Archive for the ‘Now Playing (Video Game Reviews)’ Category

Back in 1989, a video game came along and changed the way we view games forever. Disney and Capcom took us on a journey to the land of Duckburg, but that was only the beginning. The real adventure was soon to follow that took us everywhere from the Amazon all the way too the Moon itself. All of this while singing that all too familiar tune.

Life is like a hurricane
Here in Duckburg
Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes
It’s a duck blur
You might solve a mystery
Or rewrite history

DuckTales, Woo-oo!
Everyday they’re out there making
DuckTales, Woo-oo!
Tales of daring do bad and good luck tales, Woo-oo!

D-D-D-danger, watch behind you
There’s a stranger out to find you
What to do?
Just grab onto some

DuckTales, Woo-oo!
Everyday they’re out there making
DuckTales, Woo-oo!
Tales of daring do bad and good luck tales, Woo-oo!
Not pony tails, or cotton tails, no
DuckTales, Woo-oo!

Now I’ve never played the original game on the NES, but I do know about DuckTales. This means that this remastered version of the original game is all new to me and I like it. The Disney fan in me enjoyed watching the television series back in the day featuring the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and the gang scouring the world for legendary treasure. There was also something else I’ve always wanted to do. That would be diving into a massive vault of coins just like Scrooge McDuck. Sadly, there’s no way to perform this act in real life, but I can live the fantasy here in DuckTales Remastered, and it’s awesome!

The first thing that impressed me with DuckTales Remastered are the high definition visuals. Everything from the characters to the jaw-dropping levels themselves look absolutely fantastic. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All the original actors of the show are also back reprising their roles for the game giving voices to the characters during all the cutscenes. The overall atmosphere gives me the impression that I’m participating in an actual episode of the hit animated series. Now that is a real treat for fans like myself, because this takes the DuckTales experience to a completely new level.

Platforming is the name of the game here in DuckTales, and it’s well executed as Scrooge uses his cane as a pogo stock for jumping on enemies and completes some simple puzzle solving. Considering the fact that this is a Disney game, don’t expect DuckTales to be some easy romp even though it does follow the main 8-bit rule of “If you lose all your lives you must start over”. I would keep that in mind especially in boss battles. These battles can be a bit of chore since memorization of their attacks is needed for survival. Remember that less stress equals more fun.

Throughout my adventure I would come across random treasure chests randomly appearing out of nowhere containing health and other riches. Gems also sometimes appeared as I walked by. This just goes to show that wherever Scrooge McDuck walks money is sure to follow. As I collected the money I was able to spend it in the gallery mode where I can unlock concept art, music, and more showing the rich history of the game. I really like seeing how the game has evolved from it’s 8-bit beginnings to the current generation consoles.

DuckTales may be a near perfect port of the original game, but there is one area of concern that will have fans scratching their heads. This would have to do with the game’s length. The levels in DuckTales Remastered have been extended in some areas, because the original NES game didn’t take very long to finish. This new version of DuckTales can be finished within a couple of hours which might have some fans wondering if the nostalgia trip is worth the $14.99 price tag. I think that some won’t care, because it’s DuckTales. However, others will probably wait for a sale.

As a trip down memory lane, DuckTales Remastered shines with it’s high definition visuals, and making me feel like I’m in an episode of the show. The platforming is fantastic, and at times can be quite challenging, but it’s not entirely frustrating. The game’s length may be it’s only setback, but it didn’t hold me back from buying it. Besides, it’s not very often that I get to “solve a mystery, or rewrite history!”

DuckTales, Woo-oo!

