposes are to help you in areas where you can’t do something yourself and for emotional manipulation when the story calls for it. So, basically what I’m saying is that Ellie is a dog. Except you can’t pet Ellie; therefore, advantage Dog.

Sunday

Mercenary Kings
This game is starting to get really damn frustrating. No, not because of the game itself, but because we are suddenly desyncing and just flat out dropping from each other’s games like never before. It’s ridiculous that in 2014 staying connected to an online game is still a fucking issue. Shouldn’t this be simple as hell by this point? There was also a new patch that just came out yesterday too, so way to break your game guys. Good job! That being said, we managed to fight through all the issues and beat the Colonel rank, where the final boss of that rank became easier once we finally stopped being stupid and realizing it was flat out TELLING us how and where it was going to attack well before it did so. After that, we continued to the General rank! Final ranking of the game, we’re almost done! The beginning levels of this rank were SO DAMN FUN too as you’re sent back to the early levels and have to fight the first boss again and just DESTROY him with no issues whatsoever, then the second mission puts you in a damn near-invincible Steel Soldier suit and just lets you wreck shit up. Pure power fantasy fanservice BS and it was amazing. Best damn mission in the game. Finished our play-through with just seven missions to go, this game is going DOWN tomorrow! Also I built a new gun that has a Terminator head on the receiver just chomping away nonstop. It looks so damned cool that it could only do 1 damage per shot if it wanted to and I’d still roll with it for the rest of the game.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War
It’s a shame that the game has legitimately broken it’s own puzzles twice, because now any time I get stuck I instantly think that the game is broken again, even though it’s not and I’m just being dumb. That being said, I was wrong about there possibly being a hidden fifth chapter as I have beaten the game! Holy shit does the last chapter just get powerful as all hell, and I was legitimately starting to get misty at the ending of the game. It may have had a few technical issues, but wow, what a fucking game. I would easily recommend it to anyone who has the patience to deal with games that are slower. I’m pretty sure it’s my 2014 GOTY so far.

Monday

Mercenary Kings
All 7 missions are down and we are DONE with Mercenary Kings! Despite the game’s glitches and PSN’s best attempts to keep us from it, we finished the game today! I’ve just beaten two games in under 18 hours, who the hell am I? Not only did we beat the game, but we finished all 112 missions in the game (but screw the par times, cause almost all of them are completely freakin insane!) Once again I find it odd how the game proceeded to generally get much easier for the last 3 rankings of missions after getting rough as hell for the Major rank. I could pretend that even the last boss was easy, and it kinda was, that that was mostly due to my partner kicking his ass while I just stood there and died. Being bait is a legitimate strategy damnit! Overall this game was also pretty fun for the majority of it, but the bugs that popped up after the most recent patch HAVE to go, and there are definitely some design choices that introduce more frustration than fun, most notably the bosses being able to run away and you having to walk all the way across the damn map into the next boss zone, only for it to leave again as soon as you get there. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this game anywhere near as much if I had played it solo, but I got 28+ hours of (mostly) enjoyment out of this game for the low low price of $0, so I can’t complain too much, right?

Tuesday

Rule of Rose
Speaking of rare ass PS2 games, this one is EVEN MORE SO than Tsugunai and it’s 60K worldwide sales figures, as Rule of Rose apparently sold just 20K copies. Holy shit, and now even opened copies go for $100+ on ebay. I discovered that earlier in the week when I was looking through PS2 games and attempting to see if I owned anything that bombed even harder than Tsugunai did and this was the winner. It’s high value is ONLY due to the scarcity and not the actual quality of the game because it was pretty damn bad yo. It’s an old school (read: shitty tank controls) survivor horror game that generated some controversial buzz due to the fact that it featured animal cruelty and sexual themes toward teenage girls. Obviously the buzz didn’t lead to sales though, but then again bombs was almost all Atlus did at the time. Despite already knowing that the gameplay wasn’t anything special, the messed up story was the reason why I purchased the game when it came out, but I never was able to stomach the gameplay enough to actually get deep into the fucked-upness of the game itself. I guess I’ll give it another try now. The first big thing that stands out at you is just how ridiculously huge the opening area is, since I’m pretty sure it’s JUST used for the first 30-45 minutes of the game, when it’s big enough that it could be used for an entire damn game if they wanted to. Now that I’m remembering more about this game, large environments are actually one of this game’s biggest weaknesses as the main game area is also huge and so much of it is completely freaking pointless, making you get sick of wasting time going into rooms that do nothing and having to backtrack great amounts constantly. Also, this game does not upscale well to a HDTV at all, as the motion blur is legitimately making me stop because I want to throw up.

So yeah, I definitely broke out of my gaming rut this week with beating not one but TWO games, something I think is a GADD first, and playing a few new (new for GADD at least) games as well. I have no idea what I’m going to do next week now that two games that have become GADD staples over the last few weeks have been beaten. I may go back into both of them briefly to get trophies, but other than that, I’m not sure. Do I continue down the PS2 hole? Do I plug in my 360? (lol no) I’ll likely be purchasing Abyss Odyssey tomorrow unless the reviews all say the game is shit, so there’s a good chance that will be in next week’s GADD. Until then, I present

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

Since I’m back on the PS2, at least temporarily, what was your favorite game on the system?  This is actually a really tough question, I can’t even think of my own favorite PS2 game and I’m the one who asked the damn thing!  Maybe I’ll post my answer in the comments at some point this week.

Written by Matthew Przybysz

Matt has suddenly become a bit of a Sony fanboy without even realizing it. Also he occasionally streams via his PS4 on twitch at http://www.twitch.tv/gadd_live

3 Comments

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  1. I just realized the easy answer to the QOTW. It’s freakin Culdcept. I put more time into that game than any other game on my PS2, by far. Which is also why I was disappointed when Culdcept SAGA game out on the 360 and was almost completely identical to the first one.

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