31 August 2012

Article: Playstation 2 liberated my inner demon

Once upon a time there was this boy who fell out of love with games. He sold most of his little collection to afford alcohol - which was immensely more fun. All was well in the World of Moonshine until the day the boy, almost out of coincident, got a hold of the new (well, almost new) Playstation 2. With it came several games, amongst others Silent Hill 2 and Grand Theft Auto 3. These games came to play a extremely important role in the boys attitude towards gaming and in the end even himself.

Of course the boy is me. I am not going to write as this was some magical tale, at least not if you do not want me to that is. Then there was a majestic dragon, who... No. I am not going to. The thing with Silent Hill 2 and Grand Theft Auto 3 was that they became important tools for my feelings. All the darkness, angst, frustration, the feeling of being powerless and the thirst for a truly own way to go suddenly had a way to channel themselves. I felt I had found a counterpart to myself in Silent Hill 2. I also found, and this is the most important part, that I could do what I wanted in Grand Theft Auto 3. While I did finish the game - most of my time in Liberty City was spent doing other things like hunting pimps, taking the easy way out of situations, always killing the ones I thought deserved it and so on. Choices that was not available in the games from my past. That was probably one of the main reasons for me backing out of gaming, there was just no room for selfish, evil if you will, actions. There was a good guy way and Game Over way. One very important aspect of the virtual worlds I surround myself with these days is that I can explore and live out my darker sides, my desperate longing for a simpler way of thought, where I can kill those in my way and achieve everything I want through sheer determination instead of standing in line accepting my position. In the real world I am trying to be kind, patient, collected and loving, but there is this small part of me that want to be ruthless, spontaneous, selfish and cold.

There is also the fact that many times the evil side in games is just misunderstood, betrayed, angry, discontent. It does not not want to let the other side just get what it wants, it wants revenge. In such games, like for example Killzone, I happily defend the dark side. I often want to take the communist side in first person shooters, not because I agree with their politics but because I am so utterly fed up with the notion of a clearly "good" side (mostly the US) to always join forces with.

Another example of this is the Gargoyle's Quest games (where the second one is in the banner of this blog), Firebrand is an evil being to that extent that he does what he have to in order to reach his goals. He happens to do more good than bad, but he does not intent to be good - he fights for himself. For his own personal goals. If one stands in the way there will be consequenses. There is also games where the evil side is bad to choose, like Lemmings. Kind of hard to get anywhere.

30 August 2012

Article: How to get the best video signal out of the Dreamcast

It is not as widely known as I had hoped that many Dreamcast games actually have VGA support. When the game have this label on the back of it that means it is good to go with VGA. Most of the Dreamcast gamers I have met and talked to actually starts off using RF and then switches up to regular (RGB)A/V cables as they realize it is much cleaner both on CRT- and HDTVs. But there is an even better option, wich is as mentioned; VGA.

Since most games are VGA compatible there is several VGA adapters released and one of the most common looks like this. You are likely to find another kind since the one pictured can be pretty expensive - but that is okay. Anyone of these boxes will do the job just fine as long as it is only for Dreamcast. The multiadapters can sometimes produce lower quality video and audio, so they should be avoided. If you are worried about buying one of the few games in the future that might not have VGA support you should get a switched one (some adapters have output to both VGA and most commonly Composite and/or S-Video).

Now then, how does one find these little darlings?
They are really all around, just search for Dreamcast VGA where ever you buy cables and it should pop up. Here is an eBay seller with many of the ones with new design for sale. I believe the problem where the weak switch would break is gone due to a different design. Racketboy sells another kind where there is only the VGA option - which works equally good. It obviously does not have a switch.

Just remember that you also have to purchase a VGA male to male cable since these adapters only have female out.

29 August 2012

Review: XIII (Xbox)

I bought this one for 1 SEK, which is about $0.15 and I can not really explain why it did not go for more since it actually is pretty decent. Ubisoft based this celshaded comic book style FPS on an old french-belgian magazine from the 80s - and the story roughly follows the fifteen first issues. It all starts with a man waking up with a bad case of amnesia and a tattoo (XIII). The president has been assassinated and the whole world is convinced this poor man did it. Okay, it is a unusually boring setting but hey - it might get more interesting as we go along.

