Monday, December 15, 2014

Recent Game Pickups

Even tho I'm kinda stuck on Mortal Kombat II, I couldn't resist buying some more games. These are the titles that were added to my collection in a last couple of months.

Total cost: $13.5

All of these were new, still sealed in plastic. They were on sale in a local game store so I got them really cheap. The Getaway was $4.45 while the other ones were just $2.2 a piece. I remember Aquanox was one of the best looking games when it came out and it was used as a graphic benchmark. The best find among these is Alpha Polaris, a point and click adventure game set on icy Greenland. This game is best experienced if you don't know anything about it.

The Getaway is known for it's accurate recreation of London so they included the map. The other side is a poster. Pretty cool
Used copy for $35. Good condition, complete with the manual. 
An atmospheric psychological horror exclussive for GameCube. I heard it's really good and a must play for any horror fan.

Devil May Cry was $12.5. I would rather get non-platinum version but at least it's new (sealed). Brand new Haunting Ground for $19 was an awesome find. It is a survival horror game, a spiritual successor to Clock Tower series. I've heard it's pretty rare in the US. So rare the price goes up to $100 but here in Europe it's much cheaper. Metal Gear Solid (used but in great condition) was $22.5. It contains a Silent Hill demo disc. Really looking forward to that one since I haven't played any MGS game before.

$45 for the used game and a memory card (shipping price included). Not the best deal but I'm glad I finally got it, especially since I'll play it right after I'm done with MK4 (which might take a while with my snail progress). I guess Mythologies was intended to be a series that could explore every MK character, starting with the most popular one - Sub-Zero. Too bad it was commercial and critical failure so they never made another one. But that won't stop me from playing...

Quake was only $8.5, Heart of Darkness $13 and Koudelka $20.  Quake has always been my favorite game series so I'm really happy I finally got a copy of Quake 1. Heart of Darkness is absolutely gorgeous game. The character animation is so smooth it feels more like watching a well animated cartoon than playing a video game. It's hard to believe the average review score for this game was around 70-75% at a time. I honestly think this game would be a big indie hit if it came out today. Koudelka is pretty unusual JRPG horror. I played the first two hours of it just to see what it's like. So far I liked it even tho combat can be very slow. The voice acting is pretty good (especially for that time) but the dialogue can be cringeworthy at times.

Complete Quake
Funny FAQ

One of the things I decided to do when I started this blog is to build a game collection. Now I feel like the collecting has gotten a bit out of hand, especilly since I'm still stuck at MK II and I have one game at at time rule so I have to finish it before moving on to the next one. It's clear that some time will pass until I get to play the new games. Sometimes I buy a game just because there's a big sale or I see an older title and I'm afraid if I don't get it now, I won't be able to find it new or in such a good condition later. The result is having a lot of games just sitting on the shelf, waiting to be played. I don't really regret getting these but will stop buying new games until I actually beat the ones I already own.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Next to play: Mortal Kombat II

Game: Mortal Kombat II
Release Date: 1994 (1993 original arcade)
Platform: PC (MS-DOS)

Konditions:  Finish the game with every character on medium difficulty with 4 credits available

What do I expect?

I've heard that Mortal Kombat II is widely regarded as the best installment in the series. I expect improvements in every field. Give me higher resolution, better animations, faster gameplay, better UI, more characters, more fatalities (and more stage fatalities) and deeper story. Unfortunately I've also heard the game is incredibly hard and AI is very unfair with it's inhumanly fast throws. I managed to get through Mortal Kombat 1, hopefully I can beat this one too...

It has begun!

Mortal Kombat Finished

Finally beat the game, HALLELUJAH!

Game: Mortal Kombat
Release Date: 1994 (1992 original arcade)
Platform: PC (MS-DOS)
Date Started: April 23, 2014
Date Finished: October 18, 2014

Konditions: Beat the game with every single character on medium difficulty with 4 credits available, no character switching during the game ✓ 
Beat Reptile at the bottom of the pit

When I started this blog I thought things are gonna move fast and my initial plan was to beat one game per week. In the end it took me 6 months (!) to finish Mortal Kombat and that makes it one of the hardest games I ever played. There were times when I thought about quiting and moving on to something else but I didn't give up and managed to beat the game with every single character. In the first post I wrote that I was sure the difficulty options are just placebo. The truth is I was so bad at it that I couldn't tell the difference. The game kicked my ass on both easy and hard.  Now after getting a bit better, I can beat the game on medium but can't get past the pit stage on very hard,

As I first started playing Mortal Kombat, I thought I've seen everything the game has to offer within the first 2 hours (little did I know that I'll be playing it for the next 6 months). Only after some time of learning the game I discovered that there is a surprising amount of depth to it. The amount of moves and combos is larger than it seems at first sight. Graphically the game has aged better than the early 3D fighters but worse than some older 2D fighters with cartoony graphics, say Street Fighter 2. The gameplay still holds up very well. Uppercutting someone into the air or shadow kicking them across the screen feels very satisfying. Fatalities are the icing on the cake. The music and sounds are alright but nothing special. The announcer voice on the other hand is freaking epic. He's definitely up there with Quake 3 and UT announcers. All the characters in the first game are iconic, distinctive and have an unique fighting style (only Scorpion and Sub-Zero share the basic fighting style while having different specials) but they are not perfectly balanced for competitive play. The story is very basic (there is a single text screen) but every character has an introduction and an ending screen that tells his story. The best part of the game has to be the multiplayer which I unfortunately couldn't really experience. Tried to play against a friend but it wasn't fun since he barely remembered the moves while I was playing it actively so he was no match for me. Single player is frustratingly hard at times and most often you will have to fight through stages by abusing game's AI.

