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Onyx2

WHAT PLAY YOU?

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Almost, but both my cables have 5 wires! I'll have a gander on ebay though!

 

Thanks for looking though! :thumbsup:

 

Those switch boxes only switch the video. I've got a Component Video switch box and it does degrade the picture quality IMO.

 

If you possibly can, use an optical cable to take the audio out to your speaker system/tv. It's massive improvement.

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Am in the final act of RDR at the moment; went through some (non-plot-related) insanity this morning-

 

<-- click on 'spoiler' to show/hide the spoiler

I went through the stupidest bounty ever- shot up his gang right at the top of the highest mountain in the game but my bounty escaped on a fairly good horse, and in panic I grabbed the slowest dobbin in history, having to chase this prick down the mountain, through a forest, across the great plains and down by the riverside where any false move would drown me and my ride- the whole thing took a good 15min of real time. Caught up with the bastard and THEN had to shoot out four wolves and six of his partners en route back to town to collect. The reward? $240.

 

After going back on the hunt for more hides and stuff I had to help some poor bugger fend off FIVE bears across the plains. After busting out a sniper rifle and Dead-Eye shooting the pack the man said "They almost cut me to pieces!", and was promptly sacked from behind by a fucking cougar. Inside the next 20 minutes I lost THREE horses, two by cougars and one falling off a cliff. Had to write off $700 worth of hides to replace my main ride, but at least the deed is permanent.

 

 

[close spoiler]

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Yes, it's worth

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Should've dead-eye'd and shot his horse.

 

:D

 

I had about one second of DE left and shot him in the foot thinking he'd fall over, and he didn't. By the time I'd swallowed some snake oil and spun around for the afters I only had a killshot left, that would've halved the bounty.

 

Plus the goosechases get really fun late on in the game.

 

EDIT Cougars 4-0 Hungarians, Marston 4-0 Cougars.

Edited by sephjnr

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TripleA's Platform Review #1

 

Seeing as i've not done any more budget game reviews in quite a while I thought i'd play through a few of my platformers and start getting small reviews up. My other reviews seemed to be well-liked so I thought that a few reviews of old and new platforming games would be appreciated by those missing the golden ages of gaming, or craving a new Xbox/PS3 download.

 

I'll kick things off with something fairly new (possibly the newest one on my list). The reviews will end with a pros and cons list and all additions are open for discussions, whether you agree or disagree. They're also in no particular order so this is not a countdown or anything. If nobody is that arsed by them i'll just stop clogging up the thread and take the message! :laugh:

 

So starting it off;

 

Braid - 360/PS3 Arcade, PC, Mac

 

braid-game-screenshot.jpg

 

Possibly the most stunning game i've ever played. Also the only game I can confidently describe as not only a game, but art.

You play as a man named Tim. He looks nothing like your run of the mill cute or "cool" platform characters like Sonic, or Spyro and the like, but is rather a small, red-headed man in a scruffy black suit.

He controls fine, left and right, jump, the usual stuff. However, Tim can control time. With the use of the shoulder buttons and X, Tim can rewind, stop and even fast forward time as he pleases. The game handles brilliantly, and such as one or two of the other games i'll be writing about, if you die or mis-jump something, it'll be because you did it wrong, not because the game has bad handling.

Luckily for Tim, he can't die.

 

braid.jpg

 

The game borrows bits and bobs from other games, most notably Mario. The protagonist looks like a regular man, the enemies are small Goomba-like creatures and ferocious plants, and the princess is never in the castle.

That's not to say that this game is a rip-off, not at all. The game is unique in almost every aspect, most obviously the graphics and the "story".

 

The graphics in this game are beautiful. A visual treat. A load of environments, colours and shades just glowing on the screen. They look like every peice has been hand-painted and amazing amounts of detail are put into each level.

The story is a completely unique part of the game just on it's own. Unravelled throughout the levels in forms of books which tell the tale of a man searching for a love lost, going through great measures to reach his princess. However all is not as it seems as the story never directly implies anything and as such the story can be interpreted in many ways, among those including theories of the Atomic Bomb, and reversed roles in the game.

 

braid.jpg

 

The aim of the game is to collect Jigsaw peices (nothing like Jiggies) and build puzzles to reach new parts of levels, or new levels altogether. There are 6 levels, though you start on Level 2. Each level has it's own puzzle made of around 9 peices. Tim must use time-manipulation to collect all the pieces and make his way to the final level.

The game is like one long puzzle, using time to changes decisions Tim makes and each level has a unique way of using time. Some let him simply reverse and fast-forward, some allow time to be slowed in a particular area, and some allow for Tim to use clones of himself to help him reach new destinations.

