torstai 22. joulukuuta 2011

Collection 2011 - Part 1/3

The largest review of the year is done - or should I say the original draft was the largest review of the year. I simply had to edit some parts out from the Fallout 3 review, it was simply too long, even for my taste, so if you feel that something important was left unsaid, it was probably covered in the original. Now it's time for me to take my Christmas break; we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, so I don't find it impossible at all to get right back to business on Christmas Day. I have a mini-marathon lined up that will surely fill in at least one gap just like this review of Fallout 3 did.

My game collection has grown relatively little during 2011, but I think it's quite enough. I think I've been able to experience the absolute best of 2011, anyway, by some other means than buying every single game I've got slight interest in. So, I'm not going to buy any games before next year, and I also don't believe I'll get any for Christmas, since no one's asked me about any games I'd want. Besides, I can only think of two games I'd want, and one of them isn't out for a few more months; one's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one's Mass Effect 3. I'm pre-ordering Mass Effect 3 (the N7 Collector's Edition) next month, and probably buying Skyrim too, so as my first order of business regarding VGMania's year 2012, I'm downright promising reviews of both Skyrim and Mass Effect 3 - perhaps even a revisit to the whole Mass Effect trilogy by some other way than a simple review. I can't say what that way is for certain before owning all three games.

As my second order of business, I promise I'm going to review every game in my physical video game collection I haven't reviewed yet; I predict I'm going to buy a lot of new games in 2012, so this might be my last chance to review the games I already have. Before you accuse me of being a little too ambitious for my own good, let me clarify one more time that my collection has nothing to do with THE LIST. The latter includes hundreds of games that are not physically in my possession. My collection only comprises of games that I have paid solid currency for or been donated by someone else for free, whether they are printed on disc or found from the confines of my PS3 hard drive. It's still quite big, the collection I mean, considering that I'm not an actual collector, in comparison to my friend who'll take anything thrown at him, from old Commodore 64 tapes to banged up Genesis cartridges to crappy PS3 games, even if he'll never even consider to actually play them. No public list of my video game collection exists, so let me correct that right here, right now. I'm hoping to make this an annual thing; each year in the holiday season, I'd introduce new additions I've made throughout the year. Since this is the first time, meaning that the list includes all of my games, introducing them all in the fashion I'm considering would make this one LONG entry (as if it wouldn't be in this form already), so this is more of a simple list with brief comments and notes on each game.

First up, are the games I have for the original Sony PlayStation. From here, I shall move on to the PlayStation 2 games after I get home from work, and finally, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games, both retail and digital. After all the lists are done, I will compile them to a single page that can be viewed any time. This upcoming page will also feature my possible wishlist.

Enjoy my little shelf/HDD-browsing session... and oh yeah. Merry Christmas!

The Sony PlayStation launched in Japan on December 3rd, 1994. It revolutionized the use of disc-based technology and 3D graphics, and brought forth a new standard of controller design that is still in use, only slightly modified. The PlayStation's production was discontinued in March 2006, six years after the launch of its successor, the PlayStation 2, and only months before the launch of the PlayStation 3, which goes to show just how popular it was. I no longer own an original PlayStation, but its games live on due to the PlayStation 2 popularizing backwards compatibility. Most original PlayStation discs are compatible with the PlayStation 3 as well, and hundreds of classic (as well as not-so-classic) PlayStation games have emerged as digital downloads on the PlayStation Network.

Notes: Digital | NTSC | SLUS-00067
Comments: Some say it's the greatest and most influential Castlevania game ever made, I say it's just a good game among the best of 'em. Would love to own it as a physical copy due to its high value, but this'll have to do. Downloaded this one from the U.S. network.
VGMania Rating: 8.5 / 10

CRASH BANDICOOT | Naughty Dog | 1996
Notes: Digital | PAL | SCES-00344
Comments: Never really been a huge fan, but I deemed it fun enough to give it the honour to be the first priced item I ever downloaded from the PlayStation Network.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

DIE HARD TRILOGY | Probe Entertainment | 1996
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-00445
Comments: One of the brightest spots in the history of licensed games, at the very least the best game Probe ever made. The game is probably in the best condition out of all my original PlayStation games. My brother actually bought it, and he doesn't even like Die Hard (!)... the price tag says "6 €". Quite fair, since the copy was brand new and I think it was the year 2000.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

FINAL FANTASY VI | Square | 1994
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SCES-03828 | Incl. Final Fantasy X Playable Demo (Bonus DVD)
Comments: One of the greatest games ever made could've become so much more on the PlayStation than it did - just a slower version of its former self, decorated with a few lousy CGI cutscenes. I'm proud to own it, though, at least a copy of the PlayStation version was much easier to find than one of the SNES version ever was.
VGMania Rating: 9.2 / 10

FINAL FANTASY VII | Square | 1997
Notes: 3 x CD-ROM | PAL | SCES-00867
Comments: I seriously think I've said all there is to it, with nothing more to add - Final Fantasy VII is my all-time favourite video game. I got this copy practically for free; a friend dropped it off back in something like 2001, and the times I've seen him after that are countable with the fingers of my left hand. Apparently he has zero interest for video games these days, anyway.
VGMania Rating: 9.8 / 10

