RecSpec Roulette: January 30, 2012

      

  Forgive me for being optimistic, but portable gaming is poised to take over my life again. The Vita is coming out in a couple weeks with a strong launch lineup. The 3DS lineup is also looking pretty good. Last year the only portable game I looked forward to was Dissidia 012. I am also excited for the return of crazy Japanese rhythm games. Between Rhythm Thief R, Theatrhythm, and Rhythm Heaven Fever, things are looking great. If iNiS throws one on the pile, it’d be perfect. The funny thing is that you can tell they are rhythm games because it says rhythm in the title. Toe-tapping aside, time to place your bets!


This Friday I took a trip to the mall, and I make it a habit to stop at the Gamestop and see if there are any crazy used games there for cheap. I thought I had stumbled onto a hell of a deal when I saw them selling Meteos for only $4. Imagine my surprise when I got home and it wasn’t Meteos, but this. 

Meteos was one of my favorite DS games. Blocks fall from the sky, and you try to connect groups of three. Instead of disappearing, they turn into rockets and blast off. There were different characters that represented different planets, and each had their own chain rules, gravity, and launch power. Disney Magic still has all this. Instead of characters though, the stages are Disney storybooks. The gameplay is as solid as ever, and they added the ability to move blocks sideways (In the original game you could only move blocks vertically). While this may offend some, it actually isn’t that bad. 
 
 The claw chooses who will go and who will DIE!
That being said, it is such a shame how botched everything else is. It replaces the competitive games with missions. There were missions in the original game, but they were on the side. Your main focus would be to defeat your opponent. Focusing solely on the missions are a poor choice, because it turns the game into an endurance battle. It is not too fun trying to launch 1000 blocks in 3 minutes. There are a couple battles, but they make no sense as far as the story goes. 

Speaking of the story, it is laughably bad. Jiminy Cricket and Tinker Bell ask you for help because someone has been messing with their books. To be honest, I’m not even sure who really was messing with them. Probably Organization XIII. The scenarios presented can be pretty strange. One will have you helping the Toy Story aliens escape the claw, while another has you launching dice back at Oogie Boogie. You can unlock stuff like gallery pictures by beating stages multiple times, which is great because during the game, you won’t be paying attention to anything on the opposite screen. Unfortunately there is nothing of real value to unlock.  The second screen has no functionality at all. I have to admit, some of the game over pictures are funny, like in the Cinderella Stage. Cinderella can’t get to the ball so she’s crying, the animals are dejected, and the Fairy Godmother is dumbfounded because she doesn’t understand her wand. The music is forgettable. Some familiar songs are there but are redone in a bland way. I can’t recommend this at all. Even if you’ve played the original Meteos to death, you’d be better off playing that some more.

Side Bets

Driver history lesson. I loved the first game, hated the second one so much I never finished it, and...that’s it. Driver 2 turned me off to the series. This game has been a ton of fun though. The jumping from car to car is brilliant. I love using it to make chases unnecessarily difficult. Sure, I COULD outdrive the police, but why wouldn’t I take over these two cars and try to ram the police cars? The actual driving is pretty floaty, which takes getting used to, but nothing too hard so far. The story is also decent, as nonsensical as it is. I can’t wait to put more time into this.

This was the diving board back into the wrestling pool for me. As a fighting game, it’s not really too fun, but as a wrestling game, it’s pretty fun. I haven’t played a wrestling game since the PS1 version of SmackDown! but I was able to recognize at least half of the characters because of the legends they had in the game.  The Fantasy Warfare matches are awesome, if only because of the video promos before it. The first thing I did was pick Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage and take on the Tag Team ladder. When I won my first match, I received a trophy called “Mega Powers.” That was amazing! If you don’t understand why, then this game really isn’t for you. That pretty much sums up this game. If you like or may have liked wrestling at one point in your life, it’s a blast. If you haven’t, then move on.

Random Bet: WWE aka Yes, I know wrestling is still fake. 