 

One thing that just must be mentioned too, is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is astounding and provokes emotion with each beat. It's hard to describe, but this game could not have any other soundtrack and be as atmospheric or correct.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7BMM-M1Yyw...feature=related Shira Kammen - Lullaby Set.

 

The game looks and acts exactly how you want a platformer to. It looks gorgeous, sounds gorgeous but most of all has no negative features regarding level design, or controls. However, this game may be a bit "artsy" or perhaps even difficult for those expecting a Mario knock-off, or high-speed side scroller. You could say it's a platform game for adults.

 

Pros

 

Astounding Graphics

Perfect Controls

Atmospheric Soundtrack

A well-written and intelligent story, that goes far beyong "princess has been kidnapped"

Challenging puzzles and depth.

 

Cons

 

May be too difficult for younger or inexperienced players (though only if they want to do it all properly)

Time-manipulating games aren't for everyone

The story, though up for interpretation, may be too much for someone just wanting a simple game

The Hidden Stars are extremely hard to get, though not necessary for completion

 

braid.jpg

braid2.jpg

braid_screen1.jpg

 

----------------------------------

 

Next game up Crash Bandicoot 2 - Cortex Strikes Back (suggestions are welcome)

 

 

 

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I just downloaded the new mode for bad company and had a quick spin. its good stuff, good fun. It won't top conquest for me but its worth a go.

I've not enjoyed a game as much as this for years, I've not even started one player yet. Its great, it encourages the team play and stops all the dicks and twats I've found taking over every other FPS I've played on line. Its just great to really work together and change how you play to suit the level and the oppositions tactics.

God damn its fun.

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Next game up Crash Bandicoot 2 - Cortex Strikes Back (suggestions are welcome)

 

 

One of my favorites growing up and probably would get in my top 5 of all time games ever, ill look forward to that

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TripleA's review has reminded me that I really need to give Braid another go.

 

I agree that it's a beautiful work of art with plenty to say about gaming and the nature of storytelling itself. I just wish I was better at it. :( I might kill my savegame and restart from scratch with fresh eyes.

 

On the subject of unconventional puzzlers, I've recently been playing a little bit of Echochrome on the PSP. It's an Escher-inspired, black-and-white 3D(ish) puzzle game where you manipulate the camera to create a path for a perpetually walking character. The twist being that "perception is reality", so if you turn the perspective so, for example, a piece of scenery covers a hole your dude will walk straight over the hole. If it looks like your little guy can take a route, then he can take that route.

 

It's a proper brain-bender and highly recommended to anyone who thought Portal messed with their head and anyone who likes something different.

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TripleA's review has reminded me that I really need to give Braid another go.

 

I agree that it's a beautiful work of art with plenty to say about gaming and the nature of storytelling itself. I just wish I was better at it. :( I might kill my savegame and restart from scratch with fresh eyes.

I'm in a similar boat. I want to like it, but I got to a point (shamefully early in the game) where I just couldn't work out what to do. I think it was a bit where time moved forwards or backwards depending on whether you were moving right or left, and nothing I did seemed to interfere with that endless loop. I'm all for a challenge, but it just got frustrating at that point.

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TripleA's Platform Review #2

 

Number two up now. A Playstation 1 classic as part of a trilogy of fondly remembered games on that console (barring the Kart Racing and Party Game one).

 

Crash Bandicoot 2 - Cortex Strikes Back, PS1

 

Crash_Bandicoot_2_PAL-front.jpg

 

Crash Bandicoot 2 is the second of three Crash Bandicoot platform games on the original Playstation. In my opinion - and possibly others - this was the top of the three. One handled a lot more slowly and had a lack of variety in levels, a terrible save system and a massive spike in difficulty mid-way through the game. Number 3 was good, but bundled with terrible novelty levels (biking, tiger-riding, scuba diving, piloting, etc.) and for some reason moves a lot faster than the other 2. Crash Bandicoot 2 is just right.

 

The game starts shortly after the end of Crash Bandicoot 1. Cortex has been blown out of the sky and has landed in a cave of Crystals which he figures out can help him build a machine to destroy the world, The Cortex Vortex. Due to Cortex's lack of athleticism, he tricks Crash into collecting Crystals for him by saying they'll help him. Throughout the game, Crash's sister Coco and one of the baddies off the last game Dr Nitrus Brio warn Crash that Cortex is tricking him, and he should collect hidden Gems to destroy the Cortex Vortex.

 

crash-bandicoot-2-cortex-strikes-back-psn-20080110081611600_640w.jpg

 

The game begins in a training level (which you can skip) in which Coco asks Crash to go get some batteries for her laptop. You can then control Crash through the short level to get used to the controls, until finally you find a secret portal to the warp room of actual levels. The controls handle just fine, if a little more responsive than the first game. X is jump, [] is spin, and O is crouch, with the D-Pad to move Crash. The O button can also be used to do a higher jump if you hold it whilst jumping, and if moving Crash will slide. It handles great for what it is.

