Random Game #17 – Naruto: Clash of Ninja 1 [GameCube]

Naruto Clash of Ninja 2

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

Here’s another recent acquisition – as in purchased this year. I remember picking it up at a Goodwill earlier this year and haven’t played it yet. It’s precursor though, my friends and I played that a great deal. While not a big fan of the property, I’ve always thought the Clash of Ninja series punched above its belt in terms of licensed anime fighting games. The games are lacking in a lot of the same ways most fighting games are: no in-depth single player mode or story and little extras to keep playing outside of multiplayer. The combat has always felt really good though – very fast-paced, partial to button-mashing, but great fun locally.

Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 was developed by Eighting and published by D3 Publisher in North America on September 26, 2006. However, it was originally released in Japan on December 4, 2003 – nearly three full years earlier.

Random Game #16 – Guitar Hero: World Tour [Xbox 360]

Guitar Hero World Tour

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

By the time Guitar Hero: World Tour released, I had not only moved onto Rock Band, but moved away from acquiring the annual rhythm game. This being 2008, the genre was red hot and hadn’t been flooded quite yet. World Tour was Activision’s attempt to evolve the Guitar Hero series into a full-fledged band game and by all accounts, they were very successful. Not only that, they introduced a few differentiating features such as the music creation tools and a drum kit featuring cymbals. I only picked it up this year for a dollar or so and have yet to play it. I’ve been hooked on this type of game before and at the very least, I’m looking forward to playing through the game with a friend.

Guitar Hero: World Tour was developed by Neversoft and released in North America on October 26, 2008. It was available for a plethora of platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, and Mac. The PS2 and Wii versions were ported by Budcat Creations and Vicarious Visions, respectively, while the PC and Mac versions were ported and published by Aspyr Media. These last two were released on July 26, 2009. Activision published all other versions.

Random Game #15 – Casino Slot Machine! [Odyssey 2]

Casino Slot Machine!

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

With Ralph Baer’s recent passing, it’s fitting that one of the random games that gets pulled for me to discuss is an Odyssey2 game. As far as I know, there’s little connection between him and Casino Slot Machine!, outside of the fact that it appeared on the successor to the video game console he invented. As was typical with home video games during this era, the casino genre was prevalent on every platform. Personally, it’s hard to get invested in this style of game when there isn’t actual money on the line, and thus, no chance of a payoff. Especially when it’s a single player game! As far as I’m concerned, a slot machine’s best video game representation is as a distraction in the Pokémon games.

Apparently, a single person developed the majority of the Odyssey2’s library. Ed Averett is the name and from 1978 to 1983, he was the primary programmer at Magnavox. He developed Casino Slot Machine! and it was released in North America and 1980 and, like the bulk of the platform’s library, published by Magnavox.

Random Game #14 – KISS: Psycho Circus [Dreamcast]

KISS Psycho CircusWhen you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

It doesn’t matter who you are, you have an opinion on KISS. Or more realistically, you have an opinion on Gene Simmons. The group and the man are undoubtedly rock legends, but both can come off as cheesy and/or abrasive. I’m not a big fan, but I can appreciate the work they’ve done. With the exception of KISS: Psycho Circus. From what little I’ve played, it’s a gothic first-person shooter with bad controls and little narrative direction. It’s based on the comic book series Todd McFarlane concocted with Gene Simmons. Beyond the requisite amount of time I played to check it out, I haven’t touched it. I’d like to give it a fair shake sometime down the road, but then again, maybe not.

KISS: Psycho Circus was originally developed by Third Law Interactive – a team of former Ion Storm employees – and released on the PC in North America on July 18, 2000. The Dreamcast port was handled by Tremor Entertainment and it was published on October 29, 2000 by Take-Two Interactive. Both developers seemed to flounder within a few years, neither putting out anything truly notable.

Random Game #13 – Forza Motorsport 2 [Xbox 360]

Forza Motosport 2When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

Just yesterday I wrote about R: Racing Evolution and commented that until Forza Motorsport arrived on the Xbox, it was the best bet on that platform. It’s fitting then that I write about this game so soon afterwards. To date, Forza Motorsport 2 is the only title in the franchise that I’ve given extended playtime to. It was one of the earlier games I owned for the Xbox 360 and I played it a great deal. It’s something I still think about returning to in order to clean up some achievements. The game’s damage was something mostly unseen in this style of racing game, as was the graphical customization system, and the breadth of online functionality – including an auction house. It was a feature-rich racing game and one of the early greats of last generation.

Forza Motorsport 2 was developed by Turn 10 Studios and published in North America by Microsoft Game Studios on May 29, 2007.

Random Game #12 – Magic Johnson’s Fast Break [NES]

Magic Johnson's Fast BreakWhen you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

There are some games in my collection that I don’t recall obtaining. Magic Johnson’s Fast Break is one such game. I can speculate how it came into my possession, but ultimately the game is pretty inconsequential to me. As best as I can recollect, I’ve played it once. My friend and I competed against each other as part of the Leonard 2012 Video Game Olympics. He’s much more adept than I when it comes to sports games and accordingly was victorious. It’s incredibly dated at this point, but I can’t imagine it had much going for it back in the day even. My belief is that basketball games weren’t noteworthy until NBA Jam, but many people have a fondness for Double Dribble so that would seem like the genre’s best on the NES.

Magic Johnson’s Fast Break was originally developed and published by Arcadia Systems and released as an arcade game in 1988. It was ported to the NES by Software Creations and published by Tradewest in North America in March 1990. It was also ported to a handful of European PCs at the time as Magic Johnson’s Basketball. Most notably, the NES version featured support for up to four players.

Random Game #11 – R: Racing Evolution [GameCube]

R Racing EvolutionWhen you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

Like Super Monkey Ball 2, R: Racing Evolution was another game that I acquired through the local Sam’s Club bargain bin. It’s a simulation racing game from Namco and is a spin-off from their Ridge Racer series. Compared to the more hardcore console simulation games from the generation in question, this game is a little lacking. At the time, Gran Turismo 4 and Forza Motorsport hadn’t released yet, but Gran Turismo 3 was the de facto standard. For owners of the Xbox or GameCube though, this was arguably the next best example. This game had something neither of those series did though and that’s a story. It followed the unexpected racing career of Rena Hayami and I can still remember how cool it was to hear the team manager patch in to her during the races.

The game was developed and published by Namco. It was released in North America on December 9, 2003 (nearly 11 years to the date!) and was available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. The Player’s Choice rerelease on the GameCube includes Pac-Man Vs. so that’s cool.

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