Posts Tagged ‘Konami’

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

GAME STATUS: Completed and won on multiple game modes
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 8 out of 12 (90 Gamerscore)

For my original review of Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition click HERE.

I crossed through rush hour traffic. I braved the raging rivers. I survived diving turtles, crocs, otters, and snakes. I even got foggy style with some female frogs as I took them to my lily pad across the river. Frogger is classic and fun, but will the Hyper Arcade Edition join Pac-Man Championship Edition as an awesome remake? Well here’s my post thoughts.

In the early going, I was impressed with the new version of the classic Frogger. Zombie Studios brought the classic gameplay (which I loved) and upgraded the look even going as far as creating theme options based on Konami classics Castlevania, Contra, and Dance Dance Revolution. These new themes were nice to play for a game or two, but lost their luster after that as I moved back to the original look. The music selection was pretty good with some electronic and dubstep beats giving me an extra hop to my step as I rocked my way to the lily pads.

As for the other gameplay modes. Well just like the classic themes they only hold their value for just a few games and become completely forgettable later. Games modes like Battle Royale, Paint, and Tile Capture get really boring after awhile. I did assign bots for some sort of challen ge, but I got none. It became too easy. What would’ve made this better would be some sort of online multiplayer which would keep anyone playing for an extra week or two. Couch multiplayer and bot play can only do so much.

DO I CONTINUE TO RISK BECOMING POSSIBLE ROADKILL?

Frogger was a lot of fun in my earlier gaming days, but now it doesn’t feel quite the same to me. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still play the classic arcade game (which I still have on my hard drive), but the Pac-Man Championship Edition style makeover was not really needed. It’s just one Frogger version too many yet I have four versions of Pac-Man on my hard drive. Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition was fun while it lasted, but it’s not a game that’s going to stay on my hard drive. Consider this frog retired and the game deleted.

Developer: Konami, Zombie Studios
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-4 (Local Multiplayer)
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)

Why did the frog cross the road?

Thirty years later, we’re still answering that question on why a frog is crazy enough to hop through rush hour traffic and a river filled with logs and alligators all for the prize of a casual lily pad. Maybe even a female frog to share it with. Love sure makes a frog go wild now doesn’t it. Then again the same goes for humens and the classic arcade game. Just ask George Costanza from Seinfeld.

Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition, from Konami and Zombie Studios, takes the classic game I loved since the arcade and Atari 2600 days and gives it a Pac-Man Championship Edition style upgrade. I went into this game with rather low expectations thinking that the game might suck, but after a couple of hours trying out all the different game modes I started to get hooked. This game is a lot better than I thought.

Sticking to the classic formula, Frogger will have you crossing the street and raging river to the lily pad. Sure the classic gameplay is fun, but this Hyper Edition has so much more to offer. New to the game is Challenge Mode, Tile Capture, Battle Royale, Lady Frog Rescue, Paint, Twin Frogger and Frogger Freak Out. Other than the single player game the Hyper Arcade Edition features plenty of local or CPU controlled bots in mulltiplayer action. My favorites included Tile Capture with tons of frantic action and Battle Royale with some Frogger style deathmatch action. Paint is also good in single player which brings a bit of a puzzle element to the game.

Another great feature to this game is the addition of some Konami themed backgrounds including Castlevania, Contra, and Dance Dance Revolution just to name a few. Hopefully you remember the Konami Code to unlock Contra. If you don’t then you might want to click the link for the code. These themed levels really triggered the nostaglic side of me and were all fun to play. Maybe Zombie Studios can create a few more themes including Metal Gear Solid, Gyruss, or even Skate or Die.

Even after thirty years, Frogger’s simplistic gameplay still finds new ways to keep me coming back. It’s not a game that blows me away graphically, but that was never the point to begin with. Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition clearly is a game that I would recommend for fans of the classic game.

Developer: Konami, Zombie Studios
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-4 (Local Multiplayer)
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)

Pros:
It’s The Simpsons!
Multiplayer is a blast.

Cons:
Game really looks dated
Short Game

First we had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Then it was X-Men. Now the game that fans have been anxiously awaiting for years has finally arrived. No, it’s not Sunset Riders. It’s The Simpsons! The old school arcade classic from the ’90s has finally arrived on XBLA and PSN. The big question on everyone’s mind would be if it’s worth the nostalgic trip down memory lane. That answer is a resounding “Yes!”

The Simpsons arcade game has the fearless family from Springfield out to save Maggie from the evil Mr. Burns and his ass-kissing assistant Smithers. In a way, The Simpsons arcade game feels just like an episode of the popular Fox television show that’s been on for what feels like an eternity (you would think he creators would be out of ideas by now). Just like the Ninja Turtles and X-Men before it, I would spend countless amounts of quarters in the arcade just to beat the game. Now that it’s downloadable I don’t have to worry about shitty joysticks and the nasty gum on the arcade cabinet.