FINAL FANTASY VIII | Square | 1999
Notes: 4 x CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-02080
Comments: The black sheep, to which I return on a regular basis 'cause it has so much cool stuff in it, and it stands as solid proof that even the weirdest ideas can work, if they're weird ideas with effort - unlike the weird ideas in Final Fantasy XIII. This particular copy of the game is not compatible with the PlayStation 3 - apparently the Platinum version is - and I do not have a PSOne Memory Card anymore, so I also own a digital NTSC copy of the game, which I play. This one's just for show.
VGMania Rating: 8.5 / 10

FINAL FANTASY IX | Square | 2000
Notes: 4 x CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-02965 [PLATINUM]
Comments: It's funny that initially I didn't like this game. More elaborately, I took it for a good game, but yet another disappointing Final Fantasy game, which was kind of a running gag from VIII up to XII. Nowadays I consider it one of my favourite games in the franchise, and one of the most epic games ever made. The original version's seemingly TOO hard to find, but on the other hand, back when I bought the game on Christmas 2001 (after having to return my friend's original copy to him), I didn't care if the game was a budget version or not, I cared only for the content.
VGMania Rating: 9.2 / 10

GRAN TURISMO | Polyphony Digital | 1997
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SCES-00984 [PLATINUM]
Comments: The mother and father of all modern racing games, as well as the single game for which the phenomenon of DualShock was created. I got this one on the side when I originally bought the PlayStation, along with a couple of other games commented on later. A great game, absolutely; I just wish I was more into the genre.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

GRAND THEFT AUTO | DMA Design | 1997
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-00032 [PLATINUM]
Comments: Grand Theft Auto is the Cinderella story of video gaming. Who would've believed this cult PC game would move on to the consoles and go on to spawn sequels that would become the most popular and critically acclaimed video games of the 21st century? A good friend passed this game to me for free a couple of years ago.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

Notes: Digital | PAL | SLES-00333
Comments: I loved the Track & Field series as a kid, and I still do have quite the love for the NES games, but simply put, I never understood this particular game. It has only been a couple of years since I had the chance to finally try it. I downloaded the game from the PlayStation Network around the same time I downloaded Crash Bandicoot.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

LEGACY OF KAIN: SOUL REAVER | Crystal Dynamics | 1999
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-01301
Comments: One of the greatest, and definitely most overlooked action games of the late 90's, a huge improvement over its very different predecessor. I've been meaning to review the game for a long time, it has just always slipped because it's the only Legacy of Kain game I have, there are five in all and everyone knows of this game's infamous ending, which is more of an abrupt halt than a cliffhanger. This one also came on the side when I bought the original PlayStation.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

MEDIEVIL | Sony Computer Entertainment | 1998
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SCES-00311
Comments: MediEvil is what would happen if Tim Burton made a video game; also, alongside Gran Turismo, MediEvil made the tag "Only on PlayStation" mean something. Quite a bit overlooked, since I regard MediEvil one of the best games for the original PlayStation. Another friend dropped this off years ago, and he has since said that I have more use for it than him, anyway.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

METAL GEAR SOLID | Konami | 1998
Notes: 2 x CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-01370
Comments: It's been around for almost 25 years, but to many players, the Metal Gear series began with Metal Gear Solid - the one standard every game developer hoping to make a cinematic difference must abide to. Can't believe the history I have with this particular copy - I searched every obvious cranny and nook for it, then I found a used original copy for €15 from some run-down little home electronics joint on the brink of bankruptcy.
VGMania Rating: 9.3 / 10

NHL 99 | EA | 1998
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-01445
Comments: What's there to say? It's an NHL game. Everyone who's ever played an EA Sports hockey game knows how good this game probably was - and indeed it was, I was quite hooked on it back in the day, not quite as hooked as I was on '94, though. Got this used, for about €20, when it was fairly new - meaning NHL 2000 was probably around the corner and someone sold this off.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

ODDWORLD: ABE'S ODDYSEE | Oddworld Inhabitants | 1997
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-00664
Comments: This game is what I'd call pure genius... pure genius executed a bit wrong. This game also cannot be explained with just a few sentences, so just wait for the review, I'm guessing it will not be a such a long wait. The friend who dropped off MediEvil and never looked back again also "donated" this one.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

ODDWORLD: ABE'S EXODDUS | Oddworld Inhabitants | 1998
Notes: 2 x CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-01480
Comments: Exactly the same as above, although this game IS pure genius with good execution. Once again and this once more, this was a drop-off.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

PARASITE EVE II | Square | 1999
Notes: 2 x CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-02558
Comments: You'd think I'd have every reason to love a mixture of role-playing and survival horror, especially a game made by Square. Hell, even I thought so. Well, just wait for the review to spill the details. Got this one from the same friend who dropped off Final Fantasy VII, with the difference that I actually paid for this one - €10, if I remember correctly.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

RAINBOW SIX: LONE WOLF | Rebellion | 2002
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-03888
Comments: I've not even touched this game as of yet. I've never even opened the jewel case! I shit you not. It's not because it's an FPS, I just know for certain it is going to suck some huge bollocks. It's supposed to be somewhat of an "expansion pack" to the PlayStation version of Rainbow Six, which even FPS/RS fans have called an epic fail. I didn't buy this one, my brother did, since he got it for just a coin or two from a flea market, and he likes Tom Clancy.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012... unfortunately...]