I am just going to say it as it is. In regards to the story it does not get better. The whole game is about figuring out who you are, what the tattoo means and who else are involved in this mess. I was not interested in the beginning and I did not become interested during the course of the game. The thing that made me come back for more was instead the feeling of playing a diamond in the rough. Behind pretty bad controls and flat out broken AI there is quite the amount of fun little things to do and see. When you get a perfect headshot there is close ups of the bullets path and penetration in the form of comic book frames, all the explosions and loud noices is accompanied by the words "BANG" and "POW" etc. The mix between stealth, puzzle and pure action was very pleasant, not much unlike Perfect Dark.

XIII's biggest strength is in my opinion the comic book theme together with how smooth it runs. That is, the surface. And I can feel that a game from 2003 has to impress more than just visually. Ubisoft fails with the fire fights, it is worse than repetitive and harmless. The stealth levels are frustrating due to the inconsistency of the AI. Sometimes they see me through walls and sometimes they can not see me even if I stand right before them. If I am spotted I have to start all over again even if it means having to watch a long and tedious cutscene for the fourth time. This makes it feel like trial and error in some parts - and that means that the tension often turns into boredom.

The ending is a cliffhanger if I ever saw one (it even says "To be continued..." on the screen) and when I instinctively think "no" I accept the fact that this game did not turn out to be the diamond I was hoping for. I would on the other hand like to try it out online (or at least local multiplayer) but I do not know if I ever will make that happen.

28 August 2012

Review: Bully (Playstation 2)

Kids are cruel. I chose to open with a cliché, if Rockstar can then so can I. Bully is basically a little smaller and a little more boring clone of Grand Theft Auto, which is about the same thing as before. Respect!

It all begins with Jimmy Hopkins being dropped off by the Bullworth Academy - while his mother and her eleventh fiance goes off on a honeymoon. Bullworth is a school for troublemakers and punks who need extra supervision and discipline. Here rules the law of the jungle, the one who does not bully gets bullied. Just like in the Grand Theft Auto series the story is being guided forward by missions you chose to pursue in order to advance in the social ladder. At the school there are a number of stereotype groups, including snobs, nerds and jocks - everyone reacts to Jimmy depending on how you behave. 

 
Instead of guns and batons there is a rascal arsenal, just as predictable as it is, in fact, charming. Firecrackers, stink bombs, marbles, slingshots etc are some of the toys you can have fun with and the slingshot is upgradable. Common fights are in spite of this the most fun way to go, the attitude of the opponent goes from bad ass to frightened and humiliated. But look out when entering a fight, if a prefect catches you there will be a punishment in form of detention (mowing lawns). The school prefects acts as policemen and are almost impossible to shake off if you are not well prepared. As the game progresses, you can, however, be better at verbal excuses and get away with minor offenses, I will talk more about this later, but it does not really matter - the violence is not easy to get away with.One is early on introduced to Jimmy's skateboard, which honestly is extremely awkward. I was excited when I first heard about it but Jimmy's legs becomes completely stiff when riding and the speed increase is very very slight. Thank god for the bikes on the other hand, which you can buy in shops all over town. But the town is not available in the beginning, you have enough to do in the schoolyard. And they really put in some effort in designing the schoolyard, it is a nice environment that makes me want to explore my surroundings although most doors are just flat surfaces unable to open. When the game opens up to the outer areas and gives Jimmy things to do outside the school premises it becomes ebvious that it was the school they worked the most on - the rest of the town looks mediocre and is full of bugs. It is not uncommon to be able to go completely past buildings before they are rendered properly. Certain voice overs are late or absent, terrain textures do not load... Sometimes I felt as if the game just was not finished.


But back to school, most of the stuff happens there anyway. There are classes to take, built around various mini games - which if completed results in upgrades depending on the subject at hand. English class offers expanded vocabulary, art gives romantic tricks, chemistry provides access to firecrackers and so on. These classes are divided into one morning class and one afternoon class every day, so you have to get to each classroom in time before it ends for the day. Well, one day is about fifteen minutes of real time, and that makes the time pretty valuable. If you want to attend a few classes and at the same time be able to do some missions you barely have time to get home to your dorm. If you do not make it back to your bed before 2:00 in the morning you fall to the ground right where you stand - which often results in you being robbed when sleeping. It gets pretty hectic to say the least.


