Virtua Fighter 2 (PSP): COMPLETED!

Sort of prompted by the Virtua Fighter article in the current issue of Retro Gamer, when I opened up Mega Drive Collection for the PSP – on my Vita – I decided to play this.

It’s crap.

No, it’s really pretty awful. The animation is terrible, the controls are unresponsive, and the implementation of the game on the Vita/PSP is woeful, with horrendous slowdown and sound syncing issues.

It looks nice. But then everything moves and you wonder what the hell Sega were thinking when they thought the Mega Drive was a good fit for a Virtua Fighter 2 port. It didn’t have the oomph to push enough polygons, so they rendered the animation frames with sprites instead. Leaving a poorly animated version of the game and awful sprites that are laughable beside Street Fighter II or even Eternal Champions.

I completed it as Jacky, by the way.

The post Virtua Fighter 2 (PSP): COMPLETED! appeared first on deKay's Gaming Diary.

Virtua Fighter 2 (PSP): COMPLETED!

Sort of prompted by the Virtua Fighter article in the current issue of Retro Gamer, when I opened up Mega Drive Collection for the PSP – on my Vita – I decided to play this.

It’s crap.

No, it’s really pretty awful. The animation is terrible, the controls are unresponsive, and the implementation of the game on the Vita/PSP is woeful, with horrendous slowdown and sound syncing issues.

It looks nice. But then everything moves and you wonder what the hell Sega were thinking when they thought the Mega Drive was a good fit for a Virtua Fighter 2 port. It didn’t have the oomph to push enough polygons, so they rendered the animation frames with sprites instead. Leaving a poorly animated version of the game and awful sprites that are laughable beside Street Fighter II or even Eternal Champions.

I completed it as Jacky, by the way.

The post Virtua Fighter 2 (PSP): COMPLETED! appeared first on deKay's Gaming Diary.

Virtua Fighter 2 (PSP): COMPLETED!

Sort of prompted by the Virtua Fighter article in the current issue of Retro Gamer, when I opened up Mega Drive Collection for the PSP – on my Vita – I decided to play this.

It’s crap.

No, it’s really pretty awful. The animation is terrible, the controls are unresponsive, and the implementation of the game on the Vita/PSP is woeful, with horrendous slowdown and sound syncing issues.

It looks nice. But then everything moves and you wonder what the hell Sega were thinking when they thought the Mega Drive was a good fit for a Virtua Fighter 2 port. It didn’t have the oomph to push enough polygons, so they rendered the animation frames with sprites instead. Leaving a poorly animated version of the game and awful sprites that are laughable beside Street Fighter II or even Eternal Champions.

I completed it as Jacky, by the way.

The post Virtua Fighter 2 (PSP): COMPLETED! appeared first on deKay's Gaming Diary.

Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines: completed!

While still bogged down in the quest to avoid quests in ACIII, and with a newly-charged Vita downloading games I had purchased on the webstore and forgotten about, I came across Assassin's Creed Bloodlines, a PSP game I bought for about £2 in a sale a while ago.  Set between the original AC and ACII, it got middling reviews at the time of release, and I can understand why - on first impressions, it's trying to be a fully-fledged AC game, and releasing alongside the amazing ACII won't have done it any favours.

But step back from it for a bit and you realise that it's actually far better than it appears.  Gone are the open, sprawling maps, replaced with small, discrete areas.  Gone are the countless distractions, and the missions are a lot shorter (albeit often with multiple parts).  Unlike the original game, Bloodlines is far more linear, not requiring multiple side missions before approaching the main target.  This is a game designed for mobile playing, where there is no requirement for you to remember your objectives for hours on end.  It may be driven by the limitations of the hardware, but the result works really well.


That's not to say there aren't frustrations.  The combat is a bit clunky, especially going straight from ACIII, and the camera frequently served to frustrate this by hiding the person attacking.  It is very easy to win the fights, simply by holding the right trigger (the block button) and countering, with a few exceptions of boss battles.  The combat serves only as an annoyance, and I was frequently trying my best to avoid it by sneaking around the scenery.  This didn't always work, particularly when I accidentally jumped off a ledge onto a guard's head - and there's no air assassination here.


What was more annoying was when there was no alternative but to fight.  After each boss battle, he area was swamped with soldiers who would attack before I could run away.  In addition, there were often soldiers standing guard outside the entrance to key rooms, and without the distraction tools available in later games I just had to massacre them.

I may be going a little overboard though.  The combat was a minor annoyance, and the game anything but.  There was a reasonably involved story, with Altaïr searching for the Templar archive where they keep lots of exciting mystery stuff.  He tracks it down to Cyprus, which is where the game is set.  Throughout the game, Maria (who has a very modern middle-class English accent) is slowly won over to the Assassins, as she sees what the Templars plan.  There's enough tension to keep playing.

But it's not a long game. It's taken me a couple of weeks of commuting to finish it, and that includes a lot of unnecessary battles and diversions.  Easily worth £2 though.

Street Fighter II Champion Edition (PSP): COMPLETED!

