keskiviikko 28. joulukuuta 2011

Aren't folk quick to forget.

I've been known to back out on my words a lot, but this takes the cake for me. How long ago did I start writing about my collection again? Six days? Less than a week? In the last two days, it has grown by four full games and one pre-ordered bundle of epicness. I'm out of control. You see, I went to GameStop to get a hard drive for my Xbox 360 Slim, and that only, but left with an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership, Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, Alan Wake, Mass Effect 2 and a pre-order receit for Mass Effect 3 - N7 Collector's Edition to go with my 320 Gb object of desire. I'M OUT OF CONTROL! In addition, I got Castlevania: Harmony of Despair yesterday. Don't know why, just felt like playing some old school Castlevania game - that's really not an old school Castlevania game. I have weird desires every now and then. I struggle to be normal, I really do.

The rest of the reviews I originally planned to get out of my system this month will probably get moved to early January, since I have a lot of work right now, and much less during the first few weeks of the year. In addition, I'm still in the process of replaying some choice games, including these "new" ones which I already reviewed some time ago.

In general, the year 2012 is looking less active than this soon ending one when it comes to the quantity of reviews, but I'll try my best to make those reviews count by terms of quality. What this means, in practice, is that there are going to be less lengthy marathons like the Star Wars, Disney and Mario marathons I did earlier this year, and the pace will be cut down to an average of two or three reviews per week. I'm in a different place in a whole lot of ways than I was when I started this blog - I still have the obsession for video games I always did (you don't say...?), but I have to face reality. It's not that I don't have a real, social life, but trying to maintain a balance between that life, my "virtual life" and this blog is extremely tiring. Also, since I don't get paid for this, and you readers are quite a compact bunch of fine people, my own desire to rant about games is just about the only thing keeping the blog going - thank Jeebs I have a lot of that. I tell you, if I'd keep up the pace I had in the beginning of the year for just the next couple of months, I would probably die. A part of the reason why I decided to review the remains of my collection next year is that (most of) the games are already familiar to me, and I don't need to do a whole lot of extensive research on them - so I can practically take a break from playing and just rant away.

After all this, I think 2012 is going to be a good and interesting year in the world of video games, and I'll try to make it good and interesting at my end, as well. I think I'll be seein' ya before the clock strikes twelve for the last time in 2011, so I'll not wish you a happy New Year just yet.

torstai 22. joulukuuta 2011

Collection 2011 - Part 3/3

This black giant, the most technologically advanced console on the market, was officially announced at E3 2005, and launched in Japan on November 11th, 2006. The PlayStation 3 has fallen victim to a lot of controversy lately, largely surrounding the infamous security breach in April 2011, which prevented users from logging on to the PlayStation Network for a whole month, and compromised their personal information. Still, due to many great, exclusive games, and Sony's apparent respect for consumers, the PlayStation 3 has remained the best and most reliable console of today's market. I got my unit in August 2008 (I ordered it back in May or June, though - the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 did wonders to its sales...).

BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY | Rocksteady Studios | 2011
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00926
Downloadable content: Catwoman Bundle Pack, Robin Bundle Pack, Nightwing Bundle Pack
Comments: A sequel to the greatest comic book license of all time turned out even better than its predecessor, it's just not fit to be called one of the greatest games in history in my opinion. Got this one a few months back from GameStop, bundled with the codes for the Catwoman and Robin DLC packs, and a few posters.
VGMania Rating: 9.2 / 10

BRÜTAL LEGEND | Double Fine Productions | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00562
Downloadable content: Tears of Hextadon, Hammer of Infinite Fate
Comments: Oh hell, scratch what I said about Resident Evil 2; I have never anticipated a game quite like I burned for Brütal Legend. Considering the people behind the game, the soundtrack and the world it's set in, this game could've become one of the greatest ever made. Instead, it turned out an incomplete hybrid of an action game and a real-time strategy game. Good, but definitely not great. Still, it's a cult game every metal fan simply must own. Got this one on pre-order from GameStop, with Tenacious D's "Love Giver" guitar finish as the bonus.
VGMania Rating: 7.4 / 10

BUZZ! QUIZ TV | Relentless Software | 2008
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BCES-00099
Downloadable content: Sci-Fi Quiz Pack, National Geographic: Safari Quiz Pack, Video Games Quiz Pack, Horror Quiz Pack, Comedy Quiz Pack
Comments: I'm a huge quiz buff and my personal PlayStation game collection wouldn't be complete without at least one Buzz! game. Buzz! Quiz TV ain't the best of 'em, I've just been too lazy to buy the later editions. It's repetitive and most of the different segments of the multiplayer game are based on rather luck and speed than knowledge. My sister bought me the game as a present for my 24th birthday; the game was released in Europe on that exact date, July 4th, 2008.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

DEAD SPACE | EA Redwood Shores | 2008
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00308
Downloadable content: -
Comments: Little bit of a frustrating bloody stroll in space, but without question, a true revival of real survival horror, and a game that will be remembered for years to come as one of the most morbid gaming experiences ever. My sister refused to buy me this game and bought me LittleBigPlanet instead when both games were new, but I got it myself a long while later for €9.90 from GameStop - a brand new copy at that. A great deal, even if I had already beaten the game twice.
VGMania Rating: 8.8 / 10

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS | BioWare | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00699
Downloadable content: Warden's Keep, The Stone Prisoner, Return to Ostagar, Dragon Age: Origins - The Awakening, The Darkspawn Chronicles, Leliana's Song, The Golems of Amgarrak, Witch Hunt
Comments: The one game that pretty much destroyed my real life for more than six months when it was originally released, and a few random months after that time. A fantastic PC epic, translated to a less fantastic, yet just as epic console RPG. Despite the kind of low rating, I consider the mere concept of Dragon Age: Origins one of my favourite role-playing games of all time. I got the game after my best friend managed to force me to watch him play it for a while. I left his house and swung by GameStop, where the game was on New Year's sale.
VGMania Rating: 8.7 / 10

