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pickhut Welcome to my blog. My latest blog entry is right below, I have Dr. Pepper in the fridge, and you're not allowed to use the toilet down the hall. Go to bluberry's blog and use his instead.

Title: Latest Review
Posted: May 23, 2011 (05:55 PM)
Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard

Wanted to play this one for some time, since around late 2009, but always just skipped it in favor of something else. Feels good finally getting it off my chest, because I've kinda known for a little while that the title's been a bit of a letdown. I guess that was one other reason why I haven't touched it till now.
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Posted: May 22, 2011 (02:14 AM)
So.... my next door neighbor's house started smoking up at about 1:00am, which forced us to stand outside/sit in my car for three hours until the fire department got everything under control. Finally got in at about 4:00am. And.... yeah. Everyone's fine.

But now I'm wide awake. :|
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Title: Finally broke down and bought a new 360 hard drive
Posted: May 18, 2011 (02:00 PM)
250GB, to be specific. I've been using the same hard drive that I got with my 360 back in 2006, and it's finally running out of space. For five years, it's never failed me, surviving three RRoDs, still retaining a ton of saved stuff that was there years ago, so it sucked that I had to delete some games and save files to make room for new downloads. There's some recent Arcade titles I've wanted to try out, but with only 500MB-ish memory left, just couldn't. Yeah, I know I can just redownload Arcade games after deleting them, but I'm a lazy bastard that wants to keep all my downloads. I guess it is good that I'm getting one now while they're still new, instead of years later when I have to search for old, possibly defected ones or new ones that go for a fortune on ebay.

Also decided to buy LA Noire. I'm not a huge fan of Rockstar's sandbox titles (the "let's never stop talking while driving to our next mission" aspect is especially annoying), but this one looked pretty interesting enough to give a shot. Hope I don't regret it.
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Title: I should have stopped after 24 seconds...
Posted: May 09, 2011 (02:35 AM)
It's 4:30 in the morning, I'm kinda tired, and hungry, and what'd I do instead of eating? I stumble onto a FFVII video review on YouTube.

With such a bold statement in a video lasting only 4 minutes, I should have known this would be a mess...
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Title: Latest Review
Posted: May 08, 2011 (07:13 PM)
Dune: The Battle for Arrakis

Playing this recently has given me the craving to try out the semi-remake on the PS1, Dune 2000. Still thinking on whether to give it a go, though.
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Title: Re-Review Original - Dune: The Battle for Arrakis
Posted: May 06, 2011 (12:32 AM)
Originally submitted to GameFAQs in 2004. For some odd reason, the Genesis version on HG has the PC title (edit: which has been changed since I made this blog post).


What's usually the first thing people think of when the words "RTS" and "Westwood Studios" are together? Most likely, they would think of Command & Conquer and it being their first foray into the RTS genre. But, when I think of those two titles, I think of this game, Dune: The Battle for Arrakis. Since this was my first RTS game, I didn't know what to expect. But after playing it for some time, I started to think how incredibly absorbing and challenging it is. There are a couple of problems, but only one of them is really annoying, and the others are tiny enough that it doesn't put a damper on the enjoyment factor. Hell, I'll go as far to say it's one of the Genesis' greatest titles.

Arrakis, it's a planet filled to the rim with spice. This spice can easily be converted into credits (currency), so it's no surprise people have taken interest in the planet. To be more specific, three Houses. They've had many negotiations with the Emperor of Arrakis, but all have failed. Grown impatient, they have decided to take the planet by force. It won't be easy, though, as each House have to fight against the others, and eventually, the Emperor, for dominance of the planet. Thus, the battle for Arrakis, commences. Right at the start, you get to choose one of the three Houses to wage war with. The "fair and just" Atreides (after hearing the main storyline, though, that's just BS), the sneaky and deceptive Ordos, and the ruthless and brute Harkonnen. Each House has a varying difficulty level to them. Harkonnen being the easiest, as they start out strong early on and have one of the deadliest weapons in the game. Atreides being medium, their forces are pretty average when it comes to fighting, and the Ordos are the hardest to play with, they start out pretty weak and don't exactly have the strongest weaponry in the game.

