The other day I did something I hadn't done in a while. I actually fired up my PlayStation 2. Those who know me know I used to be a bit of a videogame geek. I suppose I still am, to an extent, but my interest is almost entirely in old arcade machines, not anything new.
Still, I'll always check out the bargain bins just to see if anything is out there. I haven't had a chance to play anything though as my wrist problems were making that nearly impossible. Post surgery, I'm actually able to play videogames again, so I decided to see what stuff I'd acquired in the time since.
First off, I had to relearn how to use my damn PS2. See, I went all l33t hax0r on it and got a little too clever for my own good. Part of that is, I run the games off a hard drive now which helps as I was starting to get the dreaded read errors. Plus, I can play imports with no problem, which for me, is something I use a lot.
I started out with Tekken 5. I finally broke down and bought the gigantic Tekken 5 collector's edition (or whatever they're calling it) not because I like Tekken, but because it comes with a rather sturdy arcade stick. Fry's had it marked down to $35, which was a good deal. The stick is still in it's break in period and I hate the fact that the buttons are convex rather than concave. It's also gaudy as all hell. Still, it works pretty well. I don't like it nearly as much as my gigantic controller I built for my supergun. Still, it's a keeper, I think.
I fired up Tekken 5 but didn't end up actually playing the game. See, they ported the arcade Tekken 1-3 as part of the game (and you don't have to unlock them! Thanks Namco!) so I screwed around with those for a while. Tekken 1 just feels to me like a flat imitation of Virtua Fighter. Tekken 3, which I played a lot in an old band, is still kind of a scrub fest. The best thing about the disc so far was Starblade which you can play while the game is loading.
Moving on to Capcom Fighting Evolution, I find the use of the word evolution to be curious as this game is pretty much a cut and paste compilation of older Capcom fighters. I mean, literally, the character sprites were just dumped in from older games. They didn't even use the recently redrawn sprites from any of the Vs. games. Gameplay is pretty much by the numbers as well. It's also a bit dissapointing to have such a small character roster with such notables missing and to have a quarter of the characters present from a game never released in the US (Red Earth.) I'd say pass on this, unless you're a completest.
I also fired up Radirgy Precious, a game I didn't care much for when it first came out on Dreamcast. See, I love shmups and I love the fact that they're still releasing Dreamcast games in Japan. But this game bored me. Pretty to look at, but it's one of a growing trend of shmups where half the stuff on the screen can't hurt you. Boring! I though the PS2 version was supposed to be tweaked somehow, but it's more or less the same thing.
Finally, to end on a positive note, I'm entirely in favor of Sega Ages Vol.25: Treasure Box. I've honked off fanboys in the past by saying Treasure is overrated, and I stand by that claim, but when it came to the Genesis, they were nearly flawless. This volume of the venerable Sega Ages series has three of the four games Treasure developed for the Genny; Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Headdy and Alien Soldier. Gunstar Heroes is probably the best run and gun Contra style game I've ever played (though I think it's a little too easy) and Dynamite Headdy is a severely underrated platformer. Personally, I think Alien Soldier was the exact game where Treasure swerved off the track and became more concerned about huge boss battles (the game is pretty much nothing but boss battles) and gimmick gameplay, but at least one can acquire this for less than what the real Genny cart goes for on eBay. In my situation, I had to appreciate the irony at playing these games on a PS2 perched on top of my Laseractive meaning I could have just as easily played the real deal if I'd wanted.
That's it for now. I have tons of other PlayStation games I haven't cracked open yet. Maybe someday.