DRAGON AGE II | BioWare | 2011
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-01084
Downloadable content: The Black Emporium, The Exiled Prince, The Legacy, Mark of the Assassin
Comments: The sequel which didn't get much love from Dragon Age fans, but sold well, even outside "the box" due to good promotion. I personally like the game, despite of the amazing repetition and the very little candle it holds to the first game. I got this one used, but you wouldn't believe that by looking at the mint copy. It's in perfect condition, and the previous owner had forgotten to use his free promotional code for The Black Emporium. He/she either forgot, or didn't give a shit. Or didn't even notice there was a coupon tucked behind the manual. I always check those first.
VGMania Rating: 8.2 / 10

FALLOUT 3 - GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION | Bethesda Game Studios | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00737
Downloadable content: -
Comments: One of this generation's most debated games, an immense and immersive open-world action RPG, cut down to a budget price and littered with extra content previously released as expensive DLC. Even though I had done everything in the original Fallout 3 retail, I promised long ago to get this version of the game anyway, and I finally did it the same time I got Batman: Arkham City.
VGMania Rating: 9.1 / 10

FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS | Obsidian Entertainment | 2010
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00901
Downloadable content: Dead Money
Comments: More of the same - to the point that some people still believe it to be an expansion pack instead of a full blown, stand-alone Fallout game. It was one of the most hyped games of 2010, and I think the hype ultimately worked against it. It's a bit dull, frustrating and confusing, and very glitchy, even moreso than its predecessor. Still, it's a good game, and anyone even slightly into the previous game will at least like it. A friendly couple bought me a €50 gift token to a local video game store as a housewarming present, and I used it on a used copy of Fallout: New Vegas, which cost exactly €49.90.
VGMania Rating: 8.5 / 10

FINAL FANTASY XIII | Square Enix | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00783
Downloadable content: -
Comments: THE disappointment of all ages. To think that I was actually on the game's side through all the hype, while my friend had no positive expectations at all. I hated the game, he thought I was being too harsh on it. I'm getting back to Final Fantasy XIII, I certainly am - I'm trying to dig out the bright spots out of what is pretty much a piece of shit in comparison to all the great games that have carried the franchise name. I got this one on pre-order from Åland Islands; delivery was faster and cheaper, and I was ready to end my real life for the next couple of months due to this game. I was able to go shopping for groceries in a mere two days.
VGMania Rating: 6.6 / 10

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV | Rockstar North | 2008
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00229
Downloadable content: Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned, Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Comments: When I first saw posters and stands related to Grand Theft Auto IV in just about every local shop even slightly specialized in video game sales, and copies practically selling themselves, I thought to myself that maybe it's time for me to buy a new console. I was already pretty sure that new console was going to be the PlayStation 3; it was Metal Gear Solid 4 that made the final difference. So, I got the Grand Theft Auto IV bundle of the PlayStation 3 and it certainly did not disappoint; the game is exactly what I expected it to be, which is a brilliant, visually marvellous successor to both Vice City and San Andreas. Even though it was my first PS3 game, I still play it periodically, mostly to nail the last single player Trophy I'm missing, and to conquer the DLC, of which The Ballad of Gay Tony is yet to be reviewed.
VGMania Rating: 9.5 / 10

GUITAR HERO: METALLICA | Neversoft Entertainment | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00479
Downloadable content: Death Magnetic
Comments: A Guitar Hero based on the works of the most popular and most influential metal band in the world, and covered with over 20 hand-picked songs from their hand-picked artists. How could this game fail? There's no way, as long as the game lasts in use, which is naturally, and unfortunately, not too long. Went out and bought this one the day it was released.
VGMania Rating: 8.1 / 10

GUITAR HERO 5 | Neversoft Entertainment | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00576
Downloadable content: Death Magnetic, misc. singles and track packs
Comments: Everything else is on the mark, except for the tracklist, which is filled to the brim with overtly commercial music that would've never been taken into remote consideration back in the franchise's beginnings. Went out and got it on the release date, as well.
VGMania Rating: 8.5 / 10

GUITAR HERO: WARRIORS OF ROCK | Neversoft Entertainment | 2010
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00801
Downloadable content: Death Magnetic, misc. singles and track packs
Comments: I just read my review on the game and I came up with the perfect sentence to describe the whole experience. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is, simply put, a better version of Guitar Hero 5. I wasn't supposed to buy this game, but boredom, a sudden urge to round out the collection and an extra €50 in my pocket formed a trifecta which prompted me to pick it up.
VGMania Rating: 8.6 / 10

INFAMOUS | Sucker Punch Productions | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BCES-00609
Downloadable content: -
Comments: I have talked about reviewing this game for ages - about as long as VGMania has existed - but I still haven't found the time to take inFamous for another spin. It's a great sandbox action game, and a great Sony exclusive, but it lacks a certain edge in both terms. The story behind this one is a bit strange; I went to a bar with my ex (she already was my ex at that time) and somehow we ended up in a video game store that was selling inFamous, 50% off. She actually paid the game for me, as some sort of a late present for some occasion.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

LITTLEBIGPLANET | Media Molecule | 2008
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BCES-00141
Downloadable content: Metal Gear Solid Level Kit, Pirates of the Caribbean Level Kit
Comments: Media Molecule created a low-budget platformer with the most simple gameplay you could possibly imagine in a modern game, gave players the most advanced level editor ever seen in a console game, and ended up with one of the greatest games in history, one that simply never ends. My sister got me this game for Christmas in 2008. Although I was kinda disappointed at first since I had already played the game and was kinda expecting to get Dead Space in its stead, ultimately this was the perfect gift, since it quickly became my favourite game on the PlayStation 3... and remained that, right up until the release of its sequel.
VGMania Rating: 9.4 / 10