When you begin a mission, all you'll have is a construction yard, a couple of vehicles/troops, and just a right amount of credits. Obviously, the first thing you'll need to do is start making more buildings, since you won't last long with what little you've got. But you need lots of credits to do that, so one of the first things you need to build, is a refinery. With this, a harvester can go to and fro, collecting spice from the sand and converting it into credits. Thus, you'll be able to build more stuff. Sounds easy, right? It may, but you are at your most vulnerable at this moment. Almost everything you do at this point will determine how successful you'll be in completing the mission. There are all types of things you have to worry about, but one of the first obstacles you have to deal with, are the sandworms. Thankfully, they can only travel on sand, and not the rock formations where your base is on. But your harvesters (and everything else) are at a huge risk when they traverse onto the sandy terrain. If you're not watching over them or if you're too slow to guide them to safety, the sandworms will eat up your harvesters. And if you don't have enough credits to purchase another harvester, then, consider you and your base, royally screwed.

As you progress further into the game, the mission objectives will change from simply collecting a certain amount of credits, to going up against an opposing House and fighting to destroy their base. This is were the game starts to get really intense, and fun. There are so many things going on at once, that you'll eventually lose track of what's going on at times. From making more buildings/vehicles/rocket turrets, defending your base from the enemy, keeping an eye out for sandworms, etc. Then there's the occasional sneak attack from behind your base as the enemy drops off vehicles/troops. And sooner or later, you'll have to locate their base and take it out. Of course, you'll be searching for the construction yard first, to prevent them from rebuilding.

That's what's so great about this game. You have to think things through, what to build first, strategies for attacking the base, etc. It has this overall tension to it, making it really challenging to play. Most of the later missions will drag out for almost over two hours, but since you're so absorbed with what's going on with the game, you won't even notice. Unfortunately, with all this action happening on screen at once, slowdown rears it's ugly head. It gets a bit annoying at times to watch as a vehicle move to it's location in slow motion, or waiting for it to fire a shot. It also messes up the controls, too. Like when you try to select a tank, but it ends up picking the tank beside it. Or when you command a rocket launcher to shoot at a building, but due to the slowdown, it makes you accidentally select the wall beside it. With this problem, there will be quite a few times where you'll goof up, due to the slowness, and it'll screw you over in the process.

The graphics aren't the most impressive thing in the game, they're pretty simple in design. But that's not really a bad thing, it works for this type of game. The buildings are just a bunch of square boxes with simplistic designs representing that particular building. Most of the vehicles, like the tanks, rocket launchers, and harvester look exactly the same for each House. The only difference is a palette change, though, towards the end of the game, each House will get it's own personal vehicle. Like the Atreides electric razer-ish, Sonic Tank, and the Harkonnen's steroidal induced tank, the Devastator. Their's really not much variety when it comes to the terrain, it's just a bunch of sand and rock. This isn't really a problem, though, you won't even have time to notice how dull the backdrops are with all the fighting going on. A neat little effect I like, when you're in battle, is you'll leave a lot of big and tiny holes into the ground. That may not sound like much, but I think it's cool, giving off the effect of a war torn battlefield. The music does a great job of capturing the mood of the game. Whether it's building up your base and not knowing when the enemy's going to attack, engaged in intense combat, or just simply waiting as to what's gonna happen next, the music captures the moment with it's dramatic and tense vibe.

Well, despite how annoying the slowdown gets at times and the sandworm nuisance (they can get really annoying during the middle missions), Dune: The Battle for Arrakis is a solid RTS game for the Genesis. With 27 missions total (nine for each House), and battles spanning at least two hours long, you'll definitely get a lot of replay out of this title. It's also a good RTS game for beginners of the genre, it's pretty easy to get into right from the start. So, if you want an RTS game, or just a game that'll put your judgement and reflexes to the test in the heat of the moment, then I recommend checking out this game. It'll be a great addition to your Genesis collection.
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Title: Wait... Conduit 2 came out two weeks ago?
Posted: May 01, 2011 (10:26 AM)
Coulda fooled me, I saw zero advertising for the game. Did anyone here actually get the game? How was it?
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Title: Latest Review
Posted: April 25, 2011 (05:56 PM)
Portal 2

Almost didn't write a review for this, but I figured I might as well do one while the game is still fresh in my mind. When I finally did start, it ended up being a pretty irritating review to write. Not because it was hard to write, it was actually pretty easy, but because I really didn't want to give anything away, since the entire thing is one big clue. In the end, I think it works more for people who played the original and know what I'm talking about, but I hope it wasn't confusing for readers that have never played a Portal game before.
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Title: Splosion Man First Impressions
Posted: April 23, 2011 (07:42 PM)
Got my Triple Pack copy for the 360 on Thursday, but it wasn't until now that I decided to try one of the three games on the disc: Splosion Man. I've played levels 1-1 through 1-10, and I dig it. It's a very simple game, but it stacks on the platforming situations pretty quick, making you work with your "three explosions per jump" limit. Though, I think they're going overboard with the wall-jumping, making me want to call it Wall Jumping: The Game, instead. It is early, however, and I'm sure there's more to offer.

