Games Meet Metal: Sturby Returns! Part 2: Video Games

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sturby Returns! Part 2: Video Games

Summer is usually a slow gaming time for me as I tend to spend a lot of my time outside instead of in front of my TV. However, Winnipeg has had some pretty terrible weather during these last couple months so I have had the chance to sit down a burn through a few games that I've been meaning to play. I have yet to get my hands on a copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2 or Sin and Punishment 2 but those are on my must play list so hopefully I'll be able to get to them sooner rather than later. But, here's a break down of what I played in the mean time.

I actually played this back in May but I never got around to doing a write up on it. The game has just about everything that you know and love from the original NMH, only there's more of it. And as a side note, the game has less of the stuff that you hate so it's a win win situation in the end. This time around Travis Touchdown has to claw his way through 50 assassins to make it to the No. 1 spot. Like the first game, you have the chance to play some ridiculous minigames to either increase your stats or make money to purchase new weapons or clothing for Travis. NMH2 sheds the clunky sandbox type gameplay from NMH and replaces it with a menu that you can navigate to visit the city instead of driving there yourself. I don't know if this was done to please the fans or if this was done because they didn't have enough room on the game disc. In NMH2 there is really no need to get money unless you want to buy things that really don't change the way the game plays. Also instead of everything being in 3D the minigames are all presented in a 2D format and made to look like old school Atari or Nintendo games. I really appreciated the format change, but I'm a little upset that they made the games all 100% optional. You can argue that they were optional in the first one too, but you'd have a really hard time making the money you would need to buy into each battle which are free in NMH2.

Speaking of the ranking battles; they tend to range from being insanely awesome, or ridiculously terrible. Most of the bosses are on the former side of things so at least you have that to look forward to when playing through the levels because I tell ya, there's some really terrible level designs in this game. Some levels are nothing more than a highway that leads right up to the boss battle but then others are a never ending amount of thugs in a small map that really don't test anything but your patience. It's pretty rare to have a good level in this game so if you're playing through it and wondering if they get any better, they really don't. The dialogue and the story of the game are just as crazy and over the top as the last game, and that's one of the reasons I liked the first one so much. The reason as to why Travis has decided to come back (and why he stays) are pretty weak, but I wasn't looking for Oscar caliber writing with this game so it doesn't really ruin anything. You can find the game for $20 or less at most retailers, so you might as well pick it up if you haven't already.

My friend lent me his copy which I've had for a little over a month now and I'm slowly making my way through it. I've managed to unlock the Title Defense mode and I've just beaten Bear Hugger. The Title Defense mode is tricky because I've gotten really used to the way that my opponents behaved the first time around. In title defense they've gotten stronger, faster and they have a few new tricks up their sleeves. These tricks range from delayed punches and attacks that look and sound just like the old ones to eliminating their weakness from a previous match up. The game is a lot of fun and the Title Defense mode adds a new depth to the game but I'm still not sure that I would plop down $50 for a copy. Maybe if Nintendo will drop the price if they start to lose the console war. Yea, and I just might grow a pair of wings and win the lottery.

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I was given a gift card for WalMart. I asked for it cause I figured it has just about everything I need at a decent enough price and I could stretch that gift card out to buy a number of different things. I picked up Metal Slug Anthology and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core for a combined price of $30. That' a pretty damn good deal in my books. The Metal Slug games have always been favourites of mine but I was never good at them. For the most part I would make it to the first boss on $1 or so but then I would get murdered in the second stage and stop throwing away my money. The Anthology allows me to play until my fingers bleed and I don't have to keep pumping the machine full or quarters. The collection plays well but I'm a little bummed about there being load times on some of the games but not others. I guess there is just more happening in the later games. But, for $20 this is an excellent addition to any gamers collection.

As for Guilty Gear, I had never played a game in the series prior to this one and I figured for $10 I was curious enough to give it a go. I'm just playing through the Arcade Mode for now to get a hang of things and I gotta say that the fighting system is pretty deep. The last fighting system that I learnt was Soul Calibur and that is completely different from what Guilty Gear has to offer. I've only tried to play through Arcade Mode twice (with the same character) and I find that once I get to the last few stages the game's difficulty rating sky rockets and I have no chance of winning. I managed to get to the last fighter and after 45 frustrating minutes of getting nowhere, I decided to turn it off. I think the only thing keeping me invested for that long was the thought of having to start all over again. I'm determined to master it though, but I don't know when I will get the chance. The art and music in the game are both impressive and for those who are unaware, the game's creators borrowed a lot of elements from metal and rock music to create the characters. Nothing like a character shredding a killer guitar solo after winning a match.

So in addition to finishing Punch-Out!! and Guilty Gear I picked up Metroid Other M yesterday and I'll present a full review of the game once I've played through it. From some of the reviews I've read it seems like people have a problem with the story and the cinematics but the gameplay is amazing. So far I like what I am seeing and I'm not really sure what they're talking about as far as the story goes. I can't outright call them crazy until I finish the game though, so I will reserve my comments for a later date. Other than that, I might rent a copy of Sin & Punishment 2 to give that a shot and maybe come Christmas time I'll have a copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2 (and/or Donkey Kong Country Wii) to keep me entertained through the long Canadian Winter.

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