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Messages - M.K.Ultra

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I visited Japan for about ten days in May. I flew into Tokyo and stayed in Akihabara for 5 days. Specifically I was staying at the JR-East Hotel Mets Akihabara, which is right next to the train station. This is a great hotel with full size beds and bathrooms and quite affordable. It is also right in the middle of Akihabara. Looking outside the window you can see the Namco arcade.

I visited the Namco, Taito, and GiGo (formerly Sega) arcades.

They are really worth a visit and while there is not that much selection, the games featured are different than what I see at a local arcade in the US. There is usually a floor of claw machines (UFO catchers). Sometimes a floor of Gachapon machines (toy capsules). Then, what seems to be the most popular in Japan, a few floors of rhythm/music games. These include DDR-like machines,

Rock-Band style cabinets (with attached peripherals),

and then button/touch screen rhythm games. My favorite was a keyboard style game that tracked your hands movement in the air above the keyboard making for some really cool gameplay.

The top floor would often be retro games with older arcade cabinets. There are also places that have floors of pachinko and slots and the whole Akihabara strip reminded me of a Vegas from a parallel universe where everybody is polite and everything is clean.
Seriously, the biggest shock in going to Japan and seeing that large crowds of people doesn't have to mean people are loud, rude, and messy. Apparently that is just how Americans are. I would be in a super crowded train or street and it would be dead silent, nobody would bump into me, and there is not a single piece of trash to be seen.

I also did a decent amount of browsing used game stores. I visited the famous Super Potato store (as recommended by BeautifulShy), which has such a great collection that it is almost a video game museum.

 I also recommend Hard Off and Trader (my favorite). Now, you might be like me and avoid used games because they are not in good shape, but in Japan, people actually take care of their belongings, so used games look brand new. The games I posted pictures of in the "last gaming purchase" thread were all used. Almost every game is CIB, even Super Famicom games and older titles. In fact, the DS and Vita games that were cartridge only were so depreciated, they were dispensed in a capsule machine!

The toy capsule machines are so popular you will find them all over the place in Tokyo, even outside the game centers.

I also visited the Nintendo Tokyo store in Shibuya, which was really nice and is right next to the Pokemon and Capcom stores. The Capcom store did not have that great of a selection so it was a little disappointing. The Pokemon store had hundreds of plushies for all the different Pokemon. 

If anybody ends up going to Tokyo Disneyland, they have a really neat Penny Arcade with a bunch of antique mechanical arcade games.

After five days in Tokyo, I went to Kyoto for another five days. There I spent more time out in nature at parks and shrines. Finding shrines all over does resonate after playing the newer Zelda titles. From Kyoto it is a short train ride to Osaka where I went to Universal Studios Japan. You still need a special timed entry pass to enter Super Nintendo World, but I managed to get them the day of, using the USJ app. It is super crowded inside but really worth it.

The place is so well decorated that just walking around is an attraction in itself. I did not get the express passes for the Nintendo rides (they sell out months ahead of time) and the wait times ar upwards of two hours (which is all the time you get with the timed entry pass), so I just rode the Yoshi ride, but it offers a great tour of the Nintendo area. I am hoping to ride the Mario Kart ride when I visit the park in California.

Again, the merch stores are awesome and it is easy to spend way too much money, but a great place to get gifts for others. I tried to focus on the video game aspect of the trip, but if you want to know anything else about visiting just ask.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Downloads - June 1, 2023
« on: May 31, 2023, 07:40:47 AM »
I am playing Etrian Odyssey IV on 3DS currently and the map drawing is quite enjoyable. I am curious to see how that fares on the Switch. I am guessing in handheld mode it is not too bad. Anyway I look forward to a review of one of these games.
It appears Killer Frequency supports VR and will also release on the Quest 2. Hopefully we see that on PSVR 2 in the future as well.

General Gaming / Re: What is your most recent gaming purchase?
« on: May 29, 2023, 07:43:54 AM »
I recently returned home from the trip to Japan that I mentioned in another thread. I plan on posting there as well to follow up on places to visit, but I wanted to show what I picked up here first. I really did not buy that many games, partially because of a lack of room in my luggage, but also I was worried about buying too much. Anyway, here are the pick-ups:

The only game I was specifically looking for was Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse on switch. I also wanted a vita game since those are rather expensive in the US, so I picked up Resident Evil Revelations 2. There was a great selection of DS games as well and I could not pass up Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 (less than $2 US!) and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (Professor Layton and the Last Time Travel in Japan).
I also picked up a couple of shirts. From the Tokyo Nintendo store I got a Splatoon shirt which does have holes and is sort of a middriff, so I am not sure how often I can wear it.

From Super Nintendo World in Osaka I got a Cheep Cheep (Puku Puku in Japan) shirt, which looks pretty plain, but supposedly changes colors when it gets wet.

