Friday, September 22, 2017

Now Playing: Devil May Cry 3 - Dante's Awakening Special Edition(PS2)

 And now, for the finale...
I played the rest, now comes the best.
 Well, since I've replayed 1 and 2 might as well replay the entire trilogy, right? The game's as tough as always and as fun as always, there ain't much else left to say. Maybe the fact that they got the best things about DMC 1 and DMC 2, removed all the the flaws, and blended them together into this fantastic little disc.

 I'm up to stage 5 and I've literally nothing bad to say about the game, it's easily, easily one of PS2's finest.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review #468: Devil May Cry 2(PS2)

 Twice the discs, twice the disappointment.
Now with two discs, two characters and a shorter game!
 And thus, one year later, here I am replaying Devil May Cry 2 and, much like I did with my Devil May Cry re-review, I won't be repeating my words but rather commenting on what has change since I last played it.

 For starters, the game comes in two unlabeled discs, so there's no way to know that 'Disc 1' is Dante's disc and 'Disc 2' is Lucia's disc. Most of what I said remains true, both characters are near identical, weapons might as well be identical, the environments are too large for this kind of game, the movesets are pretty limited when compared to the previous game and the game lasts 2:30 hours for each character, which is kinda lame considering both discs share a lot of stages.
 If the game gets something right is its coolness.
 Regardless, I didn't find the game as boring as I did last year, actually, I thought it was a nice breather after finishing Devil May Cry 1! One thing fans are fixated on hating is how the game created new enemies and bosses designed to be taken care of with the guns, but I liked it. In the previous game guns were pretty much useless save a few situational bosses or the Shadow enemies that required you to use your guns, but now there're moments in which guns are a better alternative to swords and vice-versa. That said, they could've done a better job with it's since bosses like the chopper are pretty boring, all you have to do is hold the square button and tap the dodge button every now and then. It's a good idea, but poorly implemented.

 And you can't deny all this game did for the series. It introduced a dodge button, about time, and gave us the 'Bloody Palace' mode. And what about all the new nifty thingies like wall running or maintaining, but not increasing, your combo rank with guns? It also let you switch guns on the fly, although not swords, for whatever reason. I think the problem with the game is that they wanted to make a more adventure-like game, thus the speedier and floatier movement, making guns something you have to use, larger environments... but they were trying to keep the game faithful to the first game too, thus why there's so much squandered potential.
Guns get more prominence and use in this game.
 Y'know, I'm gonna bump up the score 0.5 points. Yes, there're boring segments, and yes, there're clashing gameplay elements that don't mesh very well and yes, there're two characters that are pretty much the same, with pretty much the same stages and weapons that are pretty much the same... but I had fun playing the game. It's a more 'turn off your brain' affair that focuses on being stylish, looking cool and letting the player look cool... but without depth. It's easily the weakest game in the franchise, but it has its good moments.
 6.5 out of 10

Now Playing: Devil May Cry 2

 Another devil may or may not cry.
That's one badass cover.
 Since here I am, waiting for Bloody Roar 2 to arrive, why not play a little bit o' Devil May Cry 2? I fondly remember playing this game for the first time this one day my parents had a meeting to attend to, so there I had this game all night long. And I liked it. A lot, even more than Devil May Cry 1.

 ...And then I played it last year and found it to be rather bland. But it's OK, because I'm gonna give it another go! I'm up to mission five with Lucia, and it ain't horrible. After making an assessment of my own I went back to my DMCHD review and found a lot of my newest opinions echoed, plus, a few complaints about how Dante and Lucia are so much alike, which I can't agree or disagree with yet. I mentioned how each playthrough lasted about 2:30 hours, which is kinda surprising considering I'm on mission 5 and only played an hour's time... but then again, maybe there aren't 23 missions this time around.

 Regardless, as of now I think I was a tad harsh on the game last year, I'm leaning more towards a 7.0 than the 6.0 I gave it. But there's more left to play before I can say for sure.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review #467: Devil May Cry

 Dante will cry though.
The cover is terrible.
 Well, it's been one year since I played DMC 1 and... Everything I said still stands, the game has aged a lot but it's still really flippin' great.

 I don't really want to tread old ground so I won't dabble on the basics, but I will mention a few noteworthy things I picked up on my second playthrough. Firstly, the PS2 version of Devil May Cry is definitely harder than the PS3 HD port, not even Air Strike will get you out of this one. Still, the game is bloody fun to play, even if limited when compared to future games, so retrying doesn't hurt too much. That said, the game can be rather cheap, there're a few enemies that attack you as soon as the cutscene ends, and if you don't know it's coming... it's gonna hurt, particularly when it comes to Shadow enemies.
Meet the noobstomper, if you ain't ready he's gonna have you for breakfast.
 Something that hurts the game a lot is the fact that every boss, but the last one, must be fought three times. Three times! And if you get caught by Phantom you'll get to fight them a fourth time. The fixed camera angles can be intrusive at times, and the couple of first-person underwater segments are dumb, but they are short enough.