Speaking of wrestling, I’m totally hooked on it again. I blame my crushing boredom and winter blues. Seriously though, I’m interested in it all over again. I haven’t been interested in wrestling in about 10 years. Strangest thing about this resurgence...I haven’t actually watched any on TV. I watched some matches from past Wrestlemania featuring my old favorites Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, and watched a couple of the WWE documentaries on Netflix. I even bought A Lion’s Tale for my Kindle (which wrestling aside, is still a pretty good book). Last night was the Royal Rumble, one of the WWE’s big PPV events, so there was a lot of stuff to read online. It’s strange, like someone who studies a foreign country over and over and over, learning everything about it. I did the same with wrestling. I read predictions about what would happen, read reviews and stories about past events. Aside from Whiskey Media sites, the site that takes the most of my side is ESPN spinoff site Grantland. The various wrestling articles there written by The Masked Man were always interesting. It was because of them that I went down this road. I will probably watch Monday Night Raw tonight, and MAYBE just maybe, I’ll be a sucker and throw down $60 for a PPV down the line. It’s kind of exciting, and it sounds horrible.

Future Bets

  • I bought Mass Effect for 360, so there’s another game for my to do list. I won't be caught up by the time Mass Effect 3 hits, but I hope to be able to beat all 3 by the end of the year.
  • I want to get through Driver: San Francisco, which I’ll get back to when I wrap up All Stars. 
  • Sadly, I was excited for Soul Calibur V, but since there’s so much going on right now, I’ll probably just hold off on that for a while. Of course, don’t be surprised if I DO end up buying it (tax money).
  • It’s kinda scary, the Vita comes out soon, and I will probably buy one (thanks again tax money). 
  • I rented Battlefield 3 again (the first time I rented it, never touched it) and Just Dance 3 from Gamefly, add these to Halo Anniversary as Gamefly games I won’t touch. 

Final Bet 

Didn’t do a final bet this week, I decided the best way to wrap up this blog would be to pull a random video game song out of nowhere. This week’s is one of the credit medleys from Sonic Generations. Yes, ONE of them. There was one for the console version and one for the 3DS one. This is the console version, which starts off EXACTLY like the Genesis one. Sonic Generations is a game that has a soundtrack that is superior to the game itself, this medley shows why. It has all of the stages in it, so you can see how much they crammed into this game. A great nostalgia rush.  
 
  
  

Thanks for reading this week! For more random nonsense you can follow me on Twitter or check out my YouTube channel. Questions and requests are always welcome. See you all next week!
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Posted by RecSpec

      

  Forgive me for being optimistic, but portable gaming is poised to take over my life again. The Vita is coming out in a couple weeks with a strong launch lineup. The 3DS lineup is also looking pretty good. Last year the only portable game I looked forward to was Dissidia 012. I am also excited for the return of crazy Japanese rhythm games. Between Rhythm Thief R, Theatrhythm, and Rhythm Heaven Fever, things are looking great. If iNiS throws one on the pile, it’d be perfect. The funny thing is that you can tell they are rhythm games because it says rhythm in the title. Toe-tapping aside, time to place your bets!


This Friday I took a trip to the mall, and I make it a habit to stop at the Gamestop and see if there are any crazy used games there for cheap. I thought I had stumbled onto a hell of a deal when I saw them selling Meteos for only $4. Imagine my surprise when I got home and it wasn’t Meteos, but this. 

Meteos was one of my favorite DS games. Blocks fall from the sky, and you try to connect groups of three. Instead of disappearing, they turn into rockets and blast off. There were different characters that represented different planets, and each had their own chain rules, gravity, and launch power. Disney Magic still has all this. Instead of characters though, the stages are Disney storybooks. The gameplay is as solid as ever, and they added the ability to move blocks sideways (In the original game you could only move blocks vertically). While this may offend some, it actually isn’t that bad. 
 
 The claw chooses who will go and who will DIE!
That being said, it is such a shame how botched everything else is. It replaces the competitive games with missions. There were missions in the original game, but they were on the side. Your main focus would be to defeat your opponent. Focusing solely on the missions are a poor choice, because it turns the game into an endurance battle. It is not too fun trying to launch 1000 blocks in 3 minutes. There are a couple battles, but they make no sense as far as the story goes. 