Where the music is unusually boring (it is one song, repeated in the infinite without interruption) the voice actors puts in some heart. I found myself eavesdropping on my fellow students discussing small everyday problems while I was looking rubber bands. Yes that is right, they have added rubber bands around the map that you then must collect for bonuses, just like in Grand Theft Auto. And they really mean business with bonuses, you unlock clothes and other special things after almost every successful mission. But the different options to dress differently is like polishing the brass on Titanic. The whole "dress-your-own-character" idea falls with the fact that it is a strict uniform dresscode at the school. No matter what kind of outfit you wear it must be changed as soon as you set foot on campus - which unfortunately is every time you want to save your game (unless you want to save in the city, which usually means that you then still have to get to school for more assignments and loose precious daytime) and also every quarter since you otherwise will faint and get robbed.Despite all this I still had fun - there was amusement in the little things, even if they were not so nicely done, and the will to put some annoying people straight drove me continue and finish the game. I would not recommend this as a first choice when it comes to open world sandbox games but it definitely is worth a look.

27 August 2012

Article: PS2 Shoot 'em ups

When I first entered the world of shoot 'em up I was told that Playstation, Saturn, Dreamcast and PC Engine was the consoles to go for. While their shooter libraries indeed are impressive I feel one obvious console was left out. Playstation 2.

The Playstation 2 has not only many shoot 'em ups of its own (Mushihime-sama, Espgaluda, Dodonpachi Dai-Ou-Jou, Ibara, Gradius V, Homura, Thinkle Star Sprites series, Double Shienryu, R-Type Final, XII Stag, Giga Wing Generations, Silpheed: The Lost Planet, Thunder Force VI etc) it has games that also got released on the Dreamcast (Triggerheart Exelica Enhanced, REZ, Chaos Field: New Order, Radirgy Precious, Shikigami No Shiro series, Psyvariar, Psyvariar 2: The Will to Fabricate) - and many arcade collections with older gems (Darius series, Space Invader series, 1942 etc).

Most notably for my self is the collection of Cave games on the system. (I know I wrote them as "Playstation 2 games" but of course they are arcade ports.) I thought I was going to share some thoughts on three of them, namely Dodonpachi Dai-Ou-Jou, Espgaluda and Mushihime-sama.

Dodonpachi Dai-Ou-Jou
The Donpachi series plays one of the most important roles in the history of bullet hell games. Not only was it one of the first to really drown the player in bullets, it is also one of the most notorious series in the genre with many beloved arcade hits under its belt. While Donpachi and Dodonpachi are covered on Saturn and Playstation, Dodonpachi Dai-Ou-Jou was far to demandning to be ported to those consoles. The Playstation 2, however, handles the game beautifully. The series' trademark chaining together with cranked up difficulty makes this game extremely intense and very hard to beat, let alone reach respectable highscores. With one of the most beautiful covers in video game history it makes for a must have in any shoot 'em up collection.

Espgaluda
This is my favorite shoot 'em up of all time. Hell, it is one of my favorite games period. Right from the get go the soundtrack is amazing, the gameplay is interesting and the difficulty is just right. If you play to survive you can get quite far pretty fast and if you play to get a highscore it becomes tricky and tactical right from the very start. The mechanics are based upon the abillity to enter a special mode where all the bullets on screen turns into points if the enemy who shot them is destroyed. While in regular mode the bullets turns into objects that fills up the meter to go back into the special mode and so on. I am equally in love with ESP.Ra.De, the games (spiritual?) prequel, but sadly that never made it to the consoles.

Mushihime-sama
This one is interesting. It does not take place in the god awful space, it does not take place in some futuristic robot-filled industrial hell, it takes place on the ground. In the trees. In the water. The title translates to Bug Princess and this accurately speaks of the surroundings. You ride some sort of beetle, fighting your way through insects and pissed off plants that literally fills the screen with colorful bullets. It is the very definition of bullet hell and at the same time it looks marvelous with clever details and more color than the rainbow. The speed of the bullets makes this one much more demanding than the others when it comes to reaction time and the soundtrack is really good here as well. Intensive gameplay with good music, pretty stuff to look at and an ultra mode so hard you will not believe it all speaks for its own. This is truly a must have.

26 August 2012

Review: Shadow of the Colossus (Playstation 2)

- Agro! 

The horse obediently come when I call for it. I gently climb up on him expecting what is called "lousy controls". I kick my legs in the sides and... Damn, Agro starts walking. Sure, it feels a bit imprecise when I'm going out of the temple for the first time and have to go down a narrow set of stairs, but when out in the fields I ride like a... like a... someone who can ride a horse! The camera is a bit off center as a way to display a little more of the surroundings. I think to myself that it might be a problem further on in the game to not be able to center the camera completely but those thoughts slowly fade away when I realize how cozy the world is. Something that help me to appreciate the surroundings even more is the lack of background music. It is just whistling wind and a distant alarming rumble apart from Agro's steps and it is only when you stand face to face with a colossus that dramatic music appears. 