 Honestly, DMC3, DMC4 and DmC blow this one out of the water, however, it's still a fun game that shows its age. I'd advise to sticking with the HD ports, since not only does it look better, I also felt the difficulty was a bit more fair, not that it should make much of a difference since it's only a teeny tiny bit harder.
 8.0 out of 10

Now Playing: Devil May Cry(PS2)

 Back to the PS2 original.
Why so depressed? Dante m'boy, this ain't DMC 2.
 After basically cruising through the HD port of the game last year, here I return to the original PS2 game and... it's kickin' my butt. Like, I almost died on the first mission since the Marionettes did so much damage. And the first boss? Owned me 8 times. EIGHT TIMES. I defeated the first boss on my first attempt last year. And then I got up to the Shadow who started the fight by taking about a third of my health with one move before I even knew what was happening. And then it killed me.

 So I had to do some research, was the HD version actually easier? Most people said it wasn't... until one brave soul gave me the answer I was looking for: Yes, the HD version is easier because it's based on the Japanese PS2 release which was, you guessed it, easier.

 Game's still fantastic though.

Review #466: Gouketuji Ichizoku 2 / Power Instinct 2

 The game about the little old ladies duking it out with projectile prosthetic dentures.
It's not a horror game, but that old lady is out to get you.
 Welcome to the weirdest and best fighting game you've never heard about. Gouketuji Ichizoku features a weird sense of humor, including little old ladies that can turn young by kissing their opponent, a little boy that turns into a dog-man thing, a ridiculous and fantastic soundtrack featuring tracks with vocals and a fantastic combat system, all hidden beneath a layer of Street Fighter II-clone paint.

 The game is a bit lacking in modes, an Arcade Ladder, VS Player and VS Team player. That's it, no survival, no time attack, no vs CPU, no nothing, there aren't even unlockables and the arcade Mode endings are disappointingly short. The cast of characters is made up of 13 unique characters, but playing in Team VS you have a few more characters. Characters that transform(except Kanji and the Goketuji sisters) have been divided, so Kurara and Super Kurara are two very different characters, Kintaro and Pochy the same, and you also get Kuroko and Oume Gouketuji(A clone of the playable Otane Gouketuji) for a total of 17 characters.
That's the time when they go Super Saiyan.
 The game looks like Street Fighter II, with chubby, simple 2-D sprites, but foes with the 4-button set-up other fighters go, so you get two punches and two kicks. It's also much faster, the speed being somewhere between SFII and Darkstalkers, characters dash-step, back-step and double jump, on top of the game being pretty fast. Characters have the same amount of special attacks as well as a single super move that can be used when your super gauge fills. This gauge is filled by receiving damage, and once it feels your character will produce a blue aura that knocks the opponent back, if close enough, dealing a bit of damage, and making you invincible for the few seconds its active. The combat is fast and furious, the combo system is pretty tight and characters offer a lot of tools to get creative with.

 There is one fatal flaw however... The game comes in a disc, and we know how the PS1 tends to treat fighting games and loading times.... Well, anytime a character transforms the game will freeze for 5-6 seconds in order to load the temporary transformation... and once the time runs out, well, get ready for another loading pause. There're many characters with this ability, Kurara and Super Kurara, Kintaro and Pochy, Oume & Otane with their young transformations, Kanji with his weak transformation and lest we forget that Kurara's Super will transform anything it hits into a pig or a duck. Yeah, matches featuring Kurara can be insufferable. It's kinda depressing, since the game runs very smoothly and fighting feels fantastic, until someone decides to play a character such as Kurara...
Totally not Ryu, he's got legs like Chun-Li and Shoryukens like Ken.
 I might be a bit generous, but... but despite how little content it has, despite how horrible the mid-fight loading times are... the core game is top-notch. I think I might even like it more than Street Fighter II thanks to it marrying fantastic gameplay with a ton of quirky creativity that makes it stand out from other games. That said, I think emulating this game is a better alternative than the PS1 disc, since you don't get the horrible loading times.
 8.0 out of 10

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Now Playing: Gouketuji Ichizoku 2/Power Instinct 2

  The best fighting game you've never heard about.
Games don't tend to have a character roster this diverse and original.
 Let's go back in time, about... 10 years back or so, there I was, at the flea market on a Sunday morning. While scavenging through bootleg PS1 and PS2 games I came upon this Japanese thingie. And it wasn't just another disc, it was a honest-to-goodness original Japanese PS1 game. On a Latin American flea market! A quick inspection of the back-cover revealed it to be a 2-D fighting game, so of course I had to have it. And I did.

 Fast forward a few hours time and there I was, placing the disc on my fat PS2 and lo and behold, I knew this game! I had played Power Instinct 1 on the PS1, and boy oh boy was I having a blast. I've been a fan of the Power Instinct series ever seen, sadly, most games are Japan only. But I'm gonna import PS2's Matrimelee any time soon!

 As far as this game is concerned, it definitely has stood the test of time. The fighting feels good and fast, controls are responsive(I think, not having a modded PS2 means I'm emulating this, and playing with a X360 controller!), graphics are pretty and the music is ridiculous and amazing at the same time. The only blemish I came upon so far would be the loading times. Any time a character transforms, or gets transformed into a pig by Kurara, the game will pause for about 5-6 seconds in order to load, and then again when they revert. It's a bit of a mood killer.

 Other than that, Gouketuji Ichizoku 2 is fantastic.