Now for those of you who have never played before (where have you been, under a rock) you get to play as the brawling Homer, vacuum cleaning Marge, skateboarding Bart, or jump roping Lisa and beat up various grunt characters all throughout Springfield including Moe’s Tavern and even the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. You’ll also encounter some of the popular characters from the show going through their daily routine, or they might even help you out with an item or two.

What made The Simpsons arcade game so unique was not only the television show style, but how you battled your enemies. This is not just your standard side scrolling brawler. You could throw signs, cans, bowling balls, animals, and even use a slingshot, bit even these things were not the highlight of the game. It was the team up moves that allow you to work together with a friend and hack away at enemies making for some hilarious and memorable moments.

While the arcade game was filled with some great fun, I always wondered how it would translate to home versions. Well I’m here to tell you that it may look old and dated, but it still plays great. You can choose what version of the game you wish to play (USA or Japan) and also choose the graphics (crisp or smooth). There’s even a really cool option to make it look like your playing on a “Simpsonized” arcade cabinet. In other words it’s just another way to say “Simpsons did it!” I honestly really like all the cool combinations to help spice up what ends up being a pretty short game clocking in at around 25-35 minutes.

So is The Simpsons arcade really worth your hard earned ten dollars? Well one way to sum it up is to consider how much of a fan you are. Simpsons fans will call this an instant buy. Brawler fans will jump right in as well. For everyone else, well don’t be so damn cheap and get the game, or just like Bart says “eat my shorts!”

Pros:
Great Touchscreen controls

Cons:
16:9 Ratio Awkwardly Stretches Screen
Can’t Change Characters During Gameplay

Review based on Version 1.0.1

Back during the days when arcades were the big thing, Konami brought us some side scrolling beat-em ups that had players endlessly plunking down quarters. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons and X-Men. All of those games were very entertaining as I would continuously feed the arcade machine with tokens to continue on my adventure from beginning to end. Ahhh…the memories. These days, the games that had people filing into the arcades can now be found on our favorite consoles and smartphones. I recently downloaded X-Men to my iPhone an the nostalgia rushed back once again. This time without all the quarters.

Konami’s X-Men (now available in the App Store) is a port of the classic 1992 arcade game. Here you get to play as six of your favorite mutants against the evil forces of Magneto and the Brotherhood. Available for you to choose from is Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Dazzler. Personally, I liked Wolverine and Cyclops the best because they are my favorite X-Men characters. Each of the mutants have the same button mashing combat with attack and jump buttons. Of course what makes them different was that each character has their own mutant power. These mutant powers allowed you to clear the screen of enemies, but came at a price: a small chunk of your health.

For those not familiar with the game, X-Men sent you on a mission to “Save the City” as well as rescue Charles Xavier from the evil clutches of Magneto. Using your favorite mutant you would take on endless waves of palette-swapped Sentinels as well as other enemies and face a boss character at the end of each level. The Sentinels (like the Foot Clan in the TMNT arcade games) may have had multiple colors, but that didn’t  mean they were tougher than the others. The boss mutants at the end of each level really helped bring out the brilliance of X-Men as you took on characters like Pyro, Juggernaut and a host of others.

This port of X-Men on the iPhone and iPad is based on the American version of the game. Yes, there was a difference between American and Japanese versions. In the American version your mutant powers used up your health. Once you were below four health bars you could use your mutant power only one last time without costing you health. After that, well you were up the creek without a paddle especially if you get surrounded by Sentinels. The good news is that this game does contain unlimited continues allowing you to finish the entire game in one sitting which is about 25-30 minutes. This is perfect for those who live the “game on-the-go” lifestyle.

X-Men transfers very well to iOS platforms. The touchscreen controls are perfect and well responsive to the action on the screen. You can also change up the button display, but the defaults work just fine. The graphics are also also top notch especially for a game that was released almost 20 years ago. I do suggest that you keep the graphical display in the 4:3 ratio. There is an option for 16:9 which will fill the screen, but blows up the game to the point that the graphics look very fuzzy making the game look awkward. You would think that this wouldn’t be a problem considering the fact that the six-player arcade version did have 16:9 widescreen and is shown that way on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Sadly, on the iPhone and iPad it doesn’t.

Now that I have X-Men on both my Xbox 360 and my iPhone I can enjoy the classic arcade game no matter where I’m at, and I get to save a roll of quarters in the process. I also find that the game has plenty of replay value especially with achievements on Game Center. One of the achievements alone has you beating the game with each character which will keep you busy for awhile. There’s also multiplayer via WiFi, but I didn’t see a lot of people online playing. Overall, X-Men is great nostalgic fun for both fans of the comics, movies and television shows as well as casual gamers looking for a good thrill.