 

When in the Warp Room you can pick 5 levels in any order and must obtain the purple crystal in each before being able to advance to the boss. There are 5 normal warp rooms with 5 levels, and a hidden warp room activated by doing specific actions in the normal levels. The hidden one takes you to the previously unaccessable parts of the normal levels, and 2 completely new levels where hidden Gems can be found.

The levels all take a specific theme for each floor of the Warp room. 1 is normal levels with a mix of places to get you used to the game, 2 is mostly snow levels, 3 is mostly sewer levels, 4 is mostly digging and bee levels, and 5 is the space themed levels where you fight Cortex.

Altogether the game has 25 Crystals, and 42 Gems, 5 of which are coloured and open new platforms in the levels to obtain more clear gems.

 

Foto%20Crash%20Bandicoot%202:%20Cortex%20Strikes%20Back.jpg

 

The graphics are about as good as you'd expect for a relatively early PS1 game, but they suit the game and are by no means bad. They're just nothing special. The variation in themes and settings make up for the quite jagged graphics though, with plenty of views to be seen.

So the game handles well, looks alright, and has a followable and simple story, what's next?

 

The soundtrack!. Consider me biased by the soundtrack, and it was composed by the genius that is Mark Mothersbaugh (Co-Founder of Devo, Founder of Mutato Muzika and composer of TV, Games and Films you'll all recognise such as the majority of Wes Anderson films, The Rugrats theme tune, Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. He also has his own Art section on "Yo Gabba Gabba").

Even before I discovered Devo or Mark Mothersbaugh though, the Crash Bandicoot series has always had a suitable and memorable soundtrack which i'd never forgot from my childhood. Some tracks more memorable than others, but they all suit the levels they're assigned to.

 

The game itself poses a mediocre difficulty, especially compared to the first game. However, if you aim to collect all the gems as well as the crystals then this game might just be the challenge you're looking for. Not only are some of the gems in hidden and difficult to reach places, but a system meaning some gems open the paths to other gems makes this game a bigger adventure than you'd think. The last level in the game for example requires all 5 coloured gems to take you on a path for the last clear gem in which you cannot die and is filled with enemies and tricky jumps. Each level also gives you a gem for smashing every box on it, including those in the bonus level and hidden paths. Not only do the gems add a heap more replayability to the game, but they're genuinly fun to find and save the game from being linear.

 

crash2.3_640w.jpg

 

So overall the game is a classic PS1 platform game, with a good look, good controls and a slightly memorable sountrack. The levels have depth thanks to the gems, and the boss fights are platforming 101. There's a reason this game has stood the test of time and is still being completed (by me at least) to this day. The save System has changed from only being able to save every few levels by collecting tokens to complete a bonus level which saves your progress, to a simple wall that you activate to save at any point in the game.

 

Pros-

 

Well balanced controls

Levels with Depth

Colourful and suitable graphics

Fun and varied soundtrack

Improved Save System from the first game.

 

Cons-

 

A slight spike in difficulty if you want all the gems

The last boss is too easy

No way to know if you've smashed all the boxes in a level until you reach the end of it (this was changed in Crash 3)

Story is the usual platform stuff, but doesn't change much from 1 or 3. Crash is stupid.

 

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25qd3xj.jpg

 

280px-Ripper_Roo_(Crash_Bandicoot_2_Boss).png

 

----------------------

 

Next game up - Rayman

Edited by TripleA

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Good review Triple A, I agree its the best on the PS One series and the height of the series as a whole

 

Oh definately. For me the Crash series is way too inconsistent. 1 Was linear and he handled very slowly, 2 was pretty much spot on, 3 was filled with gimmick levels and he moved oddly fast, Crash 4 was unmemorable, Twinsanity was really well written but full of glitches, and the two mutant ones are fun but they're just not Crash. The racing ones have always been quite good, but stuff like Crash Bash they may as well have not bothered. They should have kept what made 2 work and just built on that, but it seemed they were always trying to make something new and forgot what made it good.

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I always thought Crash Bash and one of the racing ones (I think Crash Team Racing) were alright. Wrath of Cortex was the worst one for me. Plagued by glitches, random difficulty spikes and tedious loading times. I think that's why I liked Twinsanity so much, despite the obvious glitch that leads you to playing one section ALL OVER AGAIN.

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Ill be honest I quite liked Crash Bash but im in the minority most agreed with Triple A that they should have not bothered, then Naughty Dog sold it went multiplatform for the next generation and the reviews were medicore at best

 

Naughty Dog due to the fact they only made Crash 1-3 and the 1st Team Racing and recently the first two Uncharted games (Amongst Theives is my favorite game of this generation so far) have a very warm place in my heart

 

 

 

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