Some More Console Games Worth Checking Out

Hi again! I figured I would drop by and post another list o console games worth checking out. Sure, they don’t get many replies, but I just hope you are trying out some of these games instead of wasting your time replying to my post. Heeere we go!

The Misadventures of Tron Bonne - PSOne

A spin-off of the somewhat average Mega Man Legend titles, Tron Bonne goes the extra mile in terms of gameplay, awesome characters, and neat in game options that really give a sense of progress. The player takes control of the somewhat insane scientist girl, Tron Bonne. Along for the ride is her small army of ServBots (Kobun in Japan). You travel the lands searching ruins, robbing banks, running from cops, and doing all you can to raise the money required to save the day.

The game is separated into various missions, with time between each mission to research weapons, organized scouting parties, and interact with your ServBots in various activities such as training and research. The missions themselves range from action, to puzzle, to role-playing environments. Each posing unique mission goals. During missions you get to pilot a cool giant robot, with your Servbots tagging along. Using the Seeker Cannon, which comes default with your robot, you can command Servbots to interact with an item. For example if you target a car, the ServBots will steal the tires off the car that can later be used to cut down on weapon/armor/feature development costs. Riot cops getting you down thanks to their riot shields? Target them with the seeker cannon and the ServBots will steal the shields allowing you clean shots.

The levels are really interesting and keep things fresh, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of this title are the ServBots. Success in Tron Bonne requires interacting and tending to the needs of your helpers. Each have hidden desires and needs that can only be uncovered through talking to them, training them, and giving them items that fit their 40 different personalities. For example one ServBot who normally works in the tactical ops room wishes he could draw. While he SHOULD be working on the next mission (And Tron Bonne does scold him) if you recognize this ServBot’s talent by giving him the Paint item you can find during the game, he opens up the option to paint the robot you use during your missions. You also get items that mark your favorite ServBot, opening up A LOT more cool mini games.

Training ServBots also opens up all kinds of mini-games that range from target type skills to reflex and memory skills.

The art, the animation, the levels, the mini-games, and the crazy ass amount of things to do in this game gets it a very high recommendation from me. Awesome Awesome game. Way to go Capcom!

ServBots Rock!

1943 - NES

I sure can talk about Capcom games huh? But how can I not, they put out so many awesome games. For those of you who haven’t played 1943, shame on you. The follow up to the somewhat uninteresting 1942 shooter, 1943 offers up new weapons, better animation and visual quality, better music, and a new energy/super weapon system that added an awesome dynamic to the series. I personally think this is the best of the series. 19XX was ok I guess, but nothing else in the series really matched 1943. Oh yes it rocks.

So anyway you pilot a plane against various types of planes in a vertical shooter environment. Each level offers up a more difficult battleship/carrier to take out.

Simple as that.

The most “complex” aspect of 1943 is the energy system. Red planes drop power ups. Unlike 1942, the POW now stands for energy, while shooting the POW power up switches it to different weapon types. Energy allows you to take hits. Energy slowly drains away over time. Using your super weapon takes away energy quickly. Once the energy is gone, you can only take one hit, and then you are toast.

While some may argue 1942 is harder, I think it was harder for all the wrong reasons. Playing 1943 makes it easy to see that this is just a better game, and that’s all there is to it. The energy system makes things interesting and adds something a little bit extra. For example some people like to risk it all and just collect the weapon power ups, while I personally grab POW almost all the time.

Great game. Check it out if you haven’t played it. Revisit it if you have.

Rallisport Challenge - XBox

I usually don’t like racing games. Crash Team Racing (which I love) is a Kart Racer so that might not count, but hey, I DID like the rally mode in Gran Turismo 3. “LIKE” being the important word there. While the Rally modes offered up something different from the street racing, the challenge just wasn’t there. A hard turn could almost ALWAYS be EASILY compensated for no matter what the surface, and the AI just wasn’t aggressive at all.