Notes: Digital | NTSC | SLUS-90009 [DUALSHOCK VERSION]
Comments: The standard of survival horror, modified just a little bit to be fit for a re-release, to compensate for the extensive developmental period of Resident Evil 2. A guy who's no longer my friend - 'cause he's a retarded asshole in more ways than one - stole the original copy from me, which I no longer mind since I don't want to speak with this dude, not one word. He can keep the fucking game for all I care. So, I now have the digital NTSC version, which is actually emulated from the DualShock re-release of the game.
VGMania Rating: 9.1 / 10

RESIDENT EVIL 2 | Capcom | 1998
Notes: 2 x CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-00972
Comments: Most definitely my favourite vintage survival horror game that still has a tight grip on me after all these years. I have probably never hyped and anticipated a single game quite like Resident Evil 2. You know, when I started thinking where I got this copy from, I couldn't come up with an answer. It's just always been there...?
VGMania Rating: 9.3 / 10

RESIDENT EVIL 3: NEMESIS | Capcom | 1999
Notes: Digital | NTSC | SLES-02530
Comments: The game with the greatest Resident Evil villain ever, but a disappointment when it comes to the gameplay, in just about every possible way. Not a bad game, just a letdown. Downloaded this one from the U.S. network back when it wasn't available in my region, just to round out the collection.
VGMania Rating: 7.6 / 10

RIDGE RACER TYPE 4 | Namco | 1998
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SCES-01706 | Incl. Ridge Racer Hi-Spec Demo (Bonus CD)
Comments: 'Til now, I've had to take everyone's word for it, which is that Ridge Racer Type 4 is one of the best racing games ever made. I've tried it a few times, it has never been very special in my opinion. The game was bought brand new and since I haven't really dug it out of the shelf too many times, it's near mint condition.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

SILENT HILL | Konami | 1999
Notes: Digital | PAL | SLES-01514
Comments: The one and only. Silent Hill would've probably become my favourite survival horror franchise in the world, if Konami had handled it right. Got this one from the PlayStation Network the very hour the digital version was first published in Europe... it got taken down a while later, probably due to an extremely annoying audio glitch. I have to download the patched version at some point.
VGMania Rating: 8.6 / 10

SPYRO 2: RIPTO'S RAGE! | Insomniac Games | 1999
Notes: Digital | NTSC | SCUS-94425
Comments: Almost there when it comes to competing with Super Mario 64, of which the game is admittedly a blatant copy of... even more childish though, imagine that. My ex-girlfriend, also an avid gamer, introduced me to this game, and I downloaded it from the U.S. network back in 2008 for old times' sake - it still works quite well for me.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

SPYRO: YEAR OF THE DRAGON | Insomniac Games | 2000
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SCES-02835
Comments: This game, although very similar to its predecessors, somehow never quite made a difference as far as my personal opinion's concerned. I probably have to download this game as well, because the disc is really banged up - I mean REALLY banged up, as in having a humongous scratch along its face; I am not putting this thing into my PS3. Got the game for free from the same special friend who gave me Grand Theft Auto.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

TEKKEN 3 | Namco | 1997
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SCES-01237 [PLATINUM]
Comments: Still the best one-on-one beat 'em up game in history, I'll not take anything else for an answer. I've planned revisiting it for many years now, but I guess I've waited for "the right moment". That right moment is soon to come, I'm sure. I bought a mint copy of the game from a flea market for a ridiculously cheap price.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

VAGRANT STORY | Square | 2000
Notes: Digital | PAL | SLES-02754
Comments: Would you believe me if I said I have NEVER played this game? 'Cause it's very true. It's kind of a part of the Final Fantasy series, some critics have said it is Square's best game ever, and still, I just downloaded it and there it lies, untouched. I guess it's another one of those games of "the right moment".
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

VANDAL HEARTS | Konami | 1996
Notes: CD-ROM | PAL | SLES-00204

Comments: A cult tactical RPG, which says it all - personally, I'm not very fond of it. I would like to be, believe me. My friend who used to own the game loved it, and it was made by Konami, so yeah, I would love to get into the game. This was the third and last freebie on the original PlayStation's side.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

X-FILES, THE | HyperBole Studios | 1998
Notes: 4 x CD-ROM | PAL | SCES-01565
Comments: We're speaking of a game so rancid, that I absolutely won't waste any sharp opinions I have on it in a brief comment. OK, so I had a budget of 150 marks, which equals to about €25 in modern currency. I went to the only shop in town even slightly specialized in video games, and found this game to be the only one there that fit my budget. As an X-Files fan, I couldn't help myself... which is something I've regretted ever since. On a further note, I went back there again some years later, with a similar budget, and as a Resident Evil fan, I bought Resident Evil: Outbreak. I thought I'd never cease to fail.
VGMania Rating: [TBR 2012]

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