The King's Prescribed Dose

The frequently updated blog centering around the Prescription King himself.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

So I Obtained a PSP...

...around 6:30 in the am (ungodly hours for most I'm sure, but I work nights) at my local Walmart. Now, it would of probably been better to get one from a source that also offers protection plans, but I'm not one for those. I got one on my DS (thank the heavens I did, first boot up showed a dead pixel on the touch screen), but only because of all the stories I had read and heard. I got one of the few that come with Spider-Man 2, which is pretty cool to watch on what I am now calling 'Black Thunder' (many points to whoever knows the origin of the name).

I am purely amazed at how crisp the visuals are on this bugger. Spidey looks awesome on here, yet not enough to warrant the insane price tag Sony is affixing to UMD movies. My only complaint so far is just how much my fingerprints show on BT, but that's me just being anal I suppose. Also, the UMD drive opens pretty fast, so I guess you could say I have 2 complaints. Otherwise, I'm completely happy.

I picked up Metal Gear AC!D with it, which I have yet to play. I know I should let it charge first before messing with it, but I was tempted too great with Spidey so I gave a peak. Regardless, I know I'll love AC!D (or at the least like a lot). I'll give impressions of that later.

-Rx out

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Uninteresting Events


Well, not in the world of gaming. There are a whole host of tidbits from this years GDC in San Fran to talk about, but every sentiment I could have to add has already been relayed at the site so I won't go any further. Instead, I'll delve into things of more import, what I did over the weekend.

My living conditions are both good and bad, the good being that I don't live with my parents and the bad being that I live with my brother (who isn't a bad dude, but let's face it living alone would be better). Regardless, by brother went to visit friends and family in Florida over the weekend, so it was Risky Business all over again...uh, don't picture that.

So alone for a weekend with no particular plans, I looked to my Dreamcast for enjoyment since the brother took my memory card (for Tekken 5). Low and behold, what sat on top of the spindel was none other than Mr. Driller.





If I wasn't so broke, I would've gotten the Japanese Mr. Driller for DS awhile ago. I actually went through ordering it, but there was a mixup and I ended up cancelling the order. Regardless, I got about 4 hours straight of Mr. Driller on Friday before going out for the night.



Saturday had me waking early and coming home to the Dreamcast's warm embrace. It was weird to have a weekend where I wasn't obligated to play anything for the site. So, I played until around 1pm before going out to lunch with a friend and roping him into coming back to play some Mr. Driller. It was like I had some sort of build up of colored blocks in my system.





If I lived in Japan, I'm sure I would own so much Mr. Driller stuff. I mean, having Mr. Driller in the arcade within walking distance wouldn't leave me much reason to ever be home.



I got some more time in on Sunday, with the cute lil bugger, plowing through a host of blocks at ungodly speeds. I've had this game for lord knows how long, and it's never gotten old...ever. I really need to get that Japanese DS version as soon as I can.

Man, I really need to have a topic before starting these.


-Rx out

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Devils WILL Cry


This past weekend, a friend of mine purchased what the kids are calling Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening and invited me over to check it out, knowing full well my dependency upon these "video games". So, after a more-than lackluster performance in its second title, the appropriately named Devil May Cry 2, I have to say my initial impressions were that this game was pretty sound.



The combat was more reminiscent of the first title, and since this is a prequel to that, you haven't all the wall-running and skycraper bosses from that atrocious second title. I will say though that the game didn't look too good to me. Regardless, the frame rate is insanely smooth, so I think the trade off was well worth it.



Dante of course starts the game with his trusty pistols Ebony & Ivory and sword Rebellion. Soon after you acquire some tri-chucks and the shotgun(my favorite). New to this title, and as cool as it may be really isn't too believable in a prequel setting, is the ability to switch styles. These are pretty cool, placing emphasis on a certain area of combat you prefer best. For me, I go Gunslinger non stop, because with the dual pistols it allows you to act out violently in true Grammtron Cleric fashion(if you haven't seen Equilibrium, shoot yourself...or go buy the DVD). Besides Gunslinger, you have some other choices that allow for better dodging, stronger melee, etc.



The cinemas though, as far as I've seen, are downright horrible(which in turn make them hilarious). Combine extremely cheesey 'Xtreme' dialogue from Dante with a bad immitation of Hideo Kojima's work in Twin Snakes and you get a pretty good idea of what is in store here. Still, it's nice to have cocky-ass Dante back. He really needs to put a damn shirt on, or take some fashion tips from his evil brother, Vergil.