+ Interesting characters
+ Fatalities
+ Combos

- very hard
- bad AI
- Reptile isn't playable

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Scorpion Wins

Come to me baby

Despite being one of the fan favorites, Scorpion is ranked by as the worst Mortal Kombat 1 character because of his long recovery time. I didn't have any problems beating the game with him tho, I think I did it on the second or third try. And with Scorpion's victory, I finally finished Mortal Kombat 1!

We meet at last...

A wild Reptile appears!

What happens when you mix yellow with blue? You get green. You get Reptile. The green ninja is a secret character who can use special moves of both Scorpion and Sub-Zero. He has also faster walk speed, which makes him really annoying. I was disappointed to find out he is not a playable character. I sort of expected him to appear in the character selection screen instead of the dragon logo after you beat him but that's not the case. The green ninja will sometimes randomly appear during the game before the match starts and leave some cryptic messages. These are hints on how to find him.
  • You must Find me to beat me
  • Alone is how to find me 
  • TIP EHT FO MOTTOB (bottom of the pit backwards)
  • Look to la Luna 
  • Blocking will get you Nowhere
  • Perfection is the key
  • Fatality is the key
  • You Cannot Match my Speed
  • 10,000,000 Points if you destroy me
Sometimes during the fight on the pit stage you can see siluethes flying in the sky 
("Look to La Luna"). If the siluethes are present, you could get a chance to fight Reptile. The siluethes appear every 6 games or so on a PC but on the actual arcade it's much more rare. To fight Reptile, you have to win both rounds with flawless victory, without using the block button and then perform a fatality.

Note that the health bar says Scorpion for some reason
The secret character Reptile is just a meshup of Sub-Zero and Scorpion in the first game but he will become a playable character in the sequel with his own original set of moves.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Liu Kang Wins

His HERIOCS will always be remembered. Typo on the ending screen, good job.

It wasn't as easy to beat the game with him as I imagined. Fighting against him and remembering him from MK4, I somehow got an impression he's gonna be way OP.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Raiden Wins

I already beat the game with Raiden a while ago but I couldn't be bothered to post it. I started this blog at a time when I was between jobs and doing some work from home. Soon after that I got a new job and now I work there for 13 hours a day so it's really hard to find time for gaming. I started playing MK in the end of April and I'm progressing through it at a snail's pace. I already kinda regret choosing such a hard game to be the first one to beat. Honestly, I expected it will take me about a week to get through it. Oh how wrong I was. And even when I finally beat MK1, it's time for Mortal Kombat 2, a game infamous for it's unfair AI that features even more characters. YAY! So it looks like I'll only be playing Mortal Kombat this year. But make no mistake, I am not giving up and I'll do my best to continue on this gaming journey.

I thought Raiden cared for Earthrealm and humanity. What an asshole! Raiden winning the tournament is actually the worst case scenario for us. 

Raiden was pretty fun to use, mostly for his teleport and torpedo. He is not as overpowered as I thought he will be and it was hard to beat the game with him.  Next up is Liu Kang!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mortal Kombat X Announcement Trailer

Mortal Kombat X announcement trailer looks pretty badass except for very questionable music choice that feels totally out of place and destroys the atmosphere. I doubt that it shows an actual gameplay footage but I hope they can make it look as close to that as possible. It seems like stages will dynamically change based on the characters fighting.

I really need to get on with my Mortal Kombat 1 playthrough because at this rate, Mortal Kombat X will come out before I beat the first game.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sonya Wins

"Hold the pose while I take the photo"

In the earlier post I said that I'm not looking forward to playing as Sonya because her special move is a throw and AI always throws faster. I was wrong.  Her leg grab is very effective against AI and I ended up liking her very much. At a time I recorded  the playthrough I wasn't confident enough to use her flying punch but later on I added it to my bag of tricks. Wow, I'm playing this game for over a month now. Gotta step it up a bit and finish it fast. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sub-Zero Wins

I got a new job (working 12 hours a day) so I don't have much time for gaming anymore. I will still try to continue with this tho.

That awkward moment...