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Developer: Capcom, Disney, WayForward
Platform: PlayStation 3, PSN
Players: 1
Price: $14.99

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I think I can say that I’m a little obsessed when it comes to the original Plants vs Zombies game. I became so addicted to the garden defense gameplay to the point that I had to own the game on every platform in my possession including my iPhone, iPad, and Xbox 360. I almost purchased it on PlayStation 3, but I was able to calm my gardening urges. With that said it looked like my obsession would finally calm down, but all of that would soon change when a certain sequel would arrive on my iPad and iPhone. Plants vs Zombies 2. The Crazy Dave in me has once again resurfaced as my obsession to defend my lawn against the endless zombie horde is back. Why? Because I’m crazy!

Plants vs Zombies 2, from PopCap Games, is a free-to-play game available exclusively on iOS devices. Wait a minute! A game published by EA is free? Did I just step in to the Twilight Zone? EA and free are two words that never go together. There’s got to be a catch. Well believe it or not there is no catch, no pop-up screens demanding money, or lite version of the game. Plants vs Zombies 2 is considered a “freemium” title where I can play the entire zombie defense game without spending a dime, but there are options available in the store for me to spend my hard earned money for some new plants or upgrades if I choose to, however it’s not required.

Just like the original game, Plants vs Zombies 2 still had me eliminating the zombie horde by using my army of plants and endless sunshine against them. Basically, it’s the same addicting game that I’ve been playing for the past couple of years. Just like the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. While the original game had me defending my home, the sequel had me going back in time to destroy the zombies in places including Ancient Egypt and The Old West. Each of these new stages looks colorful and fun, and I also like the Super Mario Bros. style overworld map for stage selection.

With a new game comes new plants to choose from. I did have some favorites to mix things up on my battlefield with my peashooters and sunflowers. I had a blast with the Bloomerang allowing me to hit zombies with boomerangs, the Bonkchoy which threw punches, and the Coconut Cannon shot coconuts for some big damage. While those plants were fun to use, the one I enjoyed the most was the Snapdragon. Any plant that can shoot fire across three rows is awesome in my book. Also added to the game was plant food which is obtained from killing the glowing zombies. Using plant food on one of my plants granted them momentary beefed up abilities to help take down a large wave of zombies.

While the gameplay is addicting and fun, there was one thing I didn’t like and that had to do with the store. One of things I noticed in the store was some plants that can be used in the game for a fee. These old favorites in including the Snow Pea, Jalapeño, and Squash would be really useful but they’re costly. I guess losing some helpful plants is the trade off between having a free game, and one that would cost a bit of money. Then again I do like some of the new plants so I probably won’t miss them that much. I can always play the original game.

Plants vs Zombies 2 is more of the same, but this same is still addicting and fun with tons of replay value. It’s a game where it doesn’t matter what skill level you are, because it’s casual enough for anyone to pick up and play, and have a good time. I didn’t care about the story, but I still love Crazy Dave and his antics. The zombies are also humorous and at times can put up quite a challenge. The best part about the game is that it’s free, so there’s no reason for anybody to not download this game.

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Developer: PopCap Games
Platform: iPad, iPhone
Players: 1
Price: Free

If you asked me a couple of months ago about the game Dragon’s Crown I would respond to you with this phrase. “What’s Dragon’s Crown?” Before E3 I had no clue about this game, but during the show I became more aware about this action/role playing adventure. However, most media members were paying more attention to a certain Sorceress’ large rack. Breasts aside, as the professional journalist that I am, I was able to look past the succulent tits and focus in on what’s important. What I can tell you is that beneath all the scrutiny Dragon’s Crown is actually a very entertaining fantasy adventure filled with tons of action as well as satisfaction.

Developed by Vanillaware, most known for games including Odin’s Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Dragon’s Crown is a hack-n-slash brawler featuring six adventurers on a quest for the Dragon’s Crown which is said to give them control of a dragon. Considering the fact that I’m a veteran of titles like Golden Axe, Dungeons & Dragons, and numerous Gauntlet games I found myself quite comfortable with the brawling style that’s presented in Dragon’s Crown. The combat moves are very simplistic to perform which never left me frustrated at any point during the game including the epic boss battles. Truth be said, once I started playing Dragon’s Crown I became addicted.

