A few thoughts on what's been in my systems lately:
* If you have a PS2 and haven't bought Virtua Fighter 4 yet, you're missing out. This one is the Mother of All Fighting Games.
The gameplay is extraordinarily deep (like other VF games and then some), but just the AI mode alone made me pick this up. You can train a CPU fighter literally from scratch -- it learns from your moves in sparring/replays and your approval/disapproval of its attempts, and can be sent into any of the other modes as a standalone fighter.
Imagine this -- assume that a friend of mine has VF4, and he can kick my tail with Jacky at will. I can train an AI Jacky to fight like my friend does (or he can), then use that character as a sparring partner to work out counters to my friend's style and mannerisms. Meanwhile, he's doing the same to my favorites, and so on... or we can just put AI vs. AI and see who's a better manager. WAY cool!
Kumite mode puts you in a Japanese arcade, with an endless series of challengers -- you never know who'll be next in line, what skills they'll have or what character they'll use. In this mode, you can unlock up to 30-50 add-ons per character; new outfits, accessories, etc., as well as earning ranks. It's sort of like a chess ranking system applied to a fighting game, and it adds serious replay value.
If you don't have a PS2, what are you waiting for? Between this and Grand Theft Auto 3, there are weeks of your life waiting to be wasted here.
* On a slightly more cerebral level, I gave Star Ocean 2 another try recently. Tons of talk, but the skill system is rather nifty, and 80+ possible endings gives just a BIT of incentive to go through more than once...
* On a slightly less cerebral level, Serious Sam: The First Encounter is down to sub-$10 in stores now. If you liked the original Duke Nukem, grab this if you don't have it already. Raw action with a great sense of humor.
HELLO KITTY gang terrorizes city, family STICKERED to death!
I'm currently in the process of evaluating the new crop of baseball games for PS2.
All-Star Baseball appears to have a great Expansion/Franchise mode, but it's only for one person. And the announcing is not great -- Brenneman and Lyons. I mean, Triple Play I think has Costas and Harold Reynolds.
Other than those, nothing floating my boat these days. And I still can't get over how pedestrian MSG2 was.
"The best reason for committing loathsome & detestable acts -and let's face it, I am considerably something of an expert in the field - is purely for their own sake. Monetary gain is all very well, but it dilutes the tastes of wickedness to a lower level that is obtainable by anyone will an overdeveloped sense of avarice. True and baseless evil is as rare as the purest good - and we all know how rare THAT is." - Acheron Hades, THE EYRE AFFAIR by Jaspar Fforde
Am currently playing Metal Gear Solid 2 (it was only recently released in the UK) and while I'm enjoying it I feel a little underwhelmed. There is so much FMV to plough through it feels way too passive at times, and I forget I'm playing a game and feel like I'm watching a movie. What there is gameplay wise is great, there's just this detached feeling I can't shake. Plus on top of that, there hasn't been anything as blow away as the Psycho Mantis battle(Fission Mailed was neat but wasn't in the same league), perhaps it's just that there was so much to live up to, especially with all the hype, that MGS2 was always going to be a let down.
Of course I may just be bitter that you don't get to play as Snake all the way through .
"Nobody enjoys a good time more than I do, but this business of yours is as legitimate as a three-legged donkey...which of course is illegitimate because as we all know donkeys have four legs."
I'm waiting for the Nintendo GameCube to come out in Australia. May 17th that is. Good lord. Does anyone know why it is coming out so late in Australia and Europe after the November US realease?
Also, I can't wait for GTA3 to come out on the PC. The game is going to rock on my all-singing all-dancing PC!
PS2 owners, I recommend getting Deus Ex when it comes out. Played the PC version and the PS2 version should be better. It's the best game I've EVER played. The story is really good and will have you hooked. Plus, the game has more shocking swerves than Russo can book in a 2hr show!
Originally posted by Fazzle*does his generic "Eh, it's a FPS, so I don't like it" response*
While I understand your FPS skepticism, that game was so much more than an FPS. To give it a wrestling analogy, it was like Austin/Angle, but with the buildup of Flair/UT. Hell, it was Savage/Steamboat with the markout value of Hogan/Warrior.
"The thing about gambling is... you gotta be ready to lose. You got 21? I got 22. You got Blackjack? I got two of those." Jake "The Snake" Roberts
I just started playing Dynasty Warriors 3, and man does that game rock. It's no Halo or GTA 3, but seeing 30 Yellow Turban soldiers fall to one swipe of your blade has to make you smile. I had heard good things about DW 2 and 3, but I put off playing them because DW 1 was just a really shitty fighting game with a RotTK undertone.