Speaking of the story, it is laughably bad. Jiminy Cricket and Tinker Bell ask you for help because someone has been messing with their books. To be honest, I’m not even sure who really was messing with them. Probably Organization XIII. The scenarios presented can be pretty strange. One will have you helping the Toy Story aliens escape the claw, while another has you launching dice back at Oogie Boogie. You can unlock stuff like gallery pictures by beating stages multiple times, which is great because during the game, you won’t be paying attention to anything on the opposite screen. Unfortunately there is nothing of real value to unlock.  The second screen has no functionality at all. I have to admit, some of the game over pictures are funny, like in the Cinderella Stage. Cinderella can’t get to the ball so she’s crying, the animals are dejected, and the Fairy Godmother is dumbfounded because she doesn’t understand her wand. The music is forgettable. Some familiar songs are there but are redone in a bland way. I can’t recommend this at all. Even if you’ve played the original Meteos to death, you’d be better off playing that some more.

Side Bets

Driver history lesson. I loved the first game, hated the second one so much I never finished it, and...that’s it. Driver 2 turned me off to the series. This game has been a ton of fun though. The jumping from car to car is brilliant. I love using it to make chases unnecessarily difficult. Sure, I COULD outdrive the police, but why wouldn’t I take over these two cars and try to ram the police cars? The actual driving is pretty floaty, which takes getting used to, but nothing too hard so far. The story is also decent, as nonsensical as it is. I can’t wait to put more time into this.

This was the diving board back into the wrestling pool for me. As a fighting game, it’s not really too fun, but as a wrestling game, it’s pretty fun. I haven’t played a wrestling game since the PS1 version of SmackDown! but I was able to recognize at least half of the characters because of the legends they had in the game.  The Fantasy Warfare matches are awesome, if only because of the video promos before it. The first thing I did was pick Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage and take on the Tag Team ladder. When I won my first match, I received a trophy called “Mega Powers.” That was amazing! If you don’t understand why, then this game really isn’t for you. That pretty much sums up this game. If you like or may have liked wrestling at one point in your life, it’s a blast. If you haven’t, then move on.

Random Bet: WWE aka Yes, I know wrestling is still fake. 

Speaking of wrestling, I’m totally hooked on it again. I blame my crushing boredom and winter blues. Seriously though, I’m interested in it all over again. I haven’t been interested in wrestling in about 10 years. Strangest thing about this resurgence...I haven’t actually watched any on TV. I watched some matches from past Wrestlemania featuring my old favorites Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, and watched a couple of the WWE documentaries on Netflix. I even bought A Lion’s Tale for my Kindle (which wrestling aside, is still a pretty good book). Last night was the Royal Rumble, one of the WWE’s big PPV events, so there was a lot of stuff to read online. It’s strange, like someone who studies a foreign country over and over and over, learning everything about it. I did the same with wrestling. I read predictions about what would happen, read reviews and stories about past events. Aside from Whiskey Media sites, the site that takes the most of my side is ESPN spinoff site Grantland. The various wrestling articles there written by The Masked Man were always interesting. It was because of them that I went down this road. I will probably watch Monday Night Raw tonight, and MAYBE just maybe, I’ll be a sucker and throw down $60 for a PPV down the line. It’s kind of exciting, and it sounds horrible.

Future Bets

  • I bought Mass Effect for 360, so there’s another game for my to do list. I won't be caught up by the time Mass Effect 3 hits, but I hope to be able to beat all 3 by the end of the year.
  • I want to get through Driver: San Francisco, which I’ll get back to when I wrap up All Stars. 
  • Sadly, I was excited for Soul Calibur V, but since there’s so much going on right now, I’ll probably just hold off on that for a while. Of course, don’t be surprised if I DO end up buying it (tax money).
  • It’s kinda scary, the Vita comes out soon, and I will probably buy one (thanks again tax money). 
  • I rented Battlefield 3 again (the first time I rented it, never touched it) and Just Dance 3 from Gamefly, add these to Halo Anniversary as Gamefly games I won’t touch. 

Final Bet 

Didn’t do a final bet this week, I decided the best way to wrap up this blog would be to pull a random video game song out of nowhere. This week’s is one of the credit medleys from Sonic Generations. Yes, ONE of them. There was one for the console version and one for the 3DS one. This is the console version, which starts off EXACTLY like the Genesis one. Sonic Generations is a game that has a soundtrack that is superior to the game itself, this medley shows why. It has all of the stages in it, so you can see how much they crammed into this game. A great nostalgia rush.  
 
  
  

Thanks for reading this week! For more random nonsense you can follow me on Twitter or check out my YouTube channel. Questions and requests are always welcome. See you all next week!