Rallisport Challenge for the XBox does all of this right. Is it fair to compare? Not really. GT3 was never dedicated to the Rally mode, but I don’t care. I needed a recent decent Rally example to compare to, and GT3 had it.

I won’t go into the visuals too much, I will just say they are excellent. On to the gameplay. The reason RSC rocks is because different road types MATTER and I can’t always just hard turn and compensate the same way everywhere. For example I have an easier time on ice/snow tracks than I do sand tracks since my tires dig in pretty bad on sand. Sure, this stuff isn’t really that new, but it wasn’t done well at ALL in Gran Turismo 3.

Sure, GT3 is a SIM, the whole package is I mean. But as far as the rally game goes, RSC does a much better job providing the driving experience that is the most sim-like. Outside of the race GT3 might win in the sim aspect, but during a race (when it most matters) RSC actually FEELS like it should. That wins points with me.

The tracks are also a lot nicer. I’m not talking pretty visuals, just layout. GT3’s tracks felt like they were mostly constructed to look nice, while Rallisport Challenge’s tracks feel like they were created to be challenging.

Really tho, racing AI is generally boring. If there was a better way to race against people, or just AI as competent as a person, I would be really happy. As it is the best ‘racing’ AI I have played against was in Crash Team Racing. To be fair, the AI in that game had a lot more at its disposal to be extremely competitive. The key however is that the AI is competitive without being cheap.

Anyway, Rallisport Challenge rocks sirs! Check it out!

And if you like 1943 and techno music (and come on, who doesn’t?), give Rez a try. I don’t hear a lot about this Sega PS2 game, so I’m not sure if nobody played it or they just don’t talk about it, but it’s a great 3D shooter with some excellent boss battles. You might want to rent it, as you could probably finish it in a night (there’s a PA strip about this, but they’re down now so I can’t link it, go to their archive and search for Rez if you’d like), but I bought it because I had so much fun with it.

There’s kind of a Tron thing happening where you’re flying through a computer system trying to take out a virus (oh yeah, killing terrorists was so original). The shots you fire and the resulting explosions become part of the music you’re listening to. The graphics aren’t phenomenal, but they get the job done. Anyway, great soundtrack, cool power-ups, the previously mentioned boss-battles, and four pounds of fun. Try Rez today!

Yeah I have Rez, and it ROCKS! I managed to find a copy for PS2 at an out of the way videogame store in Aberdeen Washinton. It was a pretty good deal only like 30 dollars for a brand new copy and they are hard to find! Wow! It is a rather short game but all the new options opened up via passing the 5 different stages at different scores adds a lot of replay value to the game.

PLUS! I hear that the AI adapts to how well the player progresses through a level. AWESOME! I also recommend REZ, but since my recommendations are a bit long winded I tend to limit them to three a post ;)

I’ll add my voice the chorus of praise for Rez. It’s heavily influenced by the tone poems of Russian composer Wassily Kandinsky and is clear proof that videogames are already part of the wider culture as a whole.

It is “short” in terms of a shooter, but there is plenty of replay value with about 20 different extras to unlock such as new colors, soundtracks and levels. It also doesn’t have as much challenge as most shooters as I found in generally pretty easy. But the strength of the game is its close relationship between the action and the techno soundtrack. I think it is a definite rental for anyone with a PS2 who is ready for a more mellow and colorful shooter.

Yeah, Rez is short, but it’s just so darn replayable. No matter how many times I’ve completed a level, I’m happy to play it again. The music and visuals are really engaging, and I love how everything you do, every shot you make ends up on the beat.

It does feel a lot like Tron, but I actually think it has more in common with Star Trek - TMP (what with the whole V’ger thang).

I’ll chime in with support for Rallisport Challenge. I just started playing it again two days ago actually. I’m not the biggest racing fan ever, but when I’m in the mood for it Rallisport definitely satisfies.

Just for the record, I wasn’t complaining that Rez was short, just wanted to mention it because game length seems to be an issue for a lot of people now.