It is only lizards for companionship here on the plains, lizards you can kill and steal tails from in case you want to increase your stats. Fruits should do the same but I did not see too many of them, and in all honesty, they will not be needed. It is enough to increase ones stamina and health bar just a bit. 

Agro is a horse, not a machine. He stops and backs up when trying to ride him into destruction, he refuses to run at full speed on chaotic trails with nothing short of pure hell on both sides, he can hurt his legs in high jumps, he runs away if he is startled. In short, as I said, Agro is a horse. The sword, which along with a handy bow makes for the arsenal, reflect sunbeams said to show the way. Or at least the right direction. When you know which way you are headed, suddenly the world feel very small. It does not take many minutes to get to each colossus but do not worry, that feeling will disappear pretty quickly. Not only are the giants usually very clever when it comes to hiding in the ruins, in the lakes and up on remote - almost inaccessible places, they also present a real challenge once you reach them. Although I always imagined that I got to a colossus and defeated it within fifteen minutes or so,  it took much more than that in reality. A bit over thirty minutes per colossus makes for a decent length considering that there is sixteen of these bad boys to find and defeat. 

Now then, these giants. Are they as brutal as I heard? Is it like being an ant trying to kill an elephant? Yes. It is an amazing feeling to stand and look up at a colossus so big you think there should be clouds between you and the head of the beast. It is an even more astonishing feeling to realize that you somehow have to get up there and find a weak spot to bury your sword in. You utilize the surroundings, shoot arrows and crawl around to get the colossus to leave an opening to exploit. You often need to find a little "fur" (grass) - to be able to climb up to the enormous body and from there  use all sorts of acrobatics to get to different key points (which are not always obvious or even unprotected) where you can do the most damage. There is two gauges at the bottom right of the screen that displays your life and strength. Both of them recover when you do not move, so instead of various herbs and potions you simply have to keep a low profile when you are in trouble. The strength decreases steadily when climbing, and even faster when the colossus tries to shake you off. This makes for a challenge of its own. Do I have the strength to go all the way to the other side? Should I stay here on this ledge until I recover completely? Do I have enough time for that? Where am I going exactly? 

As I said before the enormous creatures hides in forests, on plains, in deserts, in the air, in lakes... You name it. They are virtually everywhere and although they all have pretty similar weaknesses (a light blue weak spot lights up when approaching with the sword, and it is most often located on the back or head) it still feels like every encounter is unlike the other. One minute I am jumping up on the wing of a birdlike colossus diving in for an attack, the next I am trying to make another bend down so I can climb up his beard. 

When I first found out that there is only boss fights and no small enemies, and a relatively small map, I thought the game would be over in just a few hours. But when I was closing in on three hours of game time I had barely made it half way - which made me happy. The game is too sweet and cozy to be over so fast. But at the same time, it is probably not a game you can manage to play through in one sitting. Too much is too cute. Therefore, I was quite happy when my mediocre effort took me to the end after about nine hours. And when the end is closing in there is a few twists and turns that I do not want to spoil, so you have to discover the games secrets on your own.

25 August 2012

Review: Silent Hill Origins (Playstation Portable)

Travis Grady is a truck driver of trucker cap standard, who one night decides to take a shortcut through Silent Hill. After a brief dialog over a distorted radio you see him blazing through the rain - when a small girl falls out in the street in front of him. Travis steps on the brake and goes out in the dark to investigate. The girl runs away and Travis follows her until he realizes the fog he has been seeing is not really fog - it is smoke. He arrives to a house in flames and to his shock he hears a child screaming somewhere inside, so he naturally decides to run inside and save the girl. After a heroic effort he makes it out with the badly burnt girl and faints from the smoke. When he regain consciousness he is in Silent Hill.


There is many details all around that confirms a lot of the fans theories of the Silent Hill history and therefore it is a good idea to have played at least Silent Hill 1 before going after this. Since I do not want to spoil these long sought after revelations and confirmations I leave all hints out to instead concentrate on the feeling of being in Silent Hill again. Because of the fact that it is not Team Silent but Climax who made this game I naturally was pretty sceptical and did not expect a true Silent Hill experience. I was wrong! They have gotten most of the things just right, the atmosphere is as dense and pressing as the other parts of the series and the sounds are equally frightening. Visually it is familiar, but yet fresh and very good looking. I have not played that many PSP games but I have a hard time believing there is many games out there this appealing. The grainy graphics fits the theme perfectly and it makes the experience genuine.