LITTLEBIGPLANET 2 | Media Molecule | 2011
Downloadable content: -
Comments: The same as LittleBigPlanet, only better. The new level editor removes all boundaries, including the freakin' genre of your level; the community is filled with some amazing works by some stalwart level creators. I infamously pre-ordered the Collector's Edition because of the extras that were supposed to come with it, but ended up with a simple (yet stylish) metal box that included the game Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves (just like every standard copy), seven different costumes for Sackboy, and five PSN avatars. A rip-off, yes, but luckily the game itself was worth it. My favourite game on the PS3 thus far.
VGMania Rating: 9.6 / 10

METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS | Kojima Productions | 2008
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00246
Downloadable content: -
Comments: A legendary soldier. A final mission. The ultimate sacrifice. The ad blurb on the back cover says it everything. The last chapter in the story of Solid Snake ain't nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece. It might be a little unsatisfying in terms of how much the game has actual gameplay, but every true Metal Gear fan fails to give a shit. I bought this game with the PlayStation 3, after all it was the sole reason I wanted the PlayStation 3.
VGMania Rating: 9.6 / 10

RED DEAD REDEMPTION | Rockstar San Diego | 2010
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00680
Downloadable content: Outlaws to the End, Legends and Killers, Liars and Cheats, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, Myths and Mavericks
Comments: Rockstar's attempt to create "Grand Theft Horse" didn't just succeed; many people consider Red Dead Redemption the finest game Rockstar has ever made, which isn't far from the unadulterated truth. The legend of John Marston is perhaps the greatest story ever told in a video game, and even while I've finished the game to 100%, I still get periodical urges to get back in the saddle. I was very skeptical towards this game, but I bought it after reading a few reviews that landed the game a full 10, and after getting a very generous donation of money. I think the game was less than a week old back then.
VGMania Rating: 9.5 / 10

RESIDENT EVIL 5 | Capcom | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00485
Downloadable content: Lost in Nightmares, Desperate Escape
Comments: An excellent ending to the classic Resident Evil story, but the single-player campaign is full of holes, the biggest and most notable of them being in your A.I. partner's digital brain. One of the greatest co-op games ever made, there's no doubt about that. I got this one on the morning of its release.
VGMania Rating: 8.9 / 10

Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BCES-00065
Downloadable content: -
Comments: This game was supposed to be the first true reason for anyone to cough up their hard-earned wages on the PS3... and that's exactly what it was, but it went a bit unnoticed until the release of its first sequel, which had better promotion on its side. Uncharted was a bombastic, visually stunning action game, that was stripped of all modern unnecessities - a very accessible game for inexperienced players, and just as much of a thrill ride for avid ones. I was hell bent on getting some new game, and I saw a used copy of this one at the local GameStop for about €25; I had no idea what the game was all about, I just knew the name. I checked out a few reviews, and I was convinced enough to buy the game, but I didn't expect that it would turn out one of my favourite action games of all time.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

WWE SMACKDOWN VS. RAW 2010 | Yuke's | 2009
Notes: Blu-Ray | PAL | BLES-00651
Downloadable content: -
Comments: Regardless of how good or bad it would turn out, I knew it was going to be my last wrestling game, and that promise has held up very solid. It's a very good game, but not only have I given up on modern professional wrestling altogether, I've also given up on witnessing any true development in the video game genre. The game isn't much of a step forward from the previous titles, but a great game nonetheless. I bought it as a Christmas present for myself back in 2009, and platted it in just a few days.
VGMania Rating: 8.4 / 10 


AGE OF BOOTY | Certain Affinity | 2008
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: As you know, I have a thing for pirates, but not much love for real-time strategy. I haven't even tried the game yet, so I can't share any real opinions on it yet. I got the game for free alongside many others; me and my friend both have PSN accounts on each other's consoles, which means he gets the games I download, for free, and vice versa.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

ASTRO TRIPPER | PomPom Games | 2009
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: Although it's hard for me to admit it, I'm hooked on arcade shoot 'em ups. Haven't tried Astro Tripper yet, though. It's another game I got for free via my friend's linked account. He said the game sucks ass, but couldn't explain why, so I guess I'll have to see for myself when I find the time.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

BEJEWELED 2 | PopCap Games | 2004
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: A simple, but incredibly addictive puzzle game, one of the best. Got this one for free via the linked account, as well.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

BRAIN CHALLENGE | Gameloft | 2008
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: Deluxe Pack
Comments: More like Nerve Challenge; the game that taught me Gameloft was evil. Still didn't heed the warnings though, as I went and downloaded one more Gameloft game for bad measure. This game has nothing to do with intelligence as it should, instead it has all to do with inhuman reaction speed. Fun on low levels, gets impossible real quick. The "Deluxe Pack" or whatever it's really called only made things worse. I love brainteasers, so I got it right when it was released, and was immensely disappointed.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

CUBOID | Creat Studios | 2009
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: Professional Pack
Comments: A very good and innovative puzzle game, which just ends way too fast, and there's pretty much just one way to conquer each level. I had a good feeling about this game and I wanted to download some new time-killing tool, so I got it right after its release.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

FLOWER | thatgamecompany | 2009
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: The game's concept is simply ridiculous, but it works like a beautiful charm. It can't be explained, it has to be experienced. I downloaded the game just for fun when it was on its first anniversary sale back in January 2010, for only the €2.95 I just happened to have in my virtual wallet. Would've never believed to get this much bang for that little buck.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