Anyway, for a little more challenge in your shooters, Bangai-O is fantastic. I don’t even know if there is an ending to this game, but if there is I’ll probably never see it. It’s an old school 2D ton-of-stuff-on-the-screen side scrolling shooter for the Dreacast, which looks and plays great. The default scheme is kind of wonky, but you can change it so that you control movement with the d pad and shot direction with the ABXY buttons.

The storyline would probably made just as much sense if they left it in Japanese, but that’s not really the point. The point is to blow everything up. Your two main weapons are heat-seaking missles and a laser beam that bounces off walls. You earn points based on how many things are exploding at the time and there is a special attack which is more powerful when there are more enemy shots headed at you.

I actually can’t remember if the soundtrack is any good, since I usually play this while listening to a CD, but my guess is that it isn’t. Anyway, if your up for a lot of shooting in an attempt to see how many sprites your DC can put on the screen, this is your game.

And if that doesn’t sell you, here’s the screen they show you after you die and continue.

MrAngryFace could post about Capcom games almost indefinitely. There’s so many good ones. Recently I’ve been playing Night Warriors (Darkstalkers 2) and Street Fighter Alpha 2 on the Sega Saturn. Both games are brilliant. They’re so clearly on par with their arcade counterparts. Night Warriors especially is just loaded with animation. Every time I play it I feel like I catch a glimpse of some new frame of animation I never noticed before. I want a new game in that series!

The Mega Man Legends games are much maligned and Tron Bonne went right under everyone’s radar. It’s a real shame. That’s Capcom’s biggest problem it seems. The games are seriously fun and they’re usually geared to the hardcore but even a large segment of the hardcore fail to play them or dismiss the games out of hand. Show someone Power Stone or Power Stone 2 on Dreamcast and they’ll be amazed at how cool they are, but they never believe it until they see it. Same with Heavy Metal: Geomatrix. That’s a super two player game and has a lot of texturing and character modelling that has yet to be equaled on current systems. Yet it came out in the twilight of the Dreamcast’s lifetime so most haven’t played it much less heard of it. sigh

Re: Bangai-O… it’s a Treasure game. One of their best IMO. It has some fifty levels I believe though I’ve not completed it. It can get very tough. It was originally released on the N64 in japan and made its way to the DC later on in a beefed up form. It really is a great shooter and does what Treasure does best, takes a fairly straightforward genre and turns it upside down with weirdness and ultra solid unique play mechanics. The sprites are tiny but there’s so many of them and they have a ton of animation. The best part of the game is that you’re supposed to let stuff get close so you can unleash an enormous attack that literally oblilterates the screen. It’s not called BANGai-O for nothing.

–Dave

Yeah, I am a big ol Capcom whore. Games like Demon’s Crest, Mega Man 2, Tech Romancer, and Street Fighter 3 are just a few of the reasons why I love their games.

I play A LOT of Marvel vs Street Fighter on the Saturn.

Since we’re talking Capcom, I caught these two tidbits on Magic Box…

  • After the absence for two years, Capcom announced that they will participate the upcoming Amusement Machine Show (AM Show) in Japan this fall, they will reveal some brand new arcade titles at the show.

  • Capcom announced they will be hosting a Capcom Game Show in Hong Kong at the end of September, right after the Tokyo Game Show 2002. All the latest Capcom software from Tokyo Game Show 2002 will be exhibited in this Asian game show.

The Arcade one is especially enticing… Street Fighter 4? A new Darkstalkers game? The next VS. title? A NEW SHOOTER?! The mind boggles…

–Dave

I’m hoping that any new fighter they either bring from a previous series or start anew will have hi-res sprites. I mean, it’s about time they combined that with the high quality animation style from Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. A new Darkstalkers or Street Fighter title would be ideal. While I adore Marvel vs Street Fighter, I haven’t found a VS. title with that much balance since. MvC wasn’t bad I guess, but MvC2 was totally dominated by a handful of characters. CvsSNK had great backgrounds but CvsSNK2 had the better characters and gameplay.