On this adventure six classes were available for me to select from. Right off the bat I chose the Fighter which looks like a badass knight. I was able to customize my character in terms of name, colors, and creative messages (I did a few Gauntlet ones for the nostalgia). The Fighter is more of a “tank” character allowing me to get a feel of the game. Then I started playing as the other characters testing out their unique strengths and weaknesses. Characters including the Dwarf and Amazon are also good starters with their melee and limited magic attacks. As for the other characters the Elf is great at ranged attacks with her bow. The Warrior and Sorceress are both weak in terms of melee attacking, but are awesome with their wide range of powerful magic attacks as well as summoning the dead to fight for them.

Questing in Dragon’s Crown can be achieved in solo gameplay which allows me to work on character progression as well as allowing the selfish part of me to keep all the loot I earn. I can also gain companions that I resurrect from the dead to join me on quests along with a rogue thief to open treasure chests. Of course this game is also even better with a few friends to join in on the adventure. Dragon’s Crown excels with both couch and online co-op for up to four players. There is a catch. The ability to play online is an unlockable option so I needed to gain some experience first before joining others. At first I thought this sucked because I wanted to join the online arena right away, but I guess having some battle experience was much better than questing with a bunch of noobies who’ll die more than actually help.

Now if there’s one thing that I really love about Dragon’s Crown it would have to be the artwork. Game creator and lead artist George Kamitani has created some absolutely stunning hand drawn visuals that are nothing short of breathtaking. When I would clear a room full of enemies I would just take a moment and stare at the beautiful backgrounds in 1080p. Character design is also well done, but also features the game’s biggest scrutiny around mostly female characters like the big breasted Sorceress. Kamitani has stated that he “wanted his game to stand out.” Well congratulations George because you definitely succeeded in that. I know there are people who may not like some of the female poses that look a little oversexed, but honestly it’s just art. The way I see it is that art is meant to be looked at as well as appreciated or even scrutinized. In the case of Kamitani’s depictions of the female body featured here in Dragon’s Crown (from the Sorceress’ huge breasts to other females in rather compromising positions) keep in mind that this is a fantasy game so this shouldn’t be treated as such a big deal. Then again I’m a guy, and I’m sure most females would probably disagree with my opinion.

With all the fun that was had in Dragon’s Crown from all the questing, killing, and looting I did unfortunately have one gripe. When multiple characters were on the screen (either teammates or enemies) things can get quite chaotic as I would lose focus on where I was in the battle. At times battles can get very involving (especially in multiplayer) where there is so much action taking place on the screen. I love seeing all the magic attacks and the huge bosses at the end of each level, but there was a moment or two where I was lost in the shuffle and I didn’t notice where my character was which led to a few cheap deaths as well as a misuse of health potions. Given the fact that I have unlimited lives this concern was only a minor inference, because I was just too busy having fun while collecting some epic loot.

What was once considered “under the radar”, Dragon’s Crown has jolted into the spotlight and it’s praises are well deserved. This fantasy action/role playing game is a lot of fun to play and features nearly endless replay value with multiple difficulties unlocking when completing the game. I also liked the bonus art book (sadly no hardcover) that I received for pre-ordering the game early because the art looks absolutely fantastic. For those who deem the game’s artistic depiction as “gross” or “immature” need to stop being so politically correct, and just desensitize yourself while enjoying the game for what it is.

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Developer: Atlus, Vanillaware
Platform: PlayStation 3
Players: 1-4
Price: $49.99

It has felt like an eternity, but Irrational Games has finally announced their DLC plans for Bioshock Infinite. For a while I was regretting my Season Pass purchase since there was no new content, but now I can see why it’s been taking so long. The upcoming single player story content entitled “Burial at Sea” looks absolutely amazing as I’ll get to return to the familiar surroundings of the underwater city of Rapture. Sadly, since that DLC won’t release until further down the road, Irrational Games has released something to hold gamers like myself over. Clash in the Clouds has arrived, and the new content feels like something very familiar that I’ve played many times before, but it’s unfortunately not the DLC that I was hoping for.