Yeah__but_you_re_wearing_cauliflowers_in_your_hair.__t_httpt.coP1EYxoWhEuAnother game from that Capcom Classics compilation I bought a while ago, although infinitely better than the terrible Exed Exes. But then, most things are.

Usually, when I play Street Fighter games, I pick Kenneth. He’s the best, of course, and his blond locks are far more enticing and suggest he’s far more fun than boring Ryu. I mean, Kenneth drives fast cars and loves the odd drink, but Ryu spends his evenings meditating on the floor of his bedroom while his parents wonder what’s wrong with their special little boy. Kenneth, man.

But this time, I chose Boring Ryu. I’m not sure why.

What a struggle. Sure, I’ve never been the best Street Fighter player. I’ve only clocked it a couple of times in the arcade, and tend to only beat those players who haven’t really played fighting games before, but this… this was hard. I must point out that the Vita’s analogue stick (yes, I was playing the arcade game included in a PSP game pack on a Vita) is useless for Street Fighter. And the d-pad is terrible for dragon punches. In effect, I was playing with one hand behind my back.

Which is why Chun Li beat me 18 times straight.

And Zangief gave me Zangrief 12 times.

And Bison double perfected me 5 times before I even got a single hit in.

But! Eventually, I prevailed, and Boring Ryu walked off into the sunset, heading home for a glass of milk and a digestive biscuit, while Kenneth and his bevy of ladies partied at Spearmint Rhino for the entire weekend. Oh Ryu.

Exed Exes (PSP): COMPLETED!

OK, so technically it’s on the Vita, and really it’s an arcade game (it’s on Capcom Classics Reloaded), but since it’s a download for the PSP I’m classing it as a PSP game. I think that’s in line with my usual logic for the likes of the Wii U Virtual Console. Not that it really matters. As an aside, the game looks pretty poor on the Vita screen, regardless of screen size option. I don’t think PSP games look very good on the Vita generally, but a game that’s resized to fit one screen then that is resized to fit on another? Horrible. The text on the menus and options are barely readable.

The reason I bought Capcom Classics Reloaded is because it’s cheap, and the reason I chose Exed Exes to play is because I’ve not played it before (although I think I have the Famicom version), it looks like Xevious, and Retro Gamer did a feature on shoot-em ups this months and I fancied a go on one.

Oh my god should I have not bothered.

Exed Exes is TERRIBLE. I know it’s about 30 years old and I know I’m not a massive fan of the genre, but still. It’s tedious. It’s repetitive. There’s no variation in the enemies or the landscape. The music is an awful dirge. The enemies are uninspired and take far too many hits to destroy. The bosses are all virtually identical, just progressively larger, and are basically simple symmetrical shapes with gun turrets on top. It’s really hard. It’s sooooo slooooow. The power-ups don’t affect your weapon in any real way (you shoot three bullets instead of two, but the power doesn’t increase so it makes no difference) and the smart bombs only damage enemy bullets, not enemies.

And it’s so, so boring. After four stages I wanted to claw my own skin off, but I stuck with it for all 16 and after the final fanfare and a load of bonus points, stage 17 started – which was just stage 1 again. No. I’ve had enough.

Then I started Vulgus and it’s the same damn game only with crap metal baddies instead of crap insect baddies. OFF!

Gaming moments: F

Floigan Brothers: Episode One (Dreamcast)

I recall being stumped for ages that I needed to get to somewhere distant, but couldn't jump that far.  By accident I managed to annoy the big fat brother, who picked me up and chucked me over to the platform.

Feel the Magic XX-XY (DS)

I had the US version.  One of the first games in the game (if not the very first) sees you trying to get goldfish out of a man's stomach.  The first time I played this I was mashing the d-pad trying to control the goldfish, completely forgetting about the touch screen.  to be fair, it was a new control scheme at the time ...

Forza Horizon (Xbox 360)

Driving around in the early evening, I was worried that my console was dying, with odd spots appearing in the sky.  It turns out they were Chinese lanterns, floating upwards.

Field Commander (PSP)

I tried to play this multiplayer, not realising it would mean staying on the console until we finished the game.  You'd think that a turn-based game would work using a send-turns mechanic, but no - it worked through a continuous connection.  What's worse is that me and my opponent were closely matched, so I eventually got to bed at around 2am.

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (Gamecube)

We played through this at regular games evenings and days.  Kieron played a short bloke with a bucket on his head.  At the end of every day, we watched them all dance around the campfire and made sexist remarks about the woman with big boobs. 

Gaming moments: E

Essential Sudoku DS (DS)

After competing 999 picross puzzles, there was one left.  Surely the pinnacle of difficulty, it's surely going to be a trophy or medal or something special.  Oh no, it's really easy and it's a pie chart.  A bloody pie chart.

Earth Defense Force 2017 (Xbox 360)
Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable (PS Vita)


Both games have many highlights, but the thing I will remember most is the mission in which you are sent into battle against the massive walking fortress.  I destroyed more of the city than the fortress did while trying to attack it, and finally the mission ends with you withdrawing because your weapons aren't powerful enough.  Sorry I broke the Space Needle for nothing, guys.

Exit (PSP)

One of the characters you have to rescue is very fat. I called him Fatty.  I pushed boxes onto him.  He died.