LINGER IN SHADOWS | Plastic | 2008
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: In this "game's" case, I'll just save it all for the review. It's not going to be an easy read to anyone who appreciated it, I can tell you that much. I got it for the cheap price and the incredibly easy Trophies.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: I've never really comprehended the supposed greatness of Mahjong. The traditional Chinese stories in the game are quite good and well illustrated, and I think it's a great idea to have the player unlock more chapters in the tales by doing well in the game. This is yet another game I got via the linked account.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

MEGA MAN 9 | Inti Creates | 2008
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: A simply unforgiving throwback to the golden days of the 8-bit, when production values were secondary to incredible difficulty. Mega Man 9 is like a direct sequel to 1988's Mega Man 2, in better and worse. Undoubtedly a masterpiece to any true, die-hard Mega Man fan. Got the game as a serious sign of respect for Capcom for making a whole new 8-bit platformer in the year 2008.
VGMania Rating: 7.5 / 10

MEGA MAN 10 | Inti Creates | 2010
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: Mega Man 9 was bound to have a sequel. I think they'd better stop here and consider making a new Mega Man X game, I'm guessing that one would kill. The game's just as good as Mega Man 9, and it has Trophies. I couldn't help buying this one immediately after its release.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: One of my favourite games in all of history, remade - complete with voice acting and HD graphics. What's even better, it has almost as much impact as the original. Not going to go over the million reasons why I downloaded this game immediately after its release. The best game the PlayStation Network has to offer - kind of an unfair statement towards all the originals, but unfair is what I am.
VGMania Rating: 9.0 / 10

Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: The best version of the best arcade game ever, also one of the PlayStation Network's finest downloadable games. Got it by "pure accident", though - I couldn't really afford it, but I was pretty drunk and had the uncontrollable, inexplicable urge to play Pac-Man.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

PAIN | Idol Minds | 2007
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: Abusement Park, Movie Lot, Sore Spots, The PAIN Museum
Comments: One word, and that's "mayhem". This game used to be so much fun, 'cause I simply love destruction, inflicting pain to virtual characters and slapstick humour. It was the first PSN game I ever downloaded. Every slight bit of interest I had in the game waned a long time ago, but it remains to be seen if I'm able to find the spark again when I take this game up for a review.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: PixelJunk Monsters Encore
Comments: A weird real-time strategy game. I like its visual style, but once again, I'm less intrigued by the gameplay. The game was another freebie.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

RATCHET & CLANK: QUEST FOR BOOTY | Insomniac Games | 2008
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: It's an acclaimed installment in a franchise considered one of Sony's best exclusives, and it was made by the same people who brought us Spyro the Dragon, so I'm intrigued by the game - I've not had a chance to test it, though. I got this one for free from the Welcome Back program; later, I found out that it was the only game included in the program that doesn't have Trophy support.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: A somewhat clumsy version of perhaps THE most important point 'n' click game of all time, but due to the voiceover work and nice, unique graphics, one worth a try. I originally had the game on my PC, but I downloaded it for the PS3 due to my preference of consoles, not really noting how point 'n' click games are at their best on the PC at that point. Besides, it had Trophies. Monkey Island with Trophies, I'm in.
VGMania Rating: 8.7 / 10

SUPER STARDUST HD | Housemarque | 2007
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: It's Finnish, an arcade shooter and praised to high heaven by critics. I don't quite see what's so great about it, but perhaps I'll learn. Super Stardust HD is - for now - the last game I've leeched from my friend's account.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

TALES OF MONKEY ISLAND | Telltale Games | 2009
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: The fifth game in the series, blessed (and ultimately published) by LucasArts, and split into five chapters like most of Telltale's titles. To me, the necessity of Monkey Island sequels ended in the magnificent third game of the series. Some chapters of Tales are good throughout, but some of the jokes are kind of old - or just bad - and the puzzles are ridiculous. It's a good trip, all in all, but not an essential Monkey Island game. I just had to get it, though, due to my obsession with the franchise.
VGMania Rating: 7.7 / 10

TRINE | Frozenbyte | 2009
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: Level 16
Comments: Finnish quality at its very finest, an ingenious hybrid of a puzzle game and a platformer. Too easy, though - I got my very first Platinum Trophy from this game, in just two days. Two of my friends recommended the game to me, and I had much fun with it as long as the fun lasted. I can't wait to review it, since a review would give me one good reason to go at it again.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

UNO | Gameloft | 2009
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: At this time, I will only comment on this game with a statement that Gameloft are such a crappy company they can't even do a simple game like UNO right. The game's based on an earlier, better virtual adaptation of UNO, made by the way more talented Carbonated Games, but released on other platforms than the PS3. I downloaded this game 'cause UNO is perhaps my favourite "electrical failure" game of all time, and I simply thought that it couldn't possibly be botched by anyone, not even Gameloft - this generation's LJN.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

WIPEOUT HD | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2008
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: WipEout HD Fury
Comments: Perhaps my favourite racing game of all time. It's full of adrenaline, excitement, good modes and it's customizable with your very own soundtrack originating from the music files on your PlayStation 3 hard drive. There are not many bigger racing experiences than to shoot down your rivals and go for the finish line at hyperspeed while Judas Priest's "Painkiller" or Slayer's "Altar of Sacrifice" blasts in the background. I originally downloaded the game from PlayStation Plus, and played it regularly up until my subscription expired. I got the full game and the Fury expansion pack for free from the Welcome Back campaign set up after the PSN security breach in April 2011.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