That's right, the story revolves around Dante's brother Vergil. Like a bad soap opera, Vergil is the evil twin, and in the opening movie an exact twin right down to haircut. After plugging his katana into Dante(OH NOES U ROOIND IT@!!!one!1), he magically changes hairstyle and so the game opens as Dante shrugs off would-be customers for his yet-to-be-named-and-opened business. I haven't beaten the game by any stretch of the imagination, not because of difficulty(Ninja Gaiden was a billion times harder than this), but because I don't own the game. Hopefully I can borrow it this weekend, as I'm sure my friend will have beaten it by then.

-Rx out

Thursday, February 24, 2005

In Referrence Towards Automobiles and Road...


So, my brother comes barging into my room today to tell me he purchased Gran Turismo 4, a game that has received many different overhauls and taken WAY too long to hit the PS2. Also, he needed my PS2 to play it. See, my brother is more along the lines of a fad gamer, whereas I would surely go into mortal spasms if I didn't always have one gaming platform or another readily at my fingertips. So, years ago he swore off all games, and decided he would invest his money into different, to him more lucrative, fields. So, a few months before Xmas I guess he felt that itch again, and decided to go out and purchase his own Xbox. He got a couple titles, namely Project Gotham 2, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Need for Speed: Underground and Hot Pursuit 2, ESPN Football 2K5, ESPN Basketball 2K5, and NCAA Football 2005. So, mostly cheap games, he felt better about getting back into it and having a mutual interest between us again. Around the time Xmas hit, he had pretty much stopped playing all games and had no interest in them, up until around the beginning of this month when he seen an advertisement for Gran Turismo 4. There went that itch again.



So, back to current events, he came in and asked to use my PS2 as I was trying to sleep(been working a lot lately), so naturally I watched for a bit. What I saw was impressive, and despite how long it took to get the damn thing put out, I thought the final product was a fantastic credit to those at Sony. This really was the king of racing games(although Ludwig would say something to the effect of 'Colin for life, dogg'), and I was actually looking forward to playing it with him this weekend. The main reason it struck his fancy was the inclusion of various muscle cars, something my brother can relate to(he's woefully addicted to healthy living and 'pumping up').



So, while I am here at work tonight, I decided to research the game a bit more, check out some screens and whatnot. The official Gran Turismo 4 site holds some nice movies of actual gameplay and screenshots of the various automobiles in the game. The official site can be found here. It's all in Flash, so if that isn't your type of thing, there's your warning. Honestly, I can't believe how damn good these environments look, considering the hardware.



Also included in the game again are the rally courses. I'm not much into rally, I find it a bit too intense for my taste, but I can definitely appreciate a good Rally title. It looks like GT4 will fall in that category, as the environments look just as nice as the street courses and with all the customization you'll have no trouble tweaking your car for off road performance. I'm anxious to see what the collision accrued on your automobile will look like.



Lastly, it seems the crowd during the Rally courses(not quite sure about the Street) is a bit more energetic than old. I'm not too sure if they were even there in the last game, to be sure. I've never been a big fan of modern racing titles aside from the first few Need for Speeds, but it turns out spectators will climb over the barriers to get a better look at the race and even run out into the course to get that award-winning photo of the various cars hitting those exciting curves. That, just makes me drool. It's such a cool idea and I know the novelty will wear off soon after seeing it, but I'll be damned if it isn't something I want to see. The official site has a movie showing this, so check it out.



So, now I just have to wait until the weekend to give it a try. I have to work an extra shift today, so that means when I get home I go right to bed then come back in for my Friday shift(I work nights, so my Friday is your Thursday night), but the second I get home on Friday morning I am playing this game for awhile. Also, it's nice to have something to do with my brother again, as I'm too broke to go to the movies(the only thing we really enjoy together besides a handful of games). Still, it stings a bit it isn't online.


-Rx out

Thursday, February 17, 2005

So, We're Nearing the Release of Tekken 5


Tekken has been a very special franchise to me. It has been a part of my life, as well as my close knit circle of friend's, ever since the first Tekken was released on the PSX way back in the "Dark Times" or otherwise known as pre-pubesance. The game was the first truely good 3D fighting game besides the Virtua Fighter franchise, which was great but a bit annoying since you had to press a button to block.



Using Paul Phoenix and Heihachi Mishima was a zestful experience and one I quickly became addicted to. I would play it nonstop after school, until it was time to eat dinner. After, I'd quickly go back to it until it was time for bed. It was a fire that was lit deep inside me, and to this day is one of my favorite titles ever.



Following up with a second installment, Namco set the bar even higher. Adding in a diverse arrangement of characters, double the last game, and counters, Tekken 2 blew away 1 in every department. Graphics, sound, gameplay, it was superior. Once again I looked to Paul Phoenix to guide me through battle after battle, meanwhile practicing at home with every other character to broaden my talents and make quick work of every foe. It wasn't long before noone I played was any match for me, rarely using Paul unless a certain match or opponent stepped up to battle. All this would be child's play however, for what I thought the greatest height they could take the franchise was soon to come: Tekken 3.