I have a feeling they have been working on something big for the past few years, I really can’t wait to see it.

Dave Long: Nightwarriors Saturn is actually missing a lot of animation from the arcade. Have you tried the Japanese Vampire Savior (the sequel)for the Saturn? It requires the Capcom 4 MB cart, has four new characters, and CRAZY (arcade perfect) animation, plus zero load times.

Vampire Savior was released for the US PS as Darkstalkers 3, which is a pretty good port - animation is about on par with Nightwarriors Saturn. It also has a lot of extras - art gallery, “color you own character”, and ranking stuff ala SFA3. Very nice!

Yeah, I’m aware it’s missing animation frames Doug. It’s still pretty close with the exception of Anakaris and Victor. Victor especially seems to be missing some frames.

My biggest regret with the Saturn is not importing anything. Back then I had a lot less cash to spend on games. A friend of mine bought just about everything though so I’ve seen and played almost everything of consequence that came out in Japan but just don’t own it. I’ve been looking around and pricing a lot of things now and while some stuff is prohibitively expensive (Radiant Silvergun, Dragon Force, Shining Force III, Panzer Saga…), most of it is reachable if I forego some newer games for the current systems.

I’ll look around for the PS Darkstalkers 3. That’s something that ought to hold me over until I can get the Japanese Vampire Savior which is most definitely on my list of games to snag. I played it eons ago and absolutely loved it. Marvel vs. Street Fighter was similarly incredible. The Darkstalkers games are among my favorites from Capcom because the characters are so incredibly entertaining. I love the Street Fighter games, but the DS games are probably equally as fun for me. I’m probably a bigger fan of the Neo Geo fighters in general, but Capcom’s fighters are always something I watch for.

BTW, I’ve mentioned before my rekindled love of the Sega Genesis. I scored a copy of Rocket Knight Adventures (Konami) a couple weeks ago. That game is brilliant. For about $25 in total including shipping, I snagged that, Cyborg Justice, TechnoClash and Treasure’s Light Crusader. Two were brand new in shrink and the other two were in excellent condition. I’ve been having a lot of fun picking up older titles. Sega Saturn games will be next… the longer you wait to get this stuff, the less likely you’ll find games with boxes and manuals. That’s especially true of Saturn with the easily breakable mammoth jewel cases.

–Dave

I was a big SNES whore. I had a genny and played a few great games on it, but in the end it was always the SNES for me. I saw a copy of Demon’s Crest for SNES at a store the other day. 8 dollars! What a find!

Well, like today’s three system world, I own both a SNES and a Genesis. The speed of the Genesis action games was always a huge draw for me. Still is in fact… though I love a lot of SNES stuff too. We play Yoshi’s Island with the kids a lot. They love it.

I also owned a Neo Geo, 3DO and a Jaguar back then. I still miss Tempest 2000 on the Jag. All the other versions pale in comparison.

–Dave

I’m still trying to find a reason to buy a gamecube. I know Capcom has some stuff coming to it, so in time that will be enough reason.

Xbox already has some non-capcom titles I wanna play which makes me lean in its direction.

As it is I mostly play the PSOne, PS2, Saturn, and Dreamcast.

With the exception of reviewers, it seems that most people ignore WaveRace. I love that game, the controls are tight, you can spend a long time unlocking everything, and the courses are very well designed. It’s not so great for multiplayer because your friends really can’t just pick it up and play, but I lost a lot of sleep to that title.

Since we were talking about shooters earlier, Rogue Leader is a good time, but it is damn hard. It had been a long time since a game really made me want to toss the console through a window (and the Gamecube has that handle, it’s like it’s begging me to). If you’re a Star Wars freak, you can’t really go wrong.