Clash in the Clouds basically sums up as the equivalent to Horde Mode found in Gears of War and the Zombie Mode in Call of Duty. Featuring four brand new maps, the goal was to clear waves of increasing enemies. Now I know I’ve done shit like this plenty of times before in other games, but I can assure you that Bioshock Infinite‘s take on the popular game mode is quite interesting and at times can be fun. Why? Well that’s because I get to use more than just conventional weapons. I’ve also got vigors as well as Elizabeth creating tears allowing me to add strategy to my attack patterns that include more than just point and shoot.

After customizing my weapon loadout at the Columbian Archaeological Society it was off to battle against the horde. Early on the waves were pretty simple allowing me to get comfortable with my surroundings as well as work on some combo play with my guns and vigors. Then all of a sudden the kitchen sink was thrown at me. Motorized Patriots, Handymen, and all the other big boys were coming out to play. Business was definitely picking up and all I can say to myself was “It’s on!” With each kill I made money was earned plus I looted corpses for some extra bonuses of ammo, health, and money. Speaking of extra bonuses, there are also Blue Ribbon Challenges for each wave. Each wave features a specific task for me to complete all for that extra cash as well as a blue ribbon for the accomplishment.

What I got a kick out of during my gameplay sessions was taking out soldiers from the skyline as well as using the Undertow vigor. What I really enjoyed was experimenting with different weapon and vigor combinations that I didn’t use in the main campaign. I will mention that the Blue Ribbon Challenges are tough, but quite exhilarating at the same time when I accomplished them. Elizabeth was also extremely helpful with the tears as well as handing me extra ammo and health when I needed it most. One thing I would recommend to everyone is get to know the layout of each map first before worrying about earning those elusive blue ribbons. It will all come in due time.

Another good thing that makes Clash in the Clouds a step above the other horde mode based games is what I got to do with all the money I earned. The money is not just points for leaderboard positioning, although I think that leaderboards are pretty pointless these days. I got to use my hard earned cash at vending machines to purchase weapon and vigor upgrades, stage unlocks, and even extra lives. I can also use it to purchase items to put on display at the museum. Ok, I know that all these museum trinkets sound pretty useless, but there is a reward for purchasing them all: a nice PlayStation bronze trophy.

For those of us like me who purchased the Season Pass for Bioshock Infinite Clash in the Clouds is considered somewhat of a disappointment after the long wait. I’m not saying that the new content sucks, because this horde mode style gameplay is fun with the combined use of weapons, melee attacks, vigors, and Elizabeth’s very useful tears as I eliminated enemies in style. Finding new and creative ways to lay waste on my foes as well as earning the blue ribbons was also a nice plus. While Clash in the Clouds is fun I can only recommend it to those who have the Season Pass (since it’s free) and to those who enjoy horde mode style of gameplay. For everyone else it’s more of a pass. In the end, all this DLC has done for me is anticipate the release of Burial at Sea just a little bit more.

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Developer: Irrational Games
Platform: PlayStation 3
Players: 1
Price: $4.99

“Bring us the girl, and wipe away the debt”

Back in 2007, Irrational Games took me on a journey. A journey under the sea. Rapture. A once great utopia that sadly morphed into the asylum of horrors. Andrew Ryan’s dream turned into a nightmare with a population full of plasmid induced Splicers, Big Daddies, and Little Sisters. Yeah, things went really bad in this underwater city, but I was eventually able to break free of the terrors that were before me. Fast forward to today and Irrational Games is sending me on a new adventure, but this time I’m no longer under the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Now it’s time to head above the clouds. Welcome to Columbia.