Ecolibrium (PS Vita)

Playing on the train, on the tutorial.  And then the game requires me to look around 180 degrees with my Vita to see the animals behind me.  Not going to happen; never loaded up again.

Endless Ocean (Wii)

I recently went back to this as part of the "Au Revoir Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection" drive, which was pointless as the only online mode it has is to connect to a friend who is simultaneously playing the game; that will never have happened.  Anyway, during my brief play I watched the most stilted and awkward cutscene ever made.

EyeToy: Play (PS2)

Accompanying the cleaning suds game with "When I'm Cleaning Windows" was a work of genius. 

Game memories: F

Feel the Magic XX-XY (DS)
Project Rub in the UK, but I got this with my imported US DS ahead of the European launch.  In many ways it was an ideal game to launch the DS with, showing many varied ideas on how the touchscreen could be used.  It didn't hang together that well, but I remember the black, white and orange colour scheme vividly.

F1 '97 (PS)
Murray Walker shouting "He's on the green stuff" over and over again; tracks being messes of pixels a little way down the road.  A great game.

F1 2010 (Xbox 360)
Far too many options and menus to wade through.  Completing a single race in the career mode took ages, since you had to go through practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself.  Ideal for people who love F1, but for me it was just a bit painful.

F1 2011 (3DS)
As with F1 2010 above, but with a third of the framerate.

F355 Challenge Passione Rossa (Dreamcast)
At the time this felt like a massive technical achievement and tales of the arcade machine using three monitors underlined the game's credentials.  I played it for about fifteen minutes before being totally overwhelmed by the options and realistic gameplay - in other words, I kept spinning off the track, couldn't work out how to switch to a behind-car view, and had better things to play instead.

Field Commander (PSP)
Like Advance Wars but with little charm, little challenge, and a rubbish online mode.

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (Gamecube)
I've never completed a proper Final Fantasy game; I've never even passed the first hour of one.  This, however, was played loads at virtually every games night we held.  Kieron had a bucket on his head, I was a Selkie.  John was accomplished at ranged combat, we all could heal each other but often didn't.

Fire Emblem (GBA)
I never completed this.  I remember it getting very stressful due to the fact that if a character died in a mission, they remained dead.  I restarted missions again and again to protect my favourite characters, and as a result it grew stale and too difficult.

Floigan Brothers: Episode One (Dreamcast)
It's a shame there was no episode two - this was an amusing game which was unlike anything else, as with a lot of Sega's Dreamcast output.  It was far too short and there was a bit too much collection required as far as I recall.  I got this in Singapore and worked out pretty quickly that it was a pirate version, but bought the proper version on my return from HMV for a fiver.

Ford Racing 3 (Xbox)
I was convinced to buy this by people on RLLMUK praising the second game, the fact it was online (when there were few other online games around, and it was £10 brand new.  I think I played it online three times and offline twice, before being tempted away by other games that were just more fun to play.

F-Zero (SNES, Wii, Wii U)
F-Zero GX (Gamecube)
F-Zero X (N64)
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (GBA, 3DS)
GX is the best.  The Mode 7 games are a bit pants now, but at the time they seemed great, particularly on the GBA where the handling was much more refined.  Replaying them now, they are just too floaty and the career mode is a bit lightweight with daft difficulty spikes.

Future Tactics: the Uprising (Gamecube)
I bought this in the US and as a result, the hassle needed to load the game meant that I played it little.  A shame, as when I did I remember it being a clever game melding a strategy turn-based game with something that felt more action-based.  I'm now able to play US games on my modded Wii; I may try this again when I find it.

Fighting Vipers (Saturn, Xbox 360)
I continue to be hopeless at fighting games that are more complicated that Street Fighter II, but Fighting Vipers has a pleasing lack of combo, super and extra EX WTF meters.  The fighting feels solid and the idea of being able to knock off armour works well.  I get the feeling that if I played this a bit more I could get quite good at it.  That's unlikely to happen.

God(s) Eater Burst (PSP)

Okay, so there seems to be some confusion about the title of this game. Sometimes GOD eater, sometimes GODS. Who knows what it actually is. In game, the team you work with are known as GOD eaters so we’ll go with that one.

Regardless, the premise is simple. You kill ridiculously large monsters with ridiculously large swords and ridiculously large guns. There’s an amount of corpse-scavenging, an amount of crafting and the whole thing is designed for multiplayer. Sounds just like Monster Hunter, you cry. And you’d be right – it’s very like Monster Hunter. But with one important difference (well, two, but I’ll get to that); it doesn’t have the same brutally difficult leaning curve, particularly with regards to the controls. You can, to an extent, get away with flailing wildly at things in the early missions but you’d do well to learn to duck, weave and dodge. The difference is, God Eater Burst has fluid, fast and responsive controls and (in my opinion) Monster Hunter… doesn’t.

I’ve only played through the tutorials and 1st Tier missions, so I’m not hugely far in, but I have gone backhand replayed missions to improve my rank as well as to just try some things out and see what different strategies yield. All in all, I can see myself spending rather a lot of time with this one.