But the camera has problems displaying what you want to see. Many times, the camera is deliberately ill-positioned to increase the tension, but in this particular game there are many occasions when it is not at all more exciting, just ridiculous. Having to go in to a room filled with monsters and go halfway through the party before the camera allows one to see anything at all is not particularly funny at all. The button that centers the camera directly behind Travis only works if you have at least two feet to move freely behind him. The controls are a bit clumsy, something you definitely think about when you have to be economical with health drinks and other things that were just about everywhere in the other parts of the series, and sometimes you become incredibly frustrated if many enemies attack at the same time because it usually results in something resembles a turn-based RPG. Hit, get hit, hit, get hit, take health drink, hit. But yeah, if you handle it perfectly and time your attacks just right you escape unharmed most of the times.

The soundtrack is as usual very fitting, with sorts of hell staring up the player together with more musical pieces that contribute to the atmosphere in a eerie way. Of course you should play the game with headphones, especially considering that the sounds are extremely important in Silent Hill - this is even recommended in a warning screen before the game starts. Headphones on, all the lights off!

Around five hours from the time I woke up in Silent Hill it was over - in spite the fact that I had been searching every corner and opening every door. The experience is in other words a little too short and there is not much of a replay value because the plot already is disclosured. If you do not want to try the unlockable stuff (which you get depending on how well you did), that is. But all in all it really is the scariest game I've seen and heard in portable form, it is like a little dream. A little wonderful nightmare.

24 August 2012

Review: The Getaway (Playstation 2)

Winter 2002. I had just turned seventeen and gotten some money as a birthday present - from which I spent around $70 on a pre-order on The Getaway. I had read that it was as close to reality as it gets, with real cars, marvelous graphics, no distracting HUD and a interpretation of reality more convincing than the Grand Theft Auto-series. After an hour of intense swearing I put the game away, biked to a friends house and drank melon punch until we puked. The game was destined to remain on the shelf for nine years...

Present time. The controls are as frustrating as I remember and the graphics... no, the graphics have actually gotten old with a certain form of dignity. We're getting to the games pros and cons as we go along, but I'm going to start at the beginning.

Mark Hammond is an ex-member of the Collins gang, which owns the Soho area of London. He is just out of jail and is trying to get his life in order when his son all of a sudden gets kidnapped by a gang called Bethnal Green Mob and his wife gets murdered trying to prevent the kidnapping. Of course Mark gets a tad upset by this but he soon recieves a phone call from a Charlie Jolson - who makes it painfully obvious that Mark has to do what he is told if he ever wants to see his son alive again. The revenge has to wait in other words, while Mark throws himself in one suicidal mission after another to make Charlie a happy camper.

Most of the missions is of the type "go from point A to point B" with the killing of everyone on the site as a final. It's easier said than done. For some strange reason one has to drive mostly on one way streets with the traffic going the other way. When another car is being bumped into, it turns into glue and never seems to want to let go if you don't back up and carefully drive around it. Realistic, some might say, frustrating says I. Add to that that in every sharp turn, there is a oncoming car. Almost as magic.

As I said before there is no HUD, which is pretty liberating in a sense, but in this case it is again only frustrating. You navigate yourself through the streets of London only with the blinkers of your car, which blinks in the direction you should go. Because of this there is no real oversight on where to go, no notion of how far it is and when hit from behind the blinkers breaks rendering you virtually blind. There is also no way of knowing how much time is left until it is too late, should there be a time limit. When you at last reach your destination the next test begins. The controls at foot is not all that bad as long as nothing advanced is required, but as soon as it gets tight or hectic you are doomed. The camera never shows you what you want to see, the controls become mirrored on and off, the auto sight chooses enemies at random (which makes you sometimes focus on some random guy in the background whilst being shot in the ear by someone three centimeters away). The ammo runs out at any time without warnings since there is no HUD. Because there is no clear indications of... well, anything, you often reach a standstill where you have no idea what needs to be done or where it needs to be done. A lot of time consuming missions had to be done from the beginning a few times in spite of me arriving at the site in time because I honsetly had no idea what I should have done. You have to completely rely on what is being said in the cutscenes for mission briefing. And now we are reaching one of the biggest strong points of the game. The voice acting.

