Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Purchases Round-up: January/Febuary

January/February 09 Pick-ups

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

As I was finishing up Final Fantasy X-2 and wondering what I'd turn my gaming attention to next, I felt the overwhelming urge to grab this off eBay and jump back into my favourite GTA locale - Vice City. The city, the style, the awesome soundtrack - they're all in place and despite a few shortcomings, it's another enjoyable crime-filled journey through the streets of Vice City.

The game does have a share of minor technical problems - The low res textures on far away buildings have a habit of not being swapped for hi res ones until you're right next to them. When there's too much going on there's the occasional framerate dip where everything moves as if it's floating in molasses. Sometimes all the cars disappear from the road - not helpful if you're stuck in the middle of nowhere and you've just trashed your ride.

I also can't help missing Tommy and his posse from the original VC. Vic is a bit of a sick in the mud in comparison and the likes of Kent Paul and Ken Rosenberg are nowhere to be seen. Thankfully though, all those niggles fade away into the background when you're careering through a sea of flaming Cholo cars with "Living On The Ceiling" by Blancmange blaring out of your speakers - I've missed you, Vice City.

Ghost Squad

I've been half meaning to pick this up for ages. I spotted it for a tenner after Christmas so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I don't have the Wii Zapper or any of the many gun shells on offer for the console, so I had to stick to the remote only. Playing without a gun and with the cursor enabled did feel like cheating a bit but it still proved to be a fun justice-dispensing romp.

As you'd expect for an arcade conversion, it's a bit on the short side, with a full play through possible in under an hour. Each of the three missions in the game offers a choice of paths at various points though, so there is some replay value there and new paths get unlocked as you replay the missions. The graphics aren't great and the voice acting is so bad that it must have been done that way intentionally, but all in all it's a nice, enjoyable rail shooter. I wouldn't pay more than €20 for it though.

X-Files Seasons 2, 3, 4

Although I was a fan of the show back in the day, I didn't actually start watching it until a few episodes into Season 5. How heck did I understand what was going on? I'm not entirely sure I did, actually. :) The Firefly box set had sort of put me in the mood for more TV on DVD and I saw that they were selling most of the X-Files seasons for about €23 on CD Wow, so I decided to start catching up. Sadly, season wasn't in stock, so I had to start off with Season 2.

So far, I'm about halfway through the Season 2 box set and really enjoying it. It is a bit strange watching the closing credits without having some obnoxious continuity announcer talking over them though. I grabbed Seasons 3 and 4 in February, but I've yet to get started on them.

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