Tagged: PlayStation

Reunited with ‘Hogs of War’ after 16 Years


Over the weekend a friend and I hit up a couple of local flea markets, one of which I was sure I’d never been to. It turns out, I had and that that side of town is really awkwardly laid out. One thing I am certain about, though, is that the old lady’s booth with all the games wasn’t there before. There was a pretty impressive assortment from the 2600 up to the 360 with a handful of games for every major console in between.

But what caught my eye was Hogs of War. I relate the story in the video above but basically: I got it for free, played and loved it, and then sold it off because I needed the money. Shortly after, it skyrocketed in value and I’ve been on the hunt for a decent price ever since. I can’t remember the last time I saw the game in person or at a price I was willing to pay. She had it marked a little higher but she took $40 for it which saved me the equivalent of shipping fees on eBay or Amazon. It’s in surprisingly good condition for a 16 year old game that wound up in a midwest flea market which makes the find that much sweeter.

I’ve bought a lot of games because of nostalgia that were unceremoniously filed on a shelf and left unplayed. But Hogs of War is one I was delighted to find and desperate to play. I only remembered it as the first attempt to take the gameplay of Worms into 3D. I’d forgotten that there are character classes with specialties and that there’s a real X-COM aspect to your squad of pig-men that imparts the terror of perma-death. It’s not nearly as witty as I remembered it but there’s still a lot to love about this oddball budget priced game from 2000. Let’s take a look.

Some random playtime with Zero Divide

I’m not a super sociable person (even online) but sometimes conversations snowball and I find myself playing a game I wouldn’t have thought twice about a few days before. Case in point, I posted a random photo of Zero Divide to Instagram for #PlayStationThursday last week and it got a few people talking. What kind of game is it? What’s it like to play?

It was a perfect excuse to load the game up for a bit since I’m not in the habit of playing fighting games these days. I originally bought Zero Divide in 1995 but the copy I have now is from 2001 which is probably the last time I played it. Flashes of memories and re-discovery ensue and now I’m wanting to stick with it long enough to see the real ending.

The developers of Zero Divide also created the notable 2D shooter, Phalanx, and filled up the remaining PlayStation disc space with a “Tiny” version of their other game. It seems like a crazy, potentially illegal thing for a developer to do nowadays so I recorded a separate video just for Tiny Phalanx.

MGM’s Cyberthug, another game that never was

051514-cyberthug2   051514-cyberthug1

This week’s Tale of Games that Never Were features Cyberthug from MGM Interactive and Saffire. In the works for PC and PlayStation in 1996, the game looks like a period-appropriate 3D action title with pixelated textures and lots of industrial environments but it has a peculiar history.

In the Summer of 1996 MGM released the movie ‘Fled’ starring Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Baldwin as two escaped crooks who happen to be handcuffed together. Stephen’s the computer hacker and the plot revolves around a mysterious floppy disk. Rather than turn the movie into a straight licensed game the “creative inspiration for the character Cyberthug came from a character in the film”.

Weirder still is the game’s pitch which bills it as “a satirical 3-D action adventure that pits the game’s hero against bizarre cyber-enemies led by an evil computer hacker who has released alien code onto the Internet”. From what little exists of the game it looks like it would have included symbology, hidden messages and tackled some pretty controversial subject matter; self-righteous preachers and Christian fanatics were mentioned as enemies in one preview.

I couldn’t dig up any reason that the game was scrapped (I did find this hot concept art of the Cyberthug though). Both MGM Interactive and Saffire continued publishing and developing games for years after. My only guess is that Fled turned out to be less than a box office hit and MGM pulled the plug or maybe the subject matter was just too daring and Saffire pushed back on changing it?

Photo: Surprising Half-Price Books Finds

Half-Price finds on 03-13-10

This is why I love Half-Price Books! On any given day you can stumble across some great finds even by video game nerd standards. A lot of PSone games on hand (I should’ve grabbed Novastorm in the big box, but didn’t) of which I picked up Xevious 3D/G. I always peruse the CDs for foreign characters and what could easily have been just another collection of Japanese flute traditionals turned out to be Symphony of the Night! It was in a neon yellow case but it was all intact (sans spine card) and even though I’ve had the music for years this sure looks nice! Also, it has sheet music inside! Score!!

Another batch of PSP and PSOne games hits the PSN, in Europe

empirelogoAnother publisher is hoping to turn a profit by releasing old games sans the bonds of a physical medium today as Empire Interactive has pushed out a handful of titles onto the PlayStation Network, at least in Europe. PSOne titles Sheep and Spin Jam, along with the PSP’s FlatOut Head On, Ultimate Board Games Collection, Pipe Mania, Off Road and Kazook are now online and ready to buy. Most of the titles made it to the U.S. at one point or another so, barring any legal hurdles, we should at least see the PSP games popping up on the American PSN Store soon. The PSOne games on the other hand, well, Sony U.S. would rather you just forgot that they ever existed.