Now, with even more characters and the ability to sidestep, there was an even more richer experience to be had here. I worked at improving my skills in sidestepping, battling the computer in practice for hours on end on the hardest difficulty setting. I started to memorize all of the chain throws, allowing me to disperse opponents in mere seconds. I becames a powerhouse with King, causing all to kneel before the awesome weight of my Atomic Drop chain throw. It was then I started to apreciate Nina and her chain throws, with Paul always being my most deadly character to bring out only in dire need. Namco wasn't about to disappoint though, as Tekken Tag Tournament would soon be the best of the franchise.



I can remember the day so vividly. Christmas morning, 2001, I go through my presents and receive some nice gifts. I think all is concluded when my father asks me "what is sticking out from behind the couch?" to which I reply "is that for me?". Nodding, I grab this large box and unwrap the paper. The blue of the PS2 box was hypnotizing, almost intoxicating, and as I opened it and smelled that lovely 'new plastic' smell, I knew that in fact I had in my posession a Playstation 2. Turns out my Aunt, who was dating Yale(later to become my uncle) was a manager at Best Buy and set this bad boy aside for me. The joy I felt, well, it was the last bit of childhood love left inside me and over the years has been filled with sarcasm, regret, and boredom. That's a story for another time though, as we need to get back to the story at hand.

So, as I sat holding this PS2 in total shock of joy, my sister hands me her present. I open it, and it's a copy of Blade on DVD. My joy shot up ten more fold, as not only was it my first DVD of a movie that I loved(even to this day), but I could watch it on my new PS2! So, then my brother hands me his present to me and it's a copy of DOA2 Hardcore for PS2! It was then that I felt my family got it, they knew what it was that drove me. Beating the crap out of people in video games. So I pop that sucker in, and me and him start taking turns against the CPU. Hours go by, and sure enough we go to see my grandparents down in Philly. When I get there, I immediately go and thank Yale. Oh god how I thank him! He then says it was my Aunt's idea all along, so I go to find her and as I go to hung her she puts something in my face. It's a present, and as I open it I know. I just know that someone heard me, someone knew it was out on PS2, and someone cared enough to let me have it. That someone was my Aunt, for in that wrapping was Tekken Tag Tournament, the greatest Tekken game to date.



Next came Tekken 4, which promised to revolutionize the franchise and innovate with interactive environments and a handful of new characters. Also we saw Jin emerge with an all-new fighting style that made past players that utilized him go back to square one. This game wasn't great as Namco made a couple boners not only in omitting the ability to jump backward, but also through a lackluster amount of characters. So, it was then that I thought Tekken would begin its nose dive and slowly disappear from whence it came. So for over 2 years I didn't play one lick of Tekken, till fate it seemed decided to smile upon me.



I had heard they were developing Tekken 5, and I decided that I would make myself an island by neglecting to read any news or hunt any info down about the 5th installment. I came to the conclusion that I should give it a try when released into arcades, and that would dictate whether I would cut the cord or suckle back up to the teat of Tekken. The day I tried it was 2 weeks before Christmas of 2004, in a small arcade of the Exton Square Mall in Exton, PA. Alone, I saw it's glow as I emerged from the Suncoast Video and fingered the handful of quarters in my pocket. Now, I know the game was most likely in arcades long before this day, but the thing is I hate malls. Even moreso, people. Combine that with the outside world having things like bears and vultures, and you can udnerstand why i rarely get out.



So, as I placed my quarters into the slot, I felt a chill go up my spine. At the character selection screen I hesitated, doubting if I was actually ready for this, yet placed the cursor over Paul and selected him. Playing, I noticed that it looked a lot like Tekken 4 yet moved smoother. I could jump backwards, and the reversals were spot on. I knew it, right then and there, that Tekken 5 would be great and I had to get it for PS2. I didn't even finish the match, I just left and continued my Xmas shopping, giant smile across my face. Ever since I've been waiting for February 26th, so that I may relive days of the past, better days, where I was young and didn't have bills and responsibility.

Or maybe I'm overthinking it.


-Rx out

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Well, Kind of a Lull Now

So there isn't anything that is particularly screaming at me to write about it in the game world now, so instead I'll just leave a link for those of you who own Winamp and enjoy comedy:

http://64.62.253.225:9690

Just open Winamp, hit Ctrl+L and paste in that url.