WORMS | Team17 Software | 2007
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: Somewhat of a remake of the original game, revamped with the graphical standards set by Worms 2. Worms is a classic game that cannot be done wrong, but I think this version could've packed a little more than it did. A Worms marathon has been a long time coming, since Worms is one of my favourite computer games of all time, so I think I'll save the rest for an actual review. This was a mandatory download, but it didn't really impress me enough so that I would've downloaded the sequel as well.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

ZEN PINBALL | Zen Studios | 2009
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: Street Fighter II Tribute Table
Comments: Video pinball, as physical and real as you can get, in better and worse - that's enough for now, but I can safely say that if you're a pinball buff, ZEN Pinball is definitely a game for you. I used to be one, so I got it without any hesitation.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

XBOX 360 (RETAIL) (2)
While its big brother was always the odd console out, the Xbox 360 quickly became one of the most popular video game consoles in history. It launched in the U.S. on November 16th, 2005, almost an exact year prior to the PlayStation 3, and it still stays strong despite the inferiority of its technical specs, less exclusive games, and Microsoft's tendency to charge the users for just about everything - including simple storage space. I got the Xbox 360 earlier this month.

ELDER SCROLLS IV, THE: OBLIVION | Bethesda Game Studios | 2006
Notes: DVD | PAL
Downloadable content: -
Comments: A massive open-world fantasy RPG still waiting for my final judgement. I've never been a huge Elder Scrolls fan, but I'm hoping an extended session in the world of Oblivion will change that. I bought the game from a friend, for €6.50.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

MASS EFFECT | BioWare | 2007
Notes: DVD | PAL
Downloadable content: -
Comments: One of the biggest surprises ever. I thought Mass Effect was all hype, but when I first played Dragon Age: Origins, I was convinced to give Mass Effect a go and found one of the best RPG's of all time, and one of the best games of all time in its sequel. I also bought this game from a friend, for €6.50.
VGMania Rating: 9.0 / 10


HEXIC HD | Carbonated Games | 2005
Notes: Digital
Downloadable content: -
Comments: Another simple puzzle game created by the god of puzzle games, Alexey Pajitnov; not as fun as Tetris, though. Not even as fun as Bejeweled. This game was installed on my Xbox 360 when I got it.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

Collection 2011 - Part 2/3

The PlayStation 2 launched in Japan on March 4th, 2000. Despite some true competition - that its predecessor never really had - from both Nintendo and Sega, and the scene's newcomer Microsoft, PlayStation 2 held its place as the decade's most popular and diverse platform for many years. Games for the PlayStation 2 are still made even though its successor's been out for five years, and Sony has stated that production of both the PlayStation 2 and games for it will continue until demand ceases. I've owned several PlayStation 2's, and I BELIEVE the PS2 Slim I have right now is the sixth one - to be honest, I've lost count of how many have broken down or been sold. Why have I wasted so much effort of getting new PS2's? Because the PS2 rules. It is my second favourite console of all time, right after the SNES. Here are some of the reasons why (and why not):

24 - THE GAME | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2006
Notes: DVD | PAL | SCES-53358
Comments: I loved the show, so I bought the game. Kind of an irrational and hasty thought, especially considering the last entry of my game collection for the original PlayStation, but 24 was really promising, and it didn't turn out all that bad - cinematically, it's an amazing game. I indeed bought the game the day it was released, even though I had shunned all licensed games for years, and the reviews weren't too flattering. It had Jack Bauer in it, 'nuff said.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

FINAL FANTASY X | Square | 2001
Notes: DVD | PAL | SCES-50490 [PLATINUM]
Comments: Once again, a Final Fantasy game I initially didn't like one bit, and it turned out my favourite right after VII and VIII. It was the last of the truly greats, and it hasn't aged one bit - that's probably why Square Enix are currently working on an HD remake. I don't remember getting this copy, I just remember borrowing the game from my ex, and when it came time to return the game, this copy just popped out of nowhere to replace hers.
VGMania Rating: 9.5 / 10

FINAL FANTASY X-2 | Square Enix | 2003
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-51815
Comments: The first direct sequel in the history of Final Fantasy, and a game you've just got to play if you saw Final Fantasy X to the end; that's exactly what Square Enix had in mind when they made this experimental RPG, in which Charlie's Angels meets J-Pop meets Final Fantasy X. It's a fairly good game in its own twisted way, but I don't know if I'm ever gonna play it again. My brother bought this one out of pure curiosity when it was more or less brand new, and to my huge surprise, he loved the game; he never liked playing as a chick in any game before, not even Jill Valentine or Claire Redfield in Resident Evil. That was always my job.
VGMania Rating: 6.9 / 10

FINAL FANTASY XII | Square Enix | 2006
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-54354
Comments: A beautiful game. A huge game. A fantastic game. Alas, a bit dull, around the edges and to the core - definitely not a traditional Final Fantasy story which you could sit down to enjoy a hundred times like the classic games in their prime, more like an endless roam without a real plot. Actually, it's the least replayable game in the history of the franchise if you ask me. I got this one brand new, of course.
VGMania Rating: 8.5 / 10

GOD OF WAR | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2005
Notes: DVD | PAL | SCES-53133
Comments: Sony's undisputed flagship right up until LittleBigPlanet, if you ask me. Third-person action in this vein had definitely been seen before, but no-one had ever seen something quite as epic and violent as God of War. Besides, there had been way too few games that ever dealt with Greek mythology, God of War was like an encyclopedia on the subject. When I first heard of this game, I was totally soiling myself. I got it after a few convincing reviews, and haven't looked back since.
VGMania Rating: 9.1 / 10

