Category: Videos

Introducing: Budget Shooter Theater!

For about a year or so, I had this idea: Play fairly cheap first-person shooters, third-person shooters and lightgun games that were $20 $30 US or less. I struggled to figure out how I wanted to present this. It was almost a podcast, it was fairly close to being an edited video series a-la a few video series I’ve seen online.

But sometimes the simpler options are the best. I opted to use my (at the time) dormant Twitch channelĀ and just play along for the internet. It’s a slight homage to similar “beat ALL the games” projects like NESMania, PSXsplosion and others.

bst-logo

As I’ve said before: I’m a writer, not a graphic designer. šŸ˜›

Unlike those, this is practically a never-ending quest as there are lots and lots and lots of trai- er, shooter games out there to mess around with. But that’s fine, because this is more of a series of the interesting, the unusual, the good *and* the bad of the “shoot dudes in the face” genre. I’m okay with it not having an end goal except when I feel it’s done.

For the inaugural episode, I decided to go play through the 1993 classic, The Ultimate Doom. My friend Bobinator of HG101 fame tagged along as my co-commentator as I blasted through all four episodes in about three hours with various mods to spice things up. Coincidentally I played this on Doom‘s 23rd anniversary. You can watch it below:

Click here for the whole Budget Shooter Theater playlist of games I’ve played. It’s an interesting mix of the classics and obscura.

After I finish a game, I write a recap and review of sorts on how I felt about it. You can check out what I’ve played and written about here.

If you wanna watch this series, you can follow me on Twitch at twitch.tv/tonicbh. Leave a comment on here or in the usual social media circles (Twitter, the Facebook group) if there’s a game you wanna see me play on a future stream.

(EDIT 7/3/2017: Updated it so it’s a bit more current, with newer links. I will make a separate post for The Ultimate Doom instead of using this recap post. Stay tuned!)

Game finds 02-07/2013: So much stuff, so little space and time.

Man, when’s the last time I did a game finds video? Back in January, to be exact. Well, after several months in the making, I finally got around to making the damn video a few days ago.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHFniAUSbSo]

Boy oh boy, there’s a lot of stuff in there. A bunch of PlayStation games, cheap magazines, games from across the ocean, and undeniably my biggest game find yet. Give it a look and see what you guys think. Expect something more substantial later this week, maybe about that soundtrack I mentioned in the video.

One more thing: I will be at PAX Prime again this year. I might do a blog entry or two after the event, since I won’t be able to bring a computer with me to liveblog anything. It’ll be more fun this year since it’ll be four days long.

(If you’re viewing this from a place where you can’t watch videos, or you like handy dandy lists instead, there’s a list of everything I got under the “Read More” link below.)
Continue reading…

A look at the special Mortal Kombat PS2 controller.

Time to revive the old YouTube channel again, this time with something more interesting.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQj0ZeRZNrY?rel=0&w=853&h=480]

I had gotten this PS2 controller at a thrift store a few weeks back, and I thought it was a cool little piece. I decided to grab it, and do a little comparison to the standard DualShock 2 on the PS2. It’s actually a pretty nice controller. Too bad it doesn’t have Scorpion on it. So I thought I’d make a video about it, and the turmoil I went through getting this thing fixed. It went through hell and back, and now it’s found a good home in my hands. At least I won’t spill soda on it.

Also on the YouTube channel: Me documenting the PlayStation Home E3 2013 booth. For anyone who wants some free PlayStation 3 themes or access to things like theĀ Killzone Mercenary beta, you might wanna check it out. If you redeem the codes, leave a comment telling me. I like to be charitable sometimes. šŸ™‚

Video Game Trinkets – PlayStation on Campus goodies.

So I want to get into making videos regularly again. What’s the best thing to do? A quick video about some PlayStation on Campus stuff.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1jsYP6gm10]

A hat, some sunglasses, a bottle opener, and some voucher codes I’ll probably forget about until years from now. Still, an interesting trip that’s worth talking about.

So, the PlayStation truck rolled into town and set up their wares at Portland State University for avid gamers and anyone interesting. It was outside originally, but took place inside a small room when I went. It wasn’t hard to find the place once I knew where the truck was.

Once I got in, I got to see some of the games on display. Some of them were the commonplace PlayStation ones like PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, but also recent games like God of War: Ascension, MLB 13 The Show and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, as well as some PlayStation Vita stuff off in the corner. I tried some God of War (it was okay) and PlayStation All-Stars (which is still Super Smash Bros but with 1-2 PlayStation characters and a bunch of characters from third party companies to fill the roster).

One challenge they had there was to beat 18 home runs in MLB The Show’s Home Run Derby. Beating it won a PlayStation headset. I didn’t tackle the challenge, because someone had already beaten it with 21. Unless they had multiple headsets, the chance of winning a prize made things pointless.

How I got the stuff was interesting: I found the sunglasses loose on the Vita table, the hat was given to me after I checked in to the event on Facebook, and the rest… well, you were supposed to enter a contest to win a PS3 or something for your campus, but since I haven’t gone to college since 2010, I just smuggled them out. I’d feel regrets for stealing, but these are the kind of things that you have a whole bunch of in a plastic container or in the truck — taking these wasn’t going to be the end of the world to them. I probably wouldn’t do it again, that’s for sure.

But enough about that. I wanna try to do these Trinket videos every weekend or so, and I already have next week’s lined up. Here’s a hint: It’s related to a franchise I mentioned on this blog, and it’s not PlayStation All-Stars.

I Bought Stuff! 1/2013: Video Edition?

Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog entry on game finds. I found a bunch of stuff, and decided to get with the times and actually make a video out of it.