Bioshock Infinite has me playing through the eyes of the main protagonist Booker DeWitt, a former soldier and detective, now a private investigator in New York City. Booker is charged by the Luteces with a mission to make his way to the floating city of Columbia, and bring back a young woman named Elizabeth who is held captive there. Along the way Booker, as well as the rescued Elizabeth, will come under fire from rivaling factions plus a few other surprises like the Motorized Patriot with a George Washington head, Handymen, and even the main antagonist himself Father Zachary Hale Comstock.

Just like the underwater city of Rapture before it, the floating city of Columbia is absolutely breathtaking. The beginning of the game took me on that all too familiar ride to give me an overall look of the city. While I do believe that Rapture’s epic introduction was a little bit better than this one I was still taken by Columbia’s overall appearance. I just couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the sheer size and the use of color which was something that the the Art Deco look of Rapture somewhat lacked. While roaming the city streets, and floating buildings, I was amazed with the population of it’s citizens as there was singing, dancing, and relaxation. Columbia definitely looked like a utopia of peace even though the stench of evil is also entrenched from deep within.

Gameplay has not changed much from the original Bioshock. Combat is still in the first person perspective featuring my usual array of pistols, shotguns, rifles, machine guns, and more. Guns sure are a dime a dozen in this game, but sadly I could only carry two weapons at a time. Compared to the first two games where I carried an arsenal I hated feeling limited to only a very small selection of firepower, however I was already used to this formula with shooters including Battlefield, Call of Duty, and even Halo so this wasn’t a big deal. Plasmids are also back once again, but are now known as Vigors which bring forth the elemental attacks. Vigors include Fire, electricity, possession, summoning crows, and so much more allowing me to differentiate my attack patterns as well as strategize for success. I also had some fun on the skylines as I shot my guns, used my vigors, and melee attacked various enemies from above. The skylines make for a fun ride as well as a new attack perspective.

What truly makes Bioshock Infinite unique has to deal with the character of Elizabeth. When I first encountered Elizabeth I had the first impression that she was sort of like a Disney princess type of character. In a way she has that Disney look and feel, but as I continued playing I realized that she was more than just a typical cookie cutter princess character whose hand was my job to hold. Elizabeth as a character is awesome, and actually became the biggest help I ever had. When I was in a pinch she would throw me helpful items like salts for vigors, ammo, lockpicks, and even money. She even creates tears in the environment which are a sight to behold. Elizabeth made me wish that all other characters that I had to escort were this helpful.

If there is one thing that I really have to commend Irrational Games for it would have to be not including a multiplayer mode. I love that they focused in on the single player aspect of the game just like the original masterpiece. This allowed for a deeper story that is one of the year’s best. DLC is also starting to finally trickle in with the release of “Clash in the Clouds” which is a collection of four challenge maps in the style of Gears of War‘s famous Horde Mode. Also planned for release down the road is a new story DLC called “Burial at Sea” which is a two part story set in another dimension featuring Booker and Elizabeth in Rapture just one night before the fall of the underwater city. So far I have to say that things are looking quite good.

Bioshock Infinite is a story filled with action, suspense, intrigue, and even just a bit of horror all wrapped up in a nice package. Sure there is a bit of controversy intertwined within the story in terms of race and religion, but that didn’t steer me away from this delightful game. Just turn off your somewhat sensitized mind and enjoy the experience. The main campaign, along with the DLC, makes for plenty of replay value for many months to come. Might I suggest 1999 Mode for a real challenge. Bioshock Infinite is clearly a game that is more than just for fans of the franchise. If you haven’t bought this game yet (it’s been available since March 26 so what are you waiting for?) I definitely recommend you getting it right now as well as the Season Pass.