The accents are just right, the voices are believable and engaging. I had no problems what so ever to imagine myself being in the middle of the story with these characters - and what a story it is! Very entertaining and exciting. What will happen to Mark? Will he see his son again? What is Charlie up to? Who is the mysterious cop that comes in out of the blue and wants to help? When you arrive at the ending it turns out you are just halfway, the next half is taking place in the same time frame as you just played through - but through someone elses eyes. The mysterious cops eyes, to be more precise. Now you get to see what he has been up to and how the story really ends. A grip I am usually very sceptical of since it has habit of becoming rather repetetive, but here it is being done just right - with new views of the whole story and almost completely different settings and missions. The feeling of a movie that Team Soho wanted to give us is present in spite of all the weaknesses in the controls and the "bugginess" in general, and you really want to keep playing. It is the voice acting together with the story, and the execution of it, that makes me praise the game. It is truly superb. But they completely missed the mark in all other aspects. As closure I would like to say that The Getaway is a diamond in the rough - so if you read this blog you should absolutely look this game up.

23 August 2012

News: Polyko ported to Dreamcast

The game with the short name Polyko's Super Jelly Bean Quest in the Sketchbook of Illusion has been ported to Dreamcast by the Senile Team (Rush Rush Rally Racing). The price for this project is nothing. It is completely free and can be legally downloaded from Senile Teams homepage along with some cover art so it fits snugly into the gaming shelf.

Review: Gunlord (Dreamcast)

After Last Hope and Fast Striker NG: DEV decided to develop a run 'n gun that smells both like Turrican and Metroid. And what a genre debut! After a short introduction sequence you are in the process of shooting just about everything out of existence - but if you are not careful, it becomes a short experience. For Gunlord, ladies, gentlemen and everything in between - do not play around.

That said, the game is obviously inspired by the Turrican series, but it often shines through that NG: DEV is a shoot 'em up developer at heart, and I say that not just because of the second stage which is a pure horizontal shoot 'em up experience, but because it is also played just like a shoot 'em up. Without meticulous memorization of stages, enemies and bosses - chances are minimal to get to the end and when the difficulty is turned up about halfway through the game, it becomes obvious that it is trial and error, where memorization is virtually the only way out. Add to that both colorful and frenetic shooting of enormous dimensions, and a scoreboard on the developers website and you have an incredibly intense run 'n gun that really is not ashamed of its roots.

The stages are nine in number, which may sound a bit short at first glance, but one should keep in mind that every stage has numerous secrets and places that are difficult to reach - which richly rewards the curious with many exciting weapons, extra lives, bombs and other goodies that makes the experience extra intense. However, none of these secrets is absolutely necessary to reach in order to advance in the game, which makes it different from for example Metroid. Along the stages there are plenty of containers that you can shoot to get different weapons from - and bombs and items to slightly fill up the health bar.

From start you are equipped with a spreadshot that outclasses many other default guns, the opportunity to roll around like a ball on the ground while laying out an unlimited number of grenades and what might be described as a laser whip - which can be rotated 360 degrees. Together, this is a really good foundation that make you feel like you are always in control to attack the enemy no matter how they choose to approach. And if you die, it is your own fault.

NG: DEV love their bosses. They are big, well drawn and entertaining. Many of them covers half the screen (or more!), which really feels just right in a game of this caliber. Each monster has a predetermined and rather monotonous pattern that the player would be well advised to remember, but some of them can unfortunately be quite simple when you rehearsed a good tactic - which makes you almost lose respect for some of the oppontents.

Gunlord is regionfree and compatible with both the standard controller, the six button pad and the arcade stick and comes in different versions that vary in price depending on how committed you are. If you are not scared of a cranked up difficulty and at the same time are attracted by colorful pixels in 2D, this is absolutely a given purchase that really shows that the Dreamcast is still a console to be counted on.

Welcome to VGL

This blog is going to be filled with news, reviews, articles, tips and other things related to the previous generations of video games. I feel there is a gap between "retro gaming" and the newest of the new - where consoles as Playstation 2, Dreamcast, Gamecube, Xbox and so forth is being almost completely ignored.

While I actually have all the new consoles as well, the increasing DLC/DRM/online access codes limits make me feel that this generation of gaming is turning away from its customers and treats them like criminals. This is a development I oppose. Coming up, in the next couple of days, to start us off is a few game reviews and news.

I hope you will enjoy this blog!