I decided to get back into the groove of making YouTube videos. I used to make videos from around 2007-2010, but lost interest for reasons I can’t explain. Realizing that YouTube is a thing I shouldn’t ignore in 2013, I started a new YouTube channel dedicated to this blog. I’ll likely be making videos from time to time, including making the game finds entries more video-focused.

For those who can’t view YouTube,

(2019 edit: Oh hey. Around this time, I had the wise idea to do video blogs about the stuff I did. However, lack of motivation and frustration around making consistent video content caused me to give up this plan a few months later.

I’m a much different person now than I was then, and I’m not really proud of myself in these videos. Thus to minimize my own embarrassment, the video’s gone. The YouTube channel’s still there, just “cleaned up” with some videos removed. I’m not gonna remove this post, though. Instead, I’m replacing this with a picture taken in 2019.)

Here’s a quick summary of what I got over the course of January:

Largo Winch.// Commando SARĀ (PS1)

Wipeout XL/2097 soundtrack

Sonic Mega Collection Plus (Xbox)

DJ Hero 2 (360)

American McGee’s Alice (PC) with Strategy guide:

Largo Winch is a budget title by Ubisoft based on a French TV series, which in itself is based on a Belgian comic book. They’d keep up this trend by later taking the French XIII comic and making a mediocre cel-shaded first-person shooter that had some baffling design decisions. Why would you cast Adam West in a serious role after he’s been Mayor West on Family Guy for years at that point?!

Anyway. We never got Largo Winch in any form here in the States, so I figure this was a cheapo release in the same vein as VIP where they got the license for cheap and made the game for peanuts to be shoved in the bargain bins at Wal-Mart. I tried playing this, and it was a frustrating stealth-action game made before Splinter Cell, a more well-known and popular franchise by the same publisher.

Ubisoft would go to make one more Largo Winch game, though I bet it was exclusive to Europe as I’ve never seen it here. If there’s anything that needs to make a comeback, it’s Ubisoft making games based on obscure properties no one’s heard of outside of France.

Wipeout XL (known as 2097 outside the US) got a soundtrack featuring some of the artists who contributed tracks to the game, with a bunch of other electronic artists thrown in for good measure. There’s some pretty decent cuts in here: Pre-Homework Daft Punk, some Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy in there for good measure. A fair share of this stuff seems to be more like a Big Beat/Techno sampler more than a soundtrack. Makes sense, considering Wipeout XL/2097 is one of the few games that supports Red Book CD Audio.

When I finished the video originally, I stupidly dropped the CD, shattering parts of the case. CD still works fine, though. I need to find a plastic jewel case to replace it.

Sonic Mega Collection Plus is More Than Sonic Mega Collection. A simple compilation that added a fewq games not in the original. Better than the original Mega Collection since you don’t need to play Sonic 3 500 times to unlock Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Kinda redundant now considering I own the original games on the Genesis as well as this appearing in a litany of other re-releases over the years, but it’s a nice novelty.

Continuing the past trend of finding fairly recent games like Singularity and Blur at a Goodwill, I snagged DJ Hero 2, also shrinkwrapped. When I grabbed this, there were dozens of copies in one Goodwill. Clearly these were being cleared out from a Target or some other store. While I was more into the drums and guitar of the music game boom, DJ Hero was still pretty cool, and I heard the sequel’s much better. I should give it a try sometime.

Finally, American McGee’s Alice. This one was found at a different Goodwill, the one with the infamous bins. Thankfully, this was locked away in a case, so I didn’t contaminate my hands with whatever gunk is on the stuff in there. The game was not preserved well though: the box is mostly crushed, as somehow the cardboard liner that usually keeps the boxes firm was straight up gone.

There are some other cool things about this in spite of the crushed box. It’s the first pressing where Alice is holding a knife — later pressings would have her hold cards or an ice sword instead. Somebody paid $50 at launch at a Fry’s Electronics at launch, which is pretty neat to track where this game was bought originally. Finally, and I didn’t know this: It comes with the Prima Strategy Guide. I’ve been using that to keep the box from being completely crushed.

I’ll likely be making more video content in the coming weeks. I forgot how fun it is to make videos sometimes.

(One more note from 2019 me: Yeah, on second thought, let’s not.)

The Half-Life 1997 Alpha.

Half-Life is one of my most favorite games of all time. It blended action, platforming and story perfectly to be one of the awesome shooters of 1998. But it wasn’t always that way.

Valve, back then a small development studio, made a press demo version of Half-Life that showed a drastically different version of the game: While the story was similar, almost all the levels and designs were different from what we got. Originally slated for November 1997, it missed the release date and came out a year later with many significant changes to the final product, all for the better. Getting a chance to play the Half-Life that never was is really a treat, which has many unfinished levels — some early versions of levels in the final game — as well as tech demos such as skeletal animation. You can shoot a robot and make it do that dancing baby animation that was popular in the late ’90s! Not only that, it has documentation about the game and Valve itself, a walkthrough of all the levels, even copies of Paint Shop Pro and WinZip for some reason…

Here’s me playing through one of the levels, The Security Complex. It’s one of the more complete levels of the game. I go through the stage area at least once, then show the solution as given in the walkthrough.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGCecUyAk9o&w=640&h=480]

Thanks reddit user jackaljayzer for uncovering this gem, who got it from a friend in Bellevue, Washington; and to Valve Time (har) for revealing the leak. There’s links in there if you wanna try it yourself. If somehow you are one of the few who have never played Half-Life, go buy the damn game on Steam already.

(The YouTube video is a sneak preview of what’s to come. Stay tuned…)