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Developer: Irrational Games
Platform: PlayStation 3
Players: 1
Price: $59.99

Awakening from my container I found myself looking for a way out. However, I realized that I wasn’t alone. There were others. Surprisingly, they all looked just like me. Slightly pudgy body with big green Sam Fisher style goggles that all of a sudden turned red when I was in the light. At this point I began to wonder if I was me, or if I was just another fabricated clone. Well I can’t think too much about that now, because I need to find a way out of the madness. Is there an exit, or is this just another test? Will there be…cake?

Featuring 80 levels of brain melting puzzle madness that tested both my mind, and my patience, Stealth Inc.: A Clone In The Dark, from Curve Studios, charged me with the mission to find a way out. What really jumped into my mind was that while I was playing Stealth Inc. I couldn’t help but compare the game’s similarities to another puzzle masterpiece simply known as Portal.  Let’s do a quick head count shall we. Unknown protagonist, companion cube like moveable blocks, turrets, portal style teleporter pads, and a silent AI antagonist similar to the evil sarcastic style of GLaDOS. Yes, Stealth Inc. has a lot in common with Valve’s juggernaut. However, before I call this game a 2-D Portal clone there is something that separates this indie gem from the mega-hit retail game. Stealth.

Not to be confused with the likes of the Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell series, Stealth Inc. had me working in the shadows of darkness to achieve my goals. Each stage is well lit up, but also features items where I could create shadows so that the cameras couldn’t see me while I was hacking consoles to keep progressing through the levels. The key to safety and success depended all on the color of my goggles. While the goggles are green I was somewhat safe. Once they turned red it became run and hide, because death was imminent especially if there’s a camera around. Getting spotted by these would activate various death traps including lasers or closing walls which would leave me as nothing more than a blood stain on the wall.

Stealth Inc. basically boils down to the type of game where trial and error plays a huge role upon success. Death is a commonality as I found my blood splattered everywhere. While death sucks, and doing it multiple times can lead to frustration, the good news is that I get unlimited lives (hence the term clones) along with a checkpoint with each terminal I hack in to. Death no longer becomes a moment of rage. Instead it becomes a learning experience which will also help in future levels so that I don’t get vaporized by a laser or torn to shreds from a buzzsaw. Along with my successes came unlocked equipment allowing me to retackle levels with a bit of an added advantage including enabling a limited camouflage when I was in the light to summoning extra clones to cause a distraction while achieving my goals.

While Stealth Inc. kept me busy with it’s challenging puzzles, I did eventually stumble upon another unique feature. A level creator. Yes, now I can create my own frustrating puzzles to really challenge my brain as well as my reflexes. Every tool that was in the game is also at my fingertips as I worked my own cleverness and devious mischief into making levels all with the goal of frustrating others. Sadly, I then found out that I can’t share my evil genius with the online community. What the fuck! Are you kidding me? Why did the developers not consider this when games like Little Big Planet and Trials Evolution allow players to share their custom levels with the world? Might I suggest a future patch to make this happen.

Challenging gameplay, mind bending puzzles, and a fun level creator. Stealth Inc. has it all. Replay value is high with stars and ranks to obtain, unlockables to earn, and leaderboards to show skill and superiority. Sure the trial and error style gameplay will have some players throwing their controllers and yelling tons of obscenities at their television screens, but there is still fun to be had as well as the eventual sigh of relief when making it through a tough level. Remember that key word “fun” while constantly dying yet still learning at the same time, because that’s what games are really all about.

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Developer: Curve Studios
Platform: PlayStation 3, PSN
Players: 1
Price: $9.99

My memories of Metal Gear date back to 1998 when I played the original Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation. Right from the get go I was hooked. An amazing story, excellent stealth action, and plenty of challenges and surprises around every corner. Seeing the exclamation point show up over a soldier’s head, and the all too familiar noise that followed, was a treat even though I knew that I was in trouble, and don’t get me started on the boss battle with Psycho Mantis. Eventually I figured it out. Metal Gear Solid was the type of game that I could play over and over again and never get bored. Then the sequel came along on PlayStation 2, and the hits just kept on coming even though most of the game centered around a ridiculously complicated plot and a new character named Raiden. Yes, that sequel racked my brain, but the gameplay was awesome. Sadly, those were the only two Metal Gear games I played until now.