GOD OF WAR II | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2007
Notes: DVD | PAL | SCES-54206
Comments: The game that was supposed to be the PS2's final push... four years ago. God of War II did push the PS2 to its very limits, though, and its predecessor over the edge; although I no longer think so, back when the game came out, playing it felt like the first one was a mere prototype. God of War II still remains one of my favourite games of all time. Pre-ordered the game, of course I did.
VGMania Rating: 9.4 / 10

Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-50330 [PLATINUM]
Comments: The legend, named the greatest and most revolutionary video game of all time by many revered journalists and critics. Pretty much the mother(fucker) and father of all sandbox games. It made a difference, but there were a lot of fatal mistakes in Grand Theft Auto III from the start, mistakes that couldn't possibly have been fixed when it came to the unpatchable PlayStation 2 version. A great game... that paved the way for some amazing sequels. I got a brand new copy of this one (as in still wrapped in plastic) a couple of years ago for a measly €15, to simply round out the collection.
VGMania Rating: 8.8 / 10

GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY | Rockstar North | 2002
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-51061 [PLATINUM]
Comments: If someone asked me to recommend a single last-generation Grand Theft Auto game to him/her, I'd say Vice City - even though San Andreas is my favourite. I understand some people dislike that game, for being so technical and so "ghetto", while Vice City is what Grand Theft Auto, the whole series, is all about. It's fun, it's very challenging, it's full of action, magnificent 80's music and great humour, it's pretty much a perfect sandbox game and I actually think I underrated it a bit back when I reviewed it! I think I bought my copy as a side dish to some new game.
VGMania Rating: 9.2 / 10

GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS | Rockstar North | 2004
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-52541
Comments: To keep it brief, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is my second favourite video game of all time. Yep, it ranks as #4 on the Top 50 list, but that's because of its average score; the greatness of San Andreas lies in the whole performance and atmosphere instead of some single quality. San Andreas was the first Grand Theft Auto game I ever really got into, and it truly opened my eyes to the amazing franchise - I thought it was all just some speed-lovin' bastards' hype.
VGMania Rating: 9.7 / 10

GUITAR HERO | Harmonix Music Systems | 2005
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-54132
Comments: Harmonix Music Systems' test drive to create a "fun little rhythm game" for a major console turned out a real moneymaker. The bigger they are, the harder they fall, as was proven in the Guitar Hero franchise's case, but back when the first game came out, it seemed like Guitar Hero's way would be paved with gold forever. Got this one to round out the collection. A little bit late, perhaps, since the mechanics are outdated, but the game has a lot of great songs in it.
VGMania Rating: 8.3 / 10

GUITAR HERO II | Harmonix Music Systems | 2006
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-54442
Comments: It's got a great tracklist, good mechanics, and a tighter grip all around; Guitar Hero II might as well be called the first truly essential rhythm game. When I found out that my first Guitar Hero game - Rocks the 80's - was more or less an expansion to this game, I just had to get it.
VGMania Rating: 9.0 / 10

GUITAR HERO ROCKS THE 80'S | Harmonix Music Systems | 2007
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-54859
Comments: Just as I stated, this is kind of an expansion to Guitar Hero II, meaning it has very little songs in comparison to the rest of the series. I didn't know that, I just wanted a Guitar Hero game out of curiosity and this was the only game I could find bundled with the guitar controller at the time. Some great songs, but truly too few of them.
VGMania Rating: 7.3 / 10

GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS OF ROCK | Neversoft Entertainment | 2007
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-54962
Comments: Still my favourite Guitar Hero game. Optimal mechanics, an amazing and balanced tracklist. One of the most difficult games of the century. I bought this one together with a friend, later he "sold" his share of the game to me. Actually he does have a share of the game - the box. He somehow lost it, and now I have the disc stored inside Guitar Hero II's box.
VGMania Rating: 9.2 / 10

KINGDOM HEARTS | Square | 2002
Notes: DVD | PAL | SCES-50967
Comments: Just when you think Square can't get any stranger, they make an action-RPG crossover between Final Fantasy and Disney characters. What's even stranger is that the end result works. The first Kingdom Hearts has dull level design and the cinematics suffer due to the horrible plot, but it's a good game, and an even better item to own. Picked this one up from the same video game emporium that sold me Chrono Trigger way back when. It was very cheap to begin with, but I haggled well enough to get the clerk to sell it to me at €20. An original copy of Kingdom Hearts is not the easiest PS2 disc to find nowadays.
VGMania Rating: 8.0 / 10

KINGDOM HEARTS II | Square Enix | 2005
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-54114
Comments: Put Kingdom Hearts in a bowl, add in more fleshed out level design and dynamic gameplay, yet an even further whacked plot, and you get Kingdom Hearts II; that's pretty much it. I pre-ordered the game... BUT my brother broke the original copy and got me a used one as a replacement.
VGMania Rating: 8.5 / 10

Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-50383 [PLATINUM]
Comments: Pretty much the reason I wanted the PlayStation 2 in the first place, and the pattern continued when Metal Gear Solid 4 was released on the PlayStation 3. Despite the huge bombshell of a main character and a plot which some fans found way too twisted, the game remains one of the PS2's top titles. It was one of the first games I got for the PlayStation 2; I got the PlayStation 2 so late that I had to settle with the Platinum version, though. It was way easier to find than an original copy.
VGMania Rating: 9.4 / 10

Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-82013 | Incl. Japanese Promotional Trailer (Bonus DVD)
Comments: In my opinion, the greatest Metal Gear game of them all, and one of my favourite games of all time. Not very easy things to say, but that's how it is. I got this one on pre-order and got a bonus DVD on the side. Honestly, I don't have the DVD anymore thanks to some stupid-ass attic burglars who took a trunk full of junk, in which I had stored a lot of stuff I didn't have any actual use for, but was keeping for emotional value.
VGMania Rating: 9.7 / 10

Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-50306 [PLATINUM]
Comments: Originally, it was exclusive to the Sega Dreamcast. When it became obvious that the Dreamcast would fall, it was remade as Code: Veronica X. Why? Because the game ruled, and it still is a very essential, classic experience to any Resident Evil fan. I had no idea this game was available for the PS2 when my brother first stumbled on it at some video game store. Glad I was enlightened.
VGMania Rating: 8.8 / 10

RESIDENT EVIL 4 | Capcom | 2005
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-53702
Comments: Probably the first game I ever pre-ordered. Not necessarily the best Resident Evil game in terms of what Resident Evil used to stand for, but still one of the top games in the whole franchise, and one of the best action games ever created - not to mention most influential. An ageless masterpiece, if you will.
VGMania Rating: 9.3 / 10

SILENT HILL 2 - DIRECTOR'S CUT | Konami | 2002
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-51156 [PLATINUM]
Comments: Speaking of ageless masterpieces... I think that my love for Silent Hill 2 only grows with time, and if I'd do the review now, I think it'd be even more positive. Silent Hill 2 is a very difficult game to explain, its atmosphere is so thick, and the way it aims to downright terrify the player with its psychological antics, and succeeds most of the time, is unparalleled. The Director's Cut version includes an extra playable scenario that takes about 30 minutes to complete. This game was one of the first PS2 games I got, and believe it or not, I didn't like it at first. I let it be for several months until I, for some reason, got Silent Hill 3. After falling in love with that game from the get-go, I gave Silent Hill 2 another shot and haven't looked back since.
VGMania Rating: 9.1 / 10

SILENT HILL 3 | Konami | 2003
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-51434
Comments: An absolutely fantastic survival horror game, and notably different from the last, as in more violent and gory, but a very easy and juiceless game, since there are only two nearly identical endings and a traditional candid one. This game really sparked my interest in the franchise. I don't know why I bought it since I didn't like Silent Hill 2 at the time, must've been some animal instinct.
VGMania Rating: 8.6 / 10

SILENT HILL 4: THE ROOM | Konami | 2004
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-52445
Comments: Probably the scariest Silent Hill of them all, but the plot takes some extremely awkward turns - not as awkward turns as the gameplay takes, though. The first half of the game is guaranteed entertainment for franchise and genre fans, but the second half is pure hell. This is my only PS2 game to still have its original price tag: €62.90. Pretty steep. Bought it from a now defunct video game store that was my sanctuary before GameStop came into my life.
VGMania Rating: 6.8 / 10

Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-51283
Comments: A good wrestling game when it came out, but one that has not aged very well. The controls are awkward, the gameplay mechanics are weird, the graphics are ugly and the game is all-around stiff. I got this game long after some of its predecessors, from my ex-girlfriend. This was the only game she had on her PS2, and she was never really into gaming.
VGMania Rating: 7.7 / 10

Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-52036
Comments: Officially, my first PlayStation 2 game, still one of my favourite games on the system and the best professional wrestling game in history. When my brother first bought us the PS2, he bought a game for it neither of us liked (see more below), went out, sold it off immediately and got this game to replace it. I wouldn't have really _needed_ any new games for a while...
VGMania Rating: 9.2 / 10

WWE SMACKDOWN VS. RAW 2007 | Yuke's | 2006
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-54489
Comments: A very good game, but the lack of new major features prevents it from being on the mark with the best in the series. I pre-ordered every WWE SmackDown! game from SmackDown vs. Raw 2006 up to SmackDown vs. Raw 2009.
VGMania Rating: 8.1 / 10

WWE SMACKDOWN VS. RAW 2008 | Yuke's | 2007
Notes: DVD | PAL | SLES-54793
Comments: A glitchy, boring, pointless waste of time in comparison to the rest of the series, and the most pathetic amount of truly new features that could even be expected. The story of how I got this copy is the same as above. Not too proud of it.
VGMania Rating: 6.8 / 10


As an added bonus, here are the games I used to own on the PlayStation 2... some of them are far from shitty, so some explaining might be in order. I never sell games these days, missing the hell out of some of these games just might be the primary reason for that. There are also some games in there I would love to review, no matter what they are inside. Luckily I have access to a few of them. 

BLOOD OMEN 2 | Crystal Dynamics | 2002
The first sequel to a game that already had a first sequel, which had a sequel of its own. Help, cross-eyed! Seriously, although it was great to have a Soul Reaver-type of action game with Kain for a lead character, it's obvious that Crystal Dynamics was way more interested in telling the story of Raziel's vengeance than chronicling Kain's rise to power. I sold this game, and seven others, in desperate need of money - I can't tell you the specific amount I got, but I can tell you that I didn't get nearly enough to cover the priceless fee of dropping bombs on my collection. I'm not sure, but I think it was my ex who put me up to it, since she probably saw my financial state as a great opportunity to take a stab at my little hobby which annoyed the hell out of her. 

BUZZ! THE MEGA QUIZ | Relentless Software | 2007
A great trivia game, one that I actually got my ex-girlfriend to play every once in a while. We even bought it together, if my memory serves me right. She was kinda disappointed when I sold the game, but that was because my sister bought me the first PS3 Buzz! as a birthday present; I figured I'd have no use for this one. My ex thought the previous one was better. 

CASTLEVANIA | Konami | 2003
Known as Castlevania: Lament of Innocence in the region that game titles usually make the most sense in. OK, so Castlevania has always stood for things like Vampire Killer, Bloody Tears, Belmont, Dracula, and most of all, originality. Castlevania only has a Belmont (by name only), and yet another boring origin story for Dracula, who is never really seen. On top of all, the gameplay's ripped straight off the PlayStation 2's greatest hit at the time, Capcom's Devil May Cry. Definitely not one of my favourite Castlevania games - even Lords of Shadow is lightyears ahead of it, although it's also yet another reboot and a blatant copy of some other game (in that case, God of War). I originally borrowed this game from a friend, and I didn't like it, but my brother did - so much that when I returned the game, he went out and bought it. I sold it in the "Blood Omen Bundle". 

