Well, another week and more games to be played

This Weekends Buys:

Otomedius Excellent (360) – The XBox 360 has reached a point in its life when some of the more obscure titles are beginning to surface, leading to some interesting and inexpensive buys. This one is SHMUP, in which your vehicle is under the control of cute anime girls. It odd and worth a try.

M.A.C.H. (PSP) – This is an interesting air racing title for the PSP, I don’t know if it’s any good or not but but I certainly got it for a good price. 

Tales of Vesperia (360) – Anime type video games, outside of the Final Fantasy franchise seem to be Playstation territory. However there are a few that do have a place off the system, one of which is the ongoing Tales of Vesperia series. I really don’t know much about it but I have heard it mentioned on a number of podcasts. I’m anxious to try it out. 

This Weekends Plays:

Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front (PS2) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Gundam games are as plentiful on PlayStation’s as Mario games are on Nintendo’s. Albeit out of all the Gundam games produced only a select few leave Japan in translated versions. Some of the games that make it over are so-so, while others are extremely good. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam for instance I would rank as so-so title, while Gundam Versus (outside of the repetitive music) is remarkably good. Of the Gundam games I’ve played so far though, I’m going to have to say that Zeonic Front  is the best one yet. It doesn’t have you versing major characters from the various franchises, or even playing as one, but rather playing as an unknown Zaku pilot in combat. It has a great vehicle combat feel to it that you see in a lot of games, but against the Gundam 0079 backdrop it involves you in a much deeper story besides the standard combat element brinign a lot more to the look and feel of the game. I also have to give the game props of how well done the graphics are especially in presentation of the Zaku’s, and in the opening film and cut scenes. By the way the opening film makes it all worth it alone, as we get to see Zaku’s deployed as just part of a much larger force of combined armor, and not alone as well see them in the various Gundam anime. The control scheme on the other hand isn’t exactly the best. Yes, the left analog is for movement, and the right look, but the weapons trigger is R1 which is odd since must games trigger at R2 since it feels more natural. Of course the training session does get you used to this, and I will admit the training session is absolutely perfect as it takes no time to get through and gets right to the point. Overall, this one is the best in my book. 

Sub Rebellion (PS2) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – The PS2 has the single largest video game library of any system ever made. With that said it’s easy to assume all weren’t AAA titles, and that there are many diamonds hiding in the rough. Sub Rebellion is one of those diamonds. Now, I’ll admit that the world of under-water combat submarine games can be hit or miss. Deep Fighter on the Dreamcast was an ok game but could’ve been a little better, and Subwar 2050 had the potential to be something really cool but was some buggy it just kind of fell apart. So that left the Game Boy version of The Hunt for Red October, as the shining paragon of the sub-genre (take that as a pun if you wish). Sub Rebellion though, is a pretty decent entry. The game story in involving but odd, the graphics are slightly above par for the average PS2 game, and the controls although not intuitive does come to make sense considering what would be involved in submarine combat. The story more or less had you fighting as a mercenary crew working for a desperate rebellion against a world empire, in world drowned in water after a shift in the Earth’s plates. The submarine, the Chrono’s, the shining light of the rebellion and the last hope to even the score. It’s a hacked story, but it works and serves the game well. As for the controls R1 raises the sub, and R2 causes it to descend, while L1 is forward and L2 is reverse. The analog button must be on, and that makes the left stick turning, and right stick camera. The other buttons are weapons, sonar, and a few other things. It takes a little while to get the hang of but once you do it’s worth it. The game itself, is actually good enough to give you the feeling of playing an arcade game, and just has that feel to it. Overall, its a real diamond in the rough and worth getting

Airforce Delta Strike (PS2) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ -Another relatively unknown game on the PS2. Although it’s more or less meant to be a Konami knock-off of the Ace Combat series, I will admit this is a pretty good game on its own merits. The setting is in a world where the planet has been taken over by it’s orbiting colonies the OCC, I know a bit Gundam like. In response the EDAF is formed to fight off the invaders, and slowly retake Earth. Of course in an era of Space Colonies, I guess here on Earth jet fighters remain the same as we know them. You fight as the EDAF, starting off as a beginner pilot with a plane that’s not the best and slowly earning credits and getting better stuff. Essentially the story starts as you join your squadron and learn your way around base in a very wordy JRPG type explanation about everything. Each area of the base plays a role in your mission, store, hanger, briefing room, operations center, runway, and so on. Of course I’m sure your imaginations can fill in the blank as to which aspect of the game each area serves. Of course a few of your squadmates are cute anime girls, my favorite being Ruth, so the annoying conversation can at times be easy on the eyes. As for gameplay the controls are remarkably intuitive, only have to look up throttle control to get a grasp of that. Graphically speaking, its only a hair away from being on par with the Ace Combat franchise on the PS2, with only the games true sci-fi elements looking a bit off. The game itself is a pleasure to play and I found myself liking the game and getting deep into it the first time I dropped it in my PS2. Overall, this is yet another diamond in the rough, and a game you may want to checkout for the old system. 

Katamari Damacy (PS2) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – The PS2 does have a genre most Americans refer to as the “Weird Japanese Games”. There’s  a number of them, but the crowned king is Katamari Damacy with Mr. Mosquito in a strong second. Ok, Katamari Damacy is a little weird, but it’s also fun just purely to be fun, and pretty addicting to play. Each mission has you roll stuff up with your sticky ball or Katamari, to a certain size each time with a different, creative and challenging level. Graphically speaking its just fun and colorful as well, and suits the game well. Control wise, the game walks you through that before you can even start and the controls are very easy to adapt too. I have to agree this is one of the best games on the PS2. 

Some of the PS2 games like Katamari Damacy have been on my backlog since July, long but not too long in relation to other games on my list. Katamari Damacy was actually picked up at Video Game Summit or VGS, and if I’m not mistaken was the first buy of that day. Be sure to check out my article on VGS if your wondering what it’s like. 

With that’s said though and with the remaining time this weekend shot to hell timewise  I’m going to end things there. Next weekend, the 360, and a few PSP holdouts.