I also thought I'd get tired of the main character's quirkiness, but his wacky animations are hilariously charming.
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Title: So I saw Punisher: War Zone on TV a few days ago
Posted: April 20, 2011 (05:01 PM)
I was expecting to witness the worst thing to ever come out within the last 5 years with the way people have been reacting to the movie ever since its release in theaters.

I actually thought it was a nice, violent action movie. Not the greatest thing I've ever seen, but far, far from the worst. Some of the kills in the movie are over-the-top, but at least they weren't the same, lifeless "shoot people and watch them fall over" types you see in a lot of action movies. I guess the only real issue I can grab from the movie is how... the irony... comical the villains, Jigsaw and his brother, got as the movie went on.

The entire time, I was expecting this to be some action movie, and that's exactly what it was.

I'd embed a clip, but it's disabled for this clip I wanna show. Here. That gives a pretty good idea of what kind of movie this is.
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Title: Latest Review
Posted: April 13, 2011 (06:11 PM)
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Title: Currently playing The Nightmare of Druaga
Posted: April 09, 2011 (10:25 PM)
Dungeon crawlers are not normally my thing, but this was going for $5 new on Amazon, so I got it.

I've played three hours into it, and I'm not sure yet if I like or hate it. So far, it seems like a fairly typical dc, but it has some little tiny things that irritate the crap ot of me. Like saving; I get the quick save aspect that pops up between floors, but I just don't get why you're forced to turn off the system with normal saves when you're in town. It's annoying because you have to go through at least 5 logos, an intro, the title screen, and finally, the load option, to finally get back in the game. It's stupid.

Another stupid thing is that you have to have everything unequipped when you begin a side quest. You have to do this manually. Everything has to be off and gone from your inventory before they will allow you to do one. And when you finish a side quest, you have to equip everything you stocked away afterwards. It's a headache having to remember what setup you had in your inventory before you did this.

Anyway, the game seems decent so far, but if it continues the way it's going in the next few hours, I might give up on it.
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Title: Latest Review + No Valken 2!
Posted: April 03, 2011 (08:45 PM)
Assault Suit Leynos 2

What the hell, right? I reviewed the other two games, might as well review the Saturn game before my 14 year old Saturn decides to die on me at any moment. Not gonna review Assault Suits Valken 2, even though it's tempting, pretty cheap to get on ebay, and could probably run the disc decently on an emulator. Tempting in that it's a strategy-rpg similar to the Front Mission games. Dunno why they decided to go the route, but it ended up being the last sequel in the series. :|
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Title: Latest Review
Posted: April 01, 2011 (10:25 AM)

Never intended to review the game, but I was so bummed out after playing and writing about Target Earth, I had to play Cybernator after the TE review was done to remember how good the game was.
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Title: I guess gamers like reading about Power Rangers?
Posted: March 31, 2011 (12:51 PM)
My Mighty Morphin Power Rangers review now has 5000 hits. In comparison, my second most viewed review, Hitman: Codename 47, is at 2116.

I never thought a goofy review about Power Rangers would get so many hits. x__X
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Title: Latest Review + The TE reviews on GFs really suck.
Posted: March 27, 2011 (02:15 PM)
Target Earth

After I finished writing my review for TE, I felt like checking out some of the reviews on GameFAQs. A big mistake.

Choice quotes!

"And to think, we thought that the Genesis was a pathetic SNES clone... Wow, we might have been wrong."

I didn't know we were allowed to use our imaginations as facts in reviews. Hmm!

"The only downside is the difficulty level. It is much like Mega Man. Does anyone ever finish Mega Man?"

Mega Man was not that damn hard.

"Replay Value: Syffer is unavailable to write this part of the review for he is playing the game right now."

He gave the game a 9/10, by the way.