You can't fool me Palpatine! It's still a FPS, it still sucks!
(besides, I own it, I got it free with one of my hardware devices, I forget which one)
Since this seems to have delved into the random game reccomendation thread, I guess it's my turn to say something about a game.
Pac-Man World 2 is shockingly good, especially for a "nostalgia" game. You know the kind, the one where the only marketing tool the companies use is reminding you how good a game with the same name USED to be.
If, for nothing else, this game is cool just because of the arcade. It's got unlockable versions of Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Attack, and Pac-Mania.
I got SSX Tricky for PS2 about a month ago...This game is really addictive. It's tough and a little frustrating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll lose hours trying to beat your high scores. Awesome game.
I'm FINALLY going to get GTA3 next week. You guys really know how to make a guy who doesn't have it feel REALLY uncool. :)
"I'm more confused than Scott Hall in a parking lot" - Joshua Grutman
I got Tiger Woods 2002 for PS2, which I *love*, and Knockout Kings 2002, which I'm unsure about, but only because I seem to suck at it.
They changed the gameplay on KK02 so it's completely analog which is kind of cool but now you have to nudge the stick *chuckle* to duck instead of pushing the L2 button, which is *now* a low blow, leading to several DQs early in my career.
On the plus side, the career mode is a bit better with a fighting pyramid instead of the old "fight the guy ranked ahead of you even if you have no chance because we won't let you fight anyone else" method. They got rid of the training mode, which I liked, and now when you box there is no damage bar (unless you set it) so you have to judge by your opponent's appearance how he's doing.
Like I said, TW2002 is waaaaaay better, and I've been playing that and GTA3 (damn Espresso-2-go mission!) with some NHL 2002 and FIFA 2002 sprinkled in pretty much non-stop.
I rented Triple Play 2002 and was pretty much non-plussed about it. Anyone (Mark?) tried out High Heat 2003 yet?
Originally posted by FazzleIf, for nothing else, this game is cool just because of the arcade. It's got unlockable versions of Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Attack, and Pac-Mania.
What? No Super Pac-Man with the gigantic Pac that couldn't fit through the maze? If you could unlock Pac-Baby, however, I would be impressed.
[Edit] Has anybody played 989's Final Four 2002 for PS2? I heard March Madness absolutely sucked, and while Final Four isn't the greatest, it's better, at least... I'm really, really, really jonesing for a college hoops game.
(edited by shotgun_russ on 27.3.02 1743)
Managing Editor www.shotgunreviews.com
"Where the women are hot,
the men fight zombies,
and the monkeys live like kings."
Hot Shots Golf 3 for the PS2. You should all play it, it's pretty good.
Hey, X-Boxers or (former?) Dreamcasters- do you any of you own one of the UFC titles? I've been contemplating the mechanics of the sport and wondered how well it'd translate to a game. I've been following the progress of UFC Throwdown for the PS2, and it sounds somewhat promising.
I really have no interest in UFC at all... but then again, I hated Nascar, and I *heart* Nascar Thunder 2002.
EDIT: Hey Russ... my friends and I rented NCAA March Madness 2002 for the PS2. The mechanics are fairly similar to that of NBA Live 2002 (which a lot of people don't like, but I do) aside from a bunch of new animations (more fluid, less teleportation), a smoother framerate, and the "cool the first time but VERY annoying afterwards" shattering of the backboards. The gameplay options are pretty limited- you're stuck with either playing an exhibition game or running the Tournament. No season play at all to boost/lower your national ranking, which sucks. On the bright side, they do have a create-a-college which is kinda cool, but it's fairly limited. It looks like a total rush job that somebody just wanted to get out before the real tourney started.
Final Four seems to have more in the features department, considering it's career mode where you're basically in the role of a coach, staying for years and years, only to see your guys jump from being tarnished bluechip freshmen to the NBA Draft so they can get picked 57th in the 2nd round. It's a different take on the franchise mode- no trades to be found, your players just get sucked into nothingness, which seems kinda cool to me. The graphics do look pretty damn bad, to me, though. Almost like a PS1 game, and that's pretty bad. I'd definitely give either one a rent before making a move either way.
I only go down there once a year for work now, so I'm sure others will have better answers than me, but if you want to spend the money, The US National Whitewater Center (usnwc.org) is a fun place to go.