Sub-Zero Playthrough

I used up all the credits again but with Sub-Zero I beat the game on the second try.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Kano Wins

wow, Kano killed Mortal Kombat

I didn't like playing as Kano that much. His spinning attack was kinda awkward to pull off fast on keyboard during the action (I imagine it is really easy to do with a controller or a fightstick) so I didn't use it much in later stages. It's a shame since it can be really punishing timing based attack.

Kano playthrough 

Sub-Zero coming up next, this should be a piece of cake

Friday, May 2, 2014

Johnny Cage Playthrough

Yesterday I found out that DOSBox has a record feature so I beat the game with Johnny again and made a video. Yeah I know, I abused jump kick a lot, especially during later stages and I needed all 4 credits to do it. Kano playthrough coming soon.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Johnny Cage Wins

Johnny Cage Wins

YES! Finally! It took longer time than I anticipated and a lot of frustration but I finally beat the game with Johnny Cage. Only 6 more characters left to go...YAY! Ugh...I already kinda regret choosing this game to be the fist one to beat. It's pretty damn hard. I play up to 5 matches per day with pauses between them because I start to rage and lose all focus after failing a few times in a row. Getting through endurance stages where you have to fight 2 opponents in a row with the same health bar is the hardest part of the game. I have no trouble with the end bosses. I just wish I could start with endurance matches right away because beating all the other fighters before feels like a time wasting chore with no risk involved.

*cough* MK Annihilation*cough

Kano is the next character I'm gonna use and I think this time it'll go faster. On my first playthrough with him I got to the final endurance stage without even knowing how to do his special spinning attack.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Next to play: Mortal Kombat

Game: Mortal Kombat
Release Date: 1994 (1992 original arcade)
Platform: PC (MS-DOS)

Konditions: Beat the game with every single character on medium difficulty with 4 credits available. No character switching during the game. Beat Reptile at the bottom of the pit.

I actually already started playing this game a few months ago, really casually, one match every couple of days. When I chose this game I figured that I'd beat it with all the characters in about a week. I was very wrong. This game is kicking my ass! I still haven't beaten it with a single character and I only faced Shang Tsung once so far.

I've seen this screen at least a hundred times already

I chose Johnny Cage as my first character. I have mastered all of his moves but sometimes I have a problem that I accidentally do a leg sweep instead of shadow kick in a critical moment which ends up costing me the game. It happens because keyboard controls are not very precise and far from ideal for fighting game controls. I tried plugging in a controller and it surprisingly worked but for some reason the character would always crouch as if the down button was pressed all the time. I tested the controller with some other games and it worked just fine. My keyboard binds are probably not ideal (WASD for movement, J and K for punches, N and M for kicks) but I got used to this layout already so I'm not going to change it.

Let's dance

Placebo difficulty levels
This game is pretty hard. I know about back and forth jumping while kicking abuse method but it doesn't help every time. It happens often that I get flawless victory in the first round but in the second AI suddenly becomes godlike and perfectly blocks or counters my every move. There are 5 difficulty levels, ranging from "very easy" to "very hard". In frustration I tried to lower the difficulty to very easy once and I had some trouble in early stages. Then I put it back on medium and won with double flawless victory against the same opponents. It just feels so random. I think Johnny is one of the weaker fighters and I'm looking forward to playing other characters with much better special moves. The only character that I'm not looking forward to use is Sonya. She has some good throws but it's useless against AI which always throws faster than you.

He is not that hard actually, getting to him is the hard part

Right now I can consistently get to endurance stage 2. Since I started this blog, I will try to play more often and with a more focused mindset. I don't think this game will be a problem to beat after all and I hope my skill will transfer to sequels.


Welcome to Gaming Catch-Up. I am a hardcore gamer who had to put gaming aside for the last 8 years (except for some Quake here and there). Now, in my mid-twenties, I'm back and I have some catching up to do. Unfortunately I have to start with some older games until a buy a new PC because right now I only have a very old laptop. There will be no list of the games that I'm supposed to beat because if there was, it would be endless. Initially the idea was to start with games from my backlog. I picked Mortal Kombat 4 to be the first one to beat because I thought that a fighting game would be an easy one to finish. Soon my OCD and completionist spirit kicked in and told me that I can't just start with a 4th installment in the series, I have to beat the previous 3 games first. When I get a good gaming PC, I plan to play newer games along with old the ones. I'd also like to get my hands on other platforms that I don't have and maybe even build a game collection in the process.

The Rules
  1. I can choose whatever game I want to play
  2. I have to finish the game before moving on to the next one
  3. For each game I will set conditions which have to be fulfilled in order for it to be counted as "finished" *
* For single player game it could be beating a main story and seeing credits roll. For multiplayer games it can be a specific amount of hours put into them. For some genres like fighting games it could be something like beat the game with every single character. I have the right to change the conditions in case they turn out to be unrealistic or impossible for me to achieve.

All game ratings will be completely subjective.

Favorite games: 
Quake III / Live, Deus Ex, System Shock 2, RTCW: Enemy Territory, Pokemon Yellow

Systems owned:
PC, PS2, Mega Drive, Game Boy Pocket, GBA