"I have loved the game Cybernator for a long time. And when I found out that they actually released Assault Suit Leynoss in the US for Genesis (which is based on the same universe as Cybernator.) I had to pick it up. The result was a mixed bag. Hell. I'm replaying this over and over because I can't get past the third level."

He gave the game an 8/10, by the way.

"Length ?/10: I have never beaten the game however I do know there are about 7-8 stages since once my brother got past level 3 (and he played it till his character died). So my guess is that it is about 7-8 stages. If you have kids and you want them to quit video games then get them this game."

Gave it a 7/10...

Anyway, the recurring theme I noticed in these reviews is that the writers think that being a very hard game is the equivalent to being a very good game. I mean, half these people admitted to not even getting through half the game, yet they still gave it a 7 or 8! I was hoping to read at least one review with a convincing argument that it's a good game. All I got, though, was confusion....
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Title: Latest Review + Mario
Posted: March 16, 2011 (12:08 PM)

I cut out mention of the hidden Mario sprite in one of the game's graphic files, because I somewhat had doubts of its existence. I searched the interwebs, and the only source for its existence kept going back to that ONE person's rip of the sprite. I wanted to verify its existence, so I downloaded Tile Molester and dove into APT.BIN. Unfortunately, I had no clue how to use it properly, and all the tutorials I found only explained how to do it for a specific game or system. So, I spent hours experimenting, and still couldn't find it. I decided to give up and just cut the mention in the review. It wasn't worth that much time and effort.

Outside the review, I had trouble taking images of the game, because the emulator I use to snap pictures couldn't even run the game past the Sega copyright screen. To make matters worse, I couldn't even record any video of the game, since my recording equipment has been sucking lately.

Man, I couldn't do much with Astal. :|
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Title: Top 5 Zig Placeholders
Posted: March 11, 2011 (05:39 PM)
Number 5:

Number 4:

Number 3:

Number 2:

Number 1:

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Title: Latest Review
Posted: March 06, 2011 (05:48 PM)
Time Crisis 2nd Strike

I was going to pass this by, but I got too curious. The pictures looked interesting, and some of the features listed made it sound like an improvement, and thankfully the game turned out pretty good.
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Title: Latest Review
Posted: March 02, 2011 (10:41 PM)
Time Crisis Strike

Just felt like reviewing something completely different this time. Though, it makes me want to play the second game now....
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Title: 200th HG Review
Posted: February 27, 2011 (06:00 PM)
Hard Corps: Uprising

For those wondering, here's the interview in question.

Anyway, 200th HG review! Uprising was never intended to be the review, and I never wanted to review the game at all as it was ready to come out. But the second I started playing through the game... I felt I needed to review it. If this was a typical Contra game without the Hard Corps name attached to it, I probably would have given it a higher rating. But it wasn't, and that's why it got the rating you see now.

The game I was originally going to do for my 200th was Astal... but I changed my mind after playing it for a few minutes. Then I thought about doing MGS3: S, but then that would require replaying the whole thing as a refresher, which would take too long. Eventually, Uprising just became the review.

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Title: Jesus Christ, my car insurance agency sucks.
Posted: February 25, 2011 (08:46 PM)
A month and a half ago, I renewed my policy with them and paid the fee, and while I was there, I opted to do auto payment. Here I am, a month and a half later, and I get mail from them this afternoon. It says my renewal has been canceled, and in the very same fucking same envelope, it says I got a payment due on the 26th. Today is the 25th. I'm working tomorrow, and they close early. This is so beyond stupid.

Btw, Saturday is my normal day off, but I have to go in early tomorrow morning because the person that normally works that day took leave at the very last possible second. And I know why. He's going to a strip club this evening. So, yeah, I have to work on my day off just so he can go to a strip club.

I also found out today that he tried to get me to work on Sunday too. The first thing my manager said to me was that that he left his phone number with her, and that he wanted me to call him about me working on Sunday. I called, and he put me on hold. Then I told him no.

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Title: So I walked into a public restroom today and found a used pregnancy test on top the trash lid.
Posted: February 17, 2011 (10:15 PM)
Mysterious woman is not pregnant!

Time to celebrate!!

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Title: Latest Review + 3DS/Portable Talk
Posted: February 13, 2011 (12:01 PM)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

So, is it me, or has the 3DS been underhyped? About a few days back, I was shocked to discover it was coming out next month. Next month!!