Any night that starts off with “let’s just play a few rounds of Smash Bros./Bomberman” usually ends five hours later with the same disc still in the Cube. You can’t beat these two games for some four-player action. Smash Brothers is, as Tycho put it “a giant love letter from Nintendo to itself”. If you have any sense of nostalgia for Nintendo titles and you like beating your friends up, you pretty much have to own this. Bomberman isn’t too different from the other titles in the series (did any others let you still play after you blow up?), but it has the power to put everyone in front of the set in a trance. People even sit and just watch while we play it, it’s ridiculous.

I really liked Eternal Darkness. It wasn’t very challenging, but I really got into the storyline, which was extremely well done. I’m addicted to that world SK created, and even though I had memorized all of the “puzzles” and there was no challenge the second or third time through, I just liked being there. I understand Tom’s complaints, but I didn’t see it that way. This game rules, can’t wait for their next.

I skipped out on Resident Evil the first time, just couldn’t handle the control scheme that pissed me off to no end. Loved it on the GC, gonna play it a few more times when I get through some other stuff.

Plus, there’s a ton of (hopefully) good stuff coming out. Mario is here this month, Star Fox next month, Metroid in November, Zelda…uh, sometime. I guess six titles or so might not justify a console purchase, but I love my Gamecube. Nintendo is doing a package deal with the GC, a memory card, and Mario for $189 this Christmas, so maybe you want to wait for that.

Work, work…

I missed out on the sega saturn unfortunatly. What I would give to get my hands on shining force3 the first two were some of my favariote games ever and still playable and fun today. I’d like to get my hands on the panzer dragoons as well. But I can’t imagine playing them as imports I like to know what’s happening.

There’s always emulation though I guess no working saturn emulators yet but I"d imagine they can’t be to far behind.

Oh yeah I hear you on rocket knight adventures I got that when it came out it’s probably my favored 2d sidescroller right after the original megamans.

My enjoyment of the Cube is well-documented on Qt3 but I can honestly say that of the three current gen systems, it’s got the most games that evoke that pure fun feeling you got back in the 16-bit era coupled with some 16-bit-like high difficulty stuff like Rogue Leader. It’s also got the best multiplayer games of all three systems, hands down. As noted above, Bomberman and Super Smash Brothers Melee are timesinks. I would also throw Sega Soccer Slam and Super Monkey Ball in there too since I’ve played a lot of multiplayer with those.

The upcoming games are definitely worth checking out. Super Mario Sunshine this month, Star Fox Adventures next month, Metroid, Wario World, Zelda, F-Zero and even more importantly IMO, the releases of Animal Crossing and Cubivore. Cubivore is the game Dobutso Bancho or Animal Leader from Japan which was just announced as an Atlus release for later this year. The movies of that game are just wild. Can’t wait to see it here in the US. Of course Capcom fans can’t ignore Resident Evil 0 and 4 due in the next two years and then there’s Capcom vs. SNK EO which could be good for a few laughs.

Doug…RE: Saturn… you can do it man. The systems are cheap on Ebay and stuff like Panzer Dragoon and its sequel PD Zwei are like 5 to 10 bucks. There’s so much you can get for the system for a song and it would be criminal to deny yourself these games. All of the games you mention are available domestically too. Shining Force III only got Scenario I over here (II and III were Japanese only), but the Panzer games are all domestic and if you like RPGs, you can also get Shining the Holy Ark, Magic Knight Rayearth, Dragon Force and more. Some are pricey, some aren’t. But I highly recommend getting a Saturn if you enjoy 2D games and want to see where some of Sega’s best franchises got their start. NiGHTS is brilliant and I’ve seen it with the 3D control pad for like $10 to $20 on Ebay.

–Dave

I can’t believe I forgot Super Monkey Ball. Monkey Fight alone can kill an entire night. And thanks for the reminder of Sega Soccer Slam. I keep putting that purchase off, and the one day I had decided to buy it EB was out of stock. As soon as I recover from the 3.5 months of rent I just paid in a week I’ll check it out…