Enjoy, and hopefully I'll have something real to talk about tomorrow. :)

-Rx out

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pimp Slapping People


So, the big topic is the recent announcement pertaining to Sony's handheld system, the PSP. So far, fellow staffers Ludwig and Jake have voiced some very astute observations on Sony's handheld system. Well, now it's my turn, so shall we?

When the PSP was first announced, I was ecstatic. Don't get me wrong, I love my GBA, but I felt the handheld market really needed some competition. Sega had taken a stab when I was younger, as well as Atari, and I was excited to see what kind of results Sony could produce. Then, Sony announced a launch title that made me want this system released even more: Metal Gear Acid.



The game would feature a card-based system to determine actions and paths taken through the game. The idea of exhausting action points to whip out my cardboard box and hide from a guard plucked at my heart strings joyously. It was then that I determined I would do everything in my power to get my hands on a PSP and this game. Turns out, everything is jacking a bank because hot-damn will it all be VERY expensive.



The problem for me isn't so much that Sony is debuting the PSP at $249 for us Americans, but that we have to buy a stupid 'value' package. I won't bother going over the package, frankly, because you should of clicked the announcement link up there. Needless to say, that damn cloth better be made of the finest silk or terry cloth known to man. If we were able to just buy a PSP and however much memory we wanted for the thing, then I would be a lot happier and all the quicker off to get my hands on the big-screened sex machine.



Oh, such curves! Honestly, I think the look of the PSP is flawless. That is how I would design my own handheld system...ya know, without making it so that one of the buttons doesn't work. If you weren't made privy to the info, it turns out that the screen runs over into the square button causing it to work, well, not at all. Apparently Sony said this was an intentional design for the button. I don't even want to waste the brain cells trying to rationalize that statement, and will instead steal the diagram Ludwig posted in his blog...now.

As far as the PSP's other problems, well apparently they were numerous. You can see what I mean documented in this video made right after the japanese launch(AVI video, pretty big so it may load for a bit). You can clearly see how easily the disc can come out and the malleability of the unit itself. Now, I don't take all of this video to heart because it appears to me the gentleman is tilting the PSP downward while playing, which I think the normal gamer would not do. As far as how easy it is to bend and twist the plastic, well, it's plastic. I mean hell, I could probably snap my GBA in half if I tried(I drink a lot of milk). Still, it's possible to do damage to the system if you aren't mindful, which goes for just about any expensive electronic device.



So, the big question is 'Will you get it?' Well, the answer is 'most likely...please pass the salt.' See, I envision every conversation to always take place over a basket of curly fries. I like salt on my fries. No pepper though. Seriously, most likely I will get one. Ridge Racer and Metal Gear: Acid have shown enough promise to warrant me getting the sucker. I most likely won't get it on the launch day though, unless Acid comes out that exact day. If Acid does in fact release that day, I am sure I won't have the money for it right then regardless. So, unless some deity descends from the heavens in a golden chariot and hands me a sack full of those lovely greenbacks(hey, it happened once it can happen again), I won't get a PSP on launch date.


-Rx out

New Reviews and Solid Snake

Torrente Review

Spy Fiction Review

Now that is out of the way, on to my latest exploits in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. So, last I played the game(weeks ago), I had just spoken with the good doctor's rival weapons manufacturer and left the Graniny building on my way back to the warehouse. I hate leaving games go for awhile then trying to jump back into them. For about 20 minutes I couldn't get past the first room of scientists to exit the building and make my way back to the warehouse. Finally doing so, I come back upon an open area littered with traps straight out of the Predator, only to be encountered by The Fear.


I have to say, that so far in my journey, this is Hideo Kojima's best directorial work yet. Some of it is a bit over-the-top like Twin Snakes, but for the most part it's jaw-dropping without being too lengthy. The cinema where Snake battles The Boss on top of the wooden bridge is fantastic.



Also I've found this installment to be a bit more difficult then the rest. That isn't from the lack of the previous radar system(I find the motion detector to be better), but from how smart your enemies actually are now. Toss in dogs that can smell you out and overall detect you better than guards, and it's a fun and challenging time. Once you get the hang though, you'll be like a vengeful god, smoting those who would build false, golden idols for worship. I picture I am God Dirty Harry, put in the jungle only to shoot as many people in the face as I can.



I have to say my favorite encounters though have to be with Ocelot. Although his voice is dramatically different, as well as his look, he has the same charm and sly attitude as in 1 and 2. He's been one fun guy to duke it out with as well as to watch in the cutscenes. I can't wait to see how he plays out in the bigger scheme of things.



I didn't have much time to play yesterday, but when I get home from work in the morning I plan to jump in and get more done. I have a feeling it'll take me awhile to deal with Fear though, as he is one wiley character.


-Rx out