20 October 2015

News: Sega bling for our feet

For 7,500 yen, or roughly $60, you can now get your feet the deluxe package they have been dreaming about for years and years. There are three versions of shoes which include Dreamcast, Saturn and Mega Drive/Genesis. We have all long yearned for some new footwear in just the right retro style, have we not? To show the world that we mean business. Well, not me personally because I rock fairly generic black military style steel-toe boots and have been for the last two
decades. But I know for a fact that there are a lot of sleek sneaker lovers (or what ever this kind of shoe is called, do not ask me, I am too old to understand anything) out there and these shoes should be right up their alley. As long as they like Sega, that is. Anyway, I have digressed. Where was I? Oh, that is right. It does not matter what the answer is to my initial question - I honestly find it hard to come up with any reasons at all as to why anyone would not want to buy at least one
pair of ANIPPON's newly released Sega shoes. They are absolutely gorgeous if you ask me. Feast your eyes on these puppies, listen to the voice of your hearts and go grab your wallets. See you on the block!

11 October 2015

Review: Colin McRae Rally 04 (Xbox)

Remember when rally games was not filled to the brim with "attitude", dubstep and energy drinks? Colin McRae Rally 04 is a pure rally experience that might seem a bit boring to some, but awesome for me. Instead of extreme pwning it is only about driving around minding your own business on rally tracks through forests and mountains. There is no music, no cool lifestyle menues, no edge, no MTV complex. It is just me and nature. Well, and a rally car.

This title screams pure rally and seems to nail almost everything that makes rally games appealing to me. Long nice tracks, lengthy championships and a great sense of realism without unnecessary bells and whistles. Being spoiled with later titles like the Dirt series, as far as the feeling of driving goes, I initially thought the cars were a bit slippery. There was barely any grip to speak of even under perfect conditions. I got used to it pretty fast though and half way through the game I was driving like crazy through dense forests, narrow mountain trails and treacherous mud tracks.

The driving feels great, there is always times to improve and nothing gets in the way. Just pop the game in and off you go. I can not tell you if this game is like driving a real rally car and competing in a championship because I do not even have a drivers license. I am only coming at this from a general gamer's perspective, and one that is not very in to driving games as a general rule of thumb. But once every blue moon I go for a virtual drive, and I really can not imagine playing anything else than Colin McRae Rally 04 at this point. I have found my go to driving game. Pure rally bliss!

01 October 2015

Review: Viewtiful Joe (Playstation 2)

I have a history with Viewtiful Joe, and it is not of the wonderful kind. I remember I bought it many years ago trying to get in to some lesser known (well, kind of) PS2 games and gave it a go. Me and my girlfriend got pretty far, I remember we were closing in on the last stage when we met a boss that we just could not, for the life of us, beat. I was infuriated. We bought this game that started out so good and we had so much fun and then it got impossibly hard and tedious. What a disappointment to put it up on the shelf without the satifaction of having beaten it.

So... That will not fly. Not with me. Yesterday I decided to give the game another go since I most certainly are even better at games today than I was back then. Viewtiful Joe is the debut title for Clover, the people that went on to make Ôkami and God Hand (as well as a Viewtiful Joe sequal and a couple of spinoffs). They have a unique way of designing the artwork in their games, I think I would have been able to tell it was Clover even if their logo was not featured in the beginning of the game. Viewtiful Joe also combines two weaknesses from Ôkami and God Hand but I will get to those in a minute. First let us talk about Joe.

Joe is a douchebag on a night out with his girlfriend Silvia to watch a douchebag movie. The villain in the movie suddenly reaches out of the cinema screen and snatches Silvia. Joe jumps after and finds himself being a super hero in a movie mashup. That is pretty much it as far as story goes. Viewtiful Joe is a 2D platformer beat 'em up that is short but hard. There is seven episodes in total, where each one has two parts and a boss fight or something similar. The visuals are cartoony and does a good job conveying the over the top attitude of the game. It is energetic, frantic, violent and douchebaggy (I think they went for "awesome" here, but I do not agree). I had fun going through the episodes once again, re-learning all of Joe's cool moves and I really did not remember the game being this much fun. Nice! But then I reached the later episodes and the feeling came over me like a wave. Tedious gameplay that overstays its welcome. It just takes a bit too long to get through it, even if it is just seven episodes. So the Ôkami weakness of dragging on forever was present. And then it also inherited God Hands "enough already, it was fun in the beginning but now I am bored". In small doses Viewtiful Joe is a great action game. But in small doses the player will not be able to completely master the controls and keep up with the speed that the game demands. So... It falls somewhere in between a fast action fix and a full fledged hardcore game and it does not nail any of them.