For me, this was basically how I heard about the 3DS progress:

-Hears about 3DS announcement where demonstrations come with chained women.
-Sees images of Kid Icarus.
-Few more months later, hears about a MGS3 port coming to 3DS.
-Few months later, hears about a port of OoT coming to 3DS.
-3D hazard warnings.
-Last week, discovers the release date is in March.

I mean, do I just suck at gathering information, or has Nintendo just not been pumping up their latest portable system? I guess they are that confident that it's going to sell well regardless, since, well, everyone knows about Nintendo.

And while I'm on the subject of portable talk, is PSP a good system for games? For months now, I've REALLY wanted to play Peace Walker, but I don't want to get the PSP for just one game. The thing I've noticed the most is that certain developers love releasing rpgs to the system, which, at this point, seems like the system's biggest selling point. I'm just wondering if the system offers more than that? If not, I might as well get a PS3 or something else...
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Title: Gahhhhhhhhh (NfS: Hot Pursuit)
Posted: February 07, 2011 (10:07 PM)
I just finished recording 2 hours worth of footage of NfS: Hot Pursuit's multiplayer, and there were a lot of great races with crazy crashes, escapes, and standoffs... Then when I went to look at some of the clips, turns out the game's audio was apparently too loud for the recording software, so all you hear is loud scratching drowning out the actual audio.

I just deleted all the clips. I'm sad. ;__;
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Title: So today's moral of the story is:
Posted: February 01, 2011 (01:32 PM)
Don't entrust me to park your car. I'll unknowingly hand the keys to a stalker, assuming it was a friend.

Jesus Christ...
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Title: Latest Review + NfS: Hot Pursuit Talk
Posted: January 30, 2011 (11:26 PM)
Sega Touring Car Championship

So, for the longest time, I was really curious about how this game played. I've constantly heard conflicting opinions on this game, and was wondering if people on both sides were exaggerating. Turns out the game just really, really sucks. How anyone can defend it is beyond my understanding. I should have gotten GunGriffon II on ebay, instead...

With that out of the way, I was finally able to play Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (360) this weekend, even though I've had it since last Monday. Only played Career mode so far, but it seems to be a solid, albeit, a pretty straight-forward racer.

If you've played any Burnout game in the last decade, you know what you're getting: selections of races and duels, cars and new races opening up after almost every race, avoid crashing into objects, abuse that mofoing boost, and so on. The police chases are also nice, but they're certainly nothing new to the NfS series. I feel it's no NfS: Most Wanted, but I find it more enjoyable than Burnout Paradise, Criterion's last big racing game.

Also, I was weirded out when I heard this song play during a race, but it actually fits really well during the time trial races:

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Title: So I just had an enlightened conversation with my brother today
Posted: January 28, 2011 (10:34 AM)
Me: Now you can buy an HDTV, because this cable box is ready for it.

Him: HDTV, that's old stuff. That box won't even work with it. You need to stop living in 1995. I'll be getting a flat-screen TV when I could afford one.

Me: ................
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Title: Latest Review + Removed sections
Posted: January 23, 2011 (06:23 PM)
C: The Contra Adventure


Removed Section 1: Intro "Crawl"

Episode III

C: The Contra Adventure

Calamity! After the devestation

of Legacy of War, Ray Poward has

been struggling to maintain his

reputation as a Hard Corps badass.

His future as a Contra protagonist

is in jeopardy, and the status

of the series is in turmoil.

However, there is hope on the horizon!

The follow-up has the potential

to set things straight and restore

peace and prosperity to the Contra name.

Ray Poward also gets a second chance,

as well, so epic celebrations could be in order...


Removed Section 2: Mr. President of Konami

I have a theory about this, however, one that makes perfect sense: the president of Konami hates Ray Poward. He's a hardcore Bill Rizer fan, and when he saw that Ray starred in the best Contra game of the evers, he got super duper jealous. Mr. President then gave the original Hard Corps development team something to work on, and when they were in mid-development, he hired a bunch of dolphin lovers to make Legacy of War!

I see right through your schemes, President of Konami!

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Title: Latest Review
Posted: January 16, 2011 (04:01 PM)
Alien Syndrome

I never intended to review this game, but when I woke up in bed this Saturday and thought about stuff, this game came to mind. Next thing I knew, I was writing the opening paragraph in my mind while in bed, before even revisiting the game!

Also, this blog entry needs some Quartet music:

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