Tagged: PlayStation

I did not expect to play through Apocalypse in 2017

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I’ve got a lot of games I’ve never played (just like everybody else) and the backlog shelf has been swelling over the last two years. So I finally set out to record some new Just Checkin’ videos where I at least boot them up to make sure the discs work. I managed to get one game out of the way before stumbling into a morning session with Apocalypse, otherwise known as The Bruce Willis Game.

I had written it off after playing the demos they put out before the game’s release but here in 2017 I found it quite playable and even clever in spots, if mindless and repetitive. The game is short and fairly easy up until the final boss fight and gave me plenty of time to soak in the weird 90’s aesthetics.

Willis’ character, Trey Kincaid, was originally intended to be the player’s sidekick but his involvement dwindled during production and he eventually took the starring role. So not only are his lines the most typical gung-ho battle cries, it’s a little fourth-wall breaking due to the change in roles. And the immortal line, “strap one on, it’s time to jam!!” still confuses me to this day.

 

Things really get interesting in the final level where Trey assaults the White House which is surrounded by a moat of lava and is filled with fire-spewing politicians in suits. The final battle with The Reverend starts in the oval office and expands to an arena of stone and flesh stitched together around the Seal of the President. It feels more fitting today than it ever did in the 90’s.

The episodes are rolling out every three days through July 12th and end with some bonus content and stuff I dug up on the disc. You can follow along with the playlist above or subscribe and catch all of my random videos.

Reunited with ‘Hogs of War’ after 16 Years

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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

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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!!