The Ill Communication

Overview for games

Flying at the speed of Zero-G

June 7, 2017 | 21:10 | Written by: snake911

Wipeout's back in the spotlight this week and rightfully so.  With the release of WipEout Omega Collection for the PS4, hopefully it can bring a new generation of fans to the series, even though the original studio that created the franchise closed down a few years back.

My past experience for the series isn't as big as I liked to admit.  I've always appreciated it from a distance, and played the demos whenever I came across them, but I've never really played it until last fall when I was researching the original three games.  For me, the underappreciated Wipeout 3 has to be my favorite.  Why?  Because of all three original games for the PS1, that one just oozes with style!  The futurism appearance The Designers Republic put into this game makes this title stand above all other games that came out around the same time.  Add in how great the graphics look, the music, and sound, and you got yourself a winner.  Just check out this video and judge for yourself!

I'm planning to get Omega because that will fill the later years for the series so I can see both the beginning and end to see how the series evolved.  I think controls have to the biggest improvement due to the introduction of analog controls and more buttons, making for both driving and fighting foes on the track easier.

And yesterday, I stumbled across a video online showing a Wipeout clone worthy of continuing that kind of futuristic racing.  Formula Fusion from developer R8 Games looks to be the best one for the job.  Heck, they got tDR onboard, so that should show that they got something on their hands that just might work.

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Eyes on the prize

May 25, 2017 | 19:41 | Written by: snake911

So I've been playing Shenmue 2 over the last couple of weeks and have been enjoying what I've seen thus far.  The world seems much larger than it was in the first game, but not so much in the nitty gritty details.  In terms of street exploration it has expanded exponentially, but the number of stores you can enter have been cut back, so there's a bit of compromise for balancing the size of the world out.  But so far, I think I've entered a city that's, as of now, like 10 times larger than the town was in the first game.  Huuuuge!

Right now I'm trying to earn enough money to be comfortable with spending some of it on useless things like toy capsules and food, and that requires working a part-time job moving crates around, and I think half my time with the game has been working this one specific job.  A job that requires me to quickly enter a command of either pressing the left or right button on the D-pad.  Which button I press depends on what direction shows up on the bottom of the screen; which shows up right on Ryo's butt.  This means I've been looking at Ryo's butt for about half the time I've been playing this game.  Good times!

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Hippity hop

May 12, 2017 | 22:57 | Written by: snake911

Not too long after we received the wonderful remastered version of PaRappa the Rapper, we got another bit of great news for rhythm games.  It was announced that creator Masaya Matsuura, and Keiichi Yano of Gitaroo Man fame are collaborating on a new game titled, Project Rap Rabbit, starring a rabbit who's dressed like he's from times of historic Japan.

But the twist is it looks like it may take some ques from Samurai Champloo because the video shows silhouettes of modern and historic building structures, leading that it may not be locked in by staying traditional to the feudal Japan era.

Hopefully they pull gameplay mechanics from both PaRappa the Rapper and Gitaroo Man and add to it an awesome story that pulls the game forward.  I'd hate for it to be just a series of mini games with little to no connections between them, so fingers crossed that it's as awesome of a story like those two games had.  Hopefully it's very Japanese and crazy!

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A need to return to the dojo

May 2, 2017 | 20:18 | Written by: snake911

For every month that passes, I get another update from the team working on Shenmue 3 explaining what they are currently doing while in development for Yu Suzuki's long awaited third game for the series.  For me, I'm getting these update because I contributed to the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter campaign back in 2015.  At that time, I had both games, but I never played them.  Last year I finally got around to playing the first game and I loved it.

Everything from the graphics, the story, the music, and just the sheer amount of things you can do and explore in the game made it a worthy title to play.  Now I need to finish catching up by getting to and completing the second game which looks just as interesting as the first.  I have the Xbox version, so I should have no problems playing since it was translated into English, but it makes me wonder if Yu Suzuki and team or if Sega have plans to remaster the first two games to build anticipation for the third game.  That would be pretty cool if they did, allowing people to experience the full trilogy.

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Smiling to the beat

April 6, 2017 | 20:50 | Written by: snake911

One game that has eluded me and acted as a blank spot for my PS1 knowledge has been playing PaRappa the Rapper in its entirety.  Now I tried to rectify this by trying to get it a few years back, but was surprised to see how much it goes for on eBay, so it was something I never went forward with adding to my collection.  Instead, I got UmJammer Lammy, the not-so-true official sequel to PaRappa the Rapper last year for my birthday.  Surprisingly you can still get a new copy of the game on Amazon for about $24.00.  Who knew?!

Although, this doesn't mean I'm completely oblivious to PaRappa as I played the heck out of the demo back when a friend let me borrow his demo disc that came packed in with his PS1.  But now here we are in the year of our Lord: two thousand and seventeen, during the 20th anniversary of the original game, Sony went and made a remastered version for the PS4 to redeem myself.  And I gotta say, it's pretty cool.

Visually it's just beautiful.  I normally keep games in their original aspect ratio, but I'm making an exception here as the simple yet vibrant color scheme and big character models make this something you can actually take advantage of your 16:9 widescreen HDTV.  In fact, I believe they mentioned it was also scaled up to 4K.  Nice.

As a bonus, there's even an interview with Masaya Matsuura, the creature of PaRappa the Rapper on PlayStation's official blog.  I loved how he said, "I Wanted to Make a Game that Puts a Smile on Everyone's Face."  Yup, mission accomplished as I'm grinning from ear to ear when I'm playing to the beat of this game.  This release is getting me excited to play the upcoming Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy that groups the first three games in a remastered collection for the PS4.

Man, this year is shaping up to be a great one for PS1 classics.

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One last thing...

March 21, 2017 | 21:50 | Written by: snake911

Oh, right!  I forgot to mention in the previous post about the PlayStation Underground CD Magazine was during the first year and a half they included information about the Net Yaroze along with game demos that were developed with the platform.

In case you're wondering what the heck is a Net Yaroze, it was a special PlayStation that allowed hobbyist leveled users build games for the PS1.  It was totally awesome that Sony allowed the opportunity for gamers to put their skills to the test and allow them to make games for the then powerhouse that was PlayStation.

To market the Net Yaroze, they included a number of games with the CD mag and they were such a fascinating thing to look at and actually play.  The small videos they included about the development and contests gave context to what you can do with this special black version of Sony's console.  Sounds dumb, but if I had the cash, I'd try to get a Net Yaroze because it was such a neat product and service for promoting programing and games development.

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