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: May 07, 2023, 01:19:28 PM »
As someone that actually 100% Galaxy 2 back in the day, I'm going to have to push back.  Yes a good amount of Green Stars are just find the star hidden somewhere in the stage, but a lot of them are also in plain sight and require either doing tricky platformer challenges or climbing up area's you wouldn't even think you could in the base game.  It made replaying the game again as Luigi more interesting since his higher and longer jumps were put to good use in getting them.

Of course Luigi Dude is going to enjoy the green stars  ;)
I admit I gave up after about two of these so I probably did not give these challenges their fare due. I had planned to just do that post game part, but when I fired up the game I realized my save file from the first play through was on a different Wii that I have since sold. Starting from scratch I felt ready for a break after the 120 regular missions. I suppose in another 10 years when I play the game again I will finally complete it.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
I beat the game on Normal mode last year and found it pretty meh.  Decided to play it again on Hard mode to see if I might enjoy it more.  Nope, it's actually worse since the sluggish controls and terrible hitbox detection, now combined with harder hitting enemy and bosses that all take more hits to kill, a truly miserable experience.  I looked up Youtube video's to see how people actually played this **** and of course they just grind to max out their souls early on to curbstomp everything.  Pretty much proves what I was thinking when I played it last year, this game was pretty much made for the IGA vania fans who love to grind to completely negate any challenge, while anyone that doesn't like to grind will be stuck with a mediocre to outright terrible action game.

I had a similar experience with the game the first time around. I have been meaning to get back and play it in a different way. I was thinking of trying out some different mode but I forgot what all has been done. According to the games site, here are the modes available:
  • Speedrun Mode
  • Boss Rush Mode
  • Randomizer Mode
  • Chaos Mode
  • Classic Mode
  • Boss Revenge Mode
There are also new playable characters. I will try to get around to this sometime this year and probably just pick something on the spot.

No More Heroes 3
Well that was pretty fun, probably my favorite game in the series.  Story had me laughing most of the time and a lot of the boss fights were actually pretty good.

This was my favorite as well. I really like the story and how ridiculous it was. I can't wait for Suda 51's next game!

TalkBack / Re: Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp (Switch) Review
« on: May 05, 2023, 10:00:49 AM »
This does make me want to pick up the game eventually. Bummer about the soundtrack as usually Way Forward has good soundtracks.

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: May 02, 2023, 10:04:00 AM »
Well, I failed miserably. I made it rather far… in the wrong Picross. I’ve been chipping away at S7 and the later levels hurt my brain at times. I also put no work into Master Blaster thanks to Xenoblade 3’s DLC and just generally enjoying Harvestella much more.

Man, I tried popping in Super Mario Galaxy 2 and played about two levels before abandoning it. I just do not get the hype for that game, the cylindrical planetoids in particular irk me. But I just can’t stand the way the game feels in general and it doesn’t make me want to play any more.

Well, I am looking forward to your review of Future Redeemed.

Did you manage to play any of Ratcheteer?

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: May 02, 2023, 10:01:38 AM »
Mario Galaxy 2
I played two of the green star mission then after that decided hell nah, that's going to be incredibly tedious. The green stars seem to be designed for kids in 2010 who had nothing else going on.

So it isn't just me that feels that way.

Twilight Princess
I think this game is flawed.
Then the rest of the game is filled out with a shallow assortment of other gameplay types. Like horse combat, wolf combat, fishing, sumo, tears of light sections, herding goats, snowboarding, jousting, canoeing, chasing skull kid around the woods. They went for variety and succeeded, but these gameplay types aren't deep or even especially fun. It's there to pad the game out a bit before the next dungeon.
I have not played the Wii U HD version yet. Did you use the Gamepad or Wolf Link amiibo? Did you play that extra dungeon? If so, let me know what you thought of those

Resident Evil 4 Original
So fun from start to finish. The combat is satisfying and there is real growth as you learn when and where to use all the weapons. The inventory system is constantly forcing you to make choices and it feels incredible when you decide to spend your money after saving up.

I enjoyed this as well, though I have only played the Wii version. I want to play the VR port but I have have a Quest (not a Quest 2). Of course I have a copy of RE 7 to play with PSVR and then there is RE 8 to get to when I get a PSVR 2 so there is plenty of REVR available without a Quest 2.

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: April 30, 2023, 12:07:29 PM »
As I mentioned above, I did beat Watch Dogs: Legion on PS5. I played the original on WiiU in June of last year and was pleasantly surprised. I really liked the hacking through cameras for the recon aspect of missions. My biggest complaint was how the game made it difficult to play stealthily on missions, forcing you into gunfights. The story was okay but I was not crazy about the protagonist. Anyway, that experience being good and Ubisoft with deep discounts led me to picking up this game for about $15.
I am glad to report that Legion is an amazing game, improving so much on the original. It is the third game and I did not play the sequel so that may have contributed to my opinion. You get so much fun variety with game play. There are cool driving missions, flying drones, crawling drones, hacking puzzles, and lots of stealth/action missions. The hook for the game is that almost every NPC can be