DEVIL MAY CRY | Capcom | 2001
I do not hate this game. I really don't. When I bought it, I even loved it. After (finally) finishing it - it's an extremely frustrating game - I couldn't bear looking at it anymore. Besides, before long the series really started getting on my nerves. Everyone was screaming their asses off about the supposed omnipotence of Devil May Cry, so I just shut the whole franchise out, overdosed by hype, and didn't hesitate one bit to add this game to the "Blood Omen Bundle". I do regret it now, quite a bit, and the game has become one of the reasons why I've thought about going through GameStop's "garbage" to scoop up as many lost PS2 games I can at some point. I don't know how it is where you're from, but here those games are God damn cheap, true bargains. Might take a while to find something decent, everything half decent moves really swift. 

FORBIDDEN SIREN | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2003
First tell me how many bad Sony-exclusive games you've seen. There are not many of them, I can tell you. This game - simply known as Siren in the U.S. and Japan - was perhaps THE most promising survival horror game in history. The graphics were simply jaw-dropping, the promotional art was extremely stylish and the game was indeed made by a Sony-owned studio back in Japan. Everything was on its side... and it turned out one of the weirdest and worst "action" games I've ever played! This game was confusing and God damn horrible to begin with, and as if the gameplay wasn't bad enough, the game had a confusing story that was supposed to be something original in the vein of all those critically acclaimed J-horror movies - which means all dialogue was spoken in Japanese to add to the confusion and my personal nuisance. This game left my collection rather quickly.
I still love you, man. The game just
wasn't good, that's all.

GHOST HUNTER | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2003
All that rant about Sony exclusives was a bit premature, 'cause I had no recollection that Ghost Hunter was made by Sony as well. This game had awful controls, but what bothered me most about it...? Well... you have a box, you set it on the floor, the hatch opens and sucks a ghost right in. What on Earth gave the writers that idea??? The game was supposed to be some sort of a one-man Ghostbusters, with one-liners flying all over the place. It just didn't work for me at all, so I sold it. 

GRAN TURISMO 3: A-SPEC | Polyphony Digital | 2001
Well, this was one fantastic game, but I really didn't need another Gran Turismo. This wasn't really my game to begin with, it was my brother who bought it, and eventually sold it off when he got tired with it... or ran out of money for cigarettes, I don't know. 

This game's release was the fans' fault. We asked for it, without stopping for one minute to think about the consequences of an admittedly impressive handheld game faithfully ported to the PlayStation 2 - it sucked. It was generic, a huge step backwards when it came to Grand Theft Auto on a major console. It hurt to let it go, though, it had a great and worthy story - I sold it in the "Blood Omen Bundle". Didn't get much for it, since it was a budget game to begin with. 

Now this game was generally better than its predecessor, but the PS2 port suffered from most of the same bad mechanics and simply re-scaled graphics. Sold this one in the "Blood Omen Bundle" as well. 

HEADHUNTER | Amuze | 2001
Actually, I never even played this game. I can't even remember watching the game for one whole minute. My brother bought it, played it for a spell and sold it. I guess he thought it was "OK". 

HITMAN 2: SILENT ASSASSIN | IO Interactive | 2002
As much as I usually love playing as an assassin (say "as an assassin" five times, real quick), I never got into Hitman. I really tried to like this game, but just didn't. My brother, on the other hand, never could stand _anything_ related to Italy, so he never even touched the game though he bought it. I sold the game in the "Blood Omen Bundle". 

As an avid fan of the works of Mr. Tolkien and upon learning that this game was actually based on the book rather than the movie, I couldn't help wanting this game. Storywise, it's a decent adaptation, but when it comes to the gameplay, the game is dull, short and awkward. I sold it in the "Blood Omen Bundle". 

PROJECT ZERO | Tecmo | 2001
This critically acclaimed survival horror game - known as Fatal Frame in the U.S. - was my first PlayStation 2 game, and I just didn't get a hang of it. I actually asked my brother to go and sell it the same day he bought it. 

A damn disgrace to the Resident Evil franchise, a survival game based on co-operative work, which is remarkably dull and pointless as a single-player experience. Nice graphics, and that's all there is to the game. This was the eighth and last game I sold in the "Blood Omen Bundle". 

One of the most critically acclaimed and influential video games of the 21st century thus far... and I didn't really love it. I liked it, but I felt kind of guilty of having the game and its fancy cardboard box cluttering up my shelf and gathering dust. So, my friend - the collector - broke my PS2 (one of them) and immediately got me a new one without asking me first, and I knew he didn't have a lot of money, so I rewarded him for his noble deed with my copy of Shadow of the Colossus, which I knew he loved. 

Another critically acclaimed stealth action title which sported some hidden greatness I could never really comprehend. My brother bought it for Tom Clancy's name on it - not quite the epic fail Rainbow Six: Lone Wolf was, far from it, but the game really didn't make a difference to me whatsoever. Would love to try it again, though. 

WWE SMACKDOWN! VS. RAW | Yuke's | 2004
A very disappointing sequel to WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain. This one broke down in use. 

WWE SMACKDOWN! VS. RAW 2006 | Yuke's | 2005
Same as above, this one broke down in use, but the difference is that the 2006 edition of WWE SmackDown! was an awesome game littered with great, new features. If it wasn't so dated due to its seasonal nature, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it back the minute I see it.