Now the Metal Gear series is back in a brand new collection…again.

Back in 2011 the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection was released. I picked it up on my Xbox 360 and was enjoying all the sweet action, but something was missing. That would be the original Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 4. Series creator, Hideo Kojima, said it would be impossible to bring MGS 4 to the Xbox 360 due to the sheer size of the game. Just too many discs compared to the one Blu-Ray on the PS3. As for the original Metal Gear Solid, well it wasn’t coming either. The HD Collection just felt incomplete. Fast forward to today with The Legacy Collection, exclusively on PlayStation 3, which brings all the Metal Gear games together giving me the complete experience I’ve always wanted along with the opportunity to play a game that I missed out on. Metal Gear Solid 4.

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection packs in a lot of bang for the buck. Eight Metal Gear games along with a pair of graphic novels illustrated by Ashley Wood. Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, and Peace Walker are the exact same HD versions from the previous collection. Metal Gear Solid 4 is the trophy edition which pleases the “achievement whore” in me. The original Metal Gear Solid and the VR Missions are available via a voucher code downloadable through the PlayStation Store. Unfortunately these two games feature no HD makeover. Sure these games look pretty dated compared to today’s high definition environment, but I’m ok with that. All I cared about was playing the games.

The one area where the Metal Gear Solid games really hold up through all these years is in the gameplay department. Stealth is the name of the game so accomplishing my missions a little more “quietly” than what I’m used to is a challenge. While running and gunning is more “me” I still had no problem sneaking around taking enemies out, or holding them up and watch them shake out useful items and dog tags while begging me not to kill them. The controls did take some time for me to get used to mostly because I haven’t played these games in so long. At times I found myself wasting precious ammo, or accidently using a ration or two when I didn’t need it. Of course these situations were better than the worst case scenario of getting caught and having to deal with heavily armored soldiers. Overall, the controls work the best in MGS 4 and in Peace Walker with the use of the dual analog sticks for looking and movement. Most importantly, the easier to learn controls in these games also allowed me to appreciate the evolution of the gameplay mechanics from the past to the present.

More than just the games, the Ashley Wood illustrated graphic novels are the icing on the cake in this collection. The graphic novels tell the story of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2. Each feature all the amazing artwork along with music and sound effects for that added pleasure. As much as I enjoy playing the game more, I couldn’t help but exit the game just to watch this, because it’s so awesome! Since I’ve played and beaten both games there’s no spoilers, but I wished it would help soften the blow of the complex plot details during the second half of Metal Gear Solid 2. Oh well. I guess beggars can’t be choosers, but this collection does let me have my cake and eat it too. However, I do have one complaint about the art book that is included with this set. Why no hardcover? A flimsy softcover book for 100 pages of spectacular artwork should not be showcased in something that looks rather cheap.

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection is the ultimate in fan service to a series that’s been around for more than a quarter of a century. It’s a series filled with so many great moments like epic boss battles against elite soldiers and huge Metal Gears. There’s the very long Codec sequences that sometimes divulge tons of complicated plot information that some players try to find a way to skip through, but shouldn’t. There’s also the most ridiculous of moments like Solid Snake jerking off in locker to a picture of a half naked woman all while delivering his “O-Face” to Otacon on the Codec in Metal Gear Solid 2 (seriously I can’t make that up, but you do earn a trophy for it). Make no mistake, this collection is not a holdover to hype me up for the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. This collection is meant to tell the epic story of war, honor, love, and saving the world. It’s also Hideo Kojima’s way of saying “thank you” to the many fans, including myself, that support his and his team’s hard work

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Developer: Konami
Platform: PlayStation 3
Players: 1-6 (online multiplayer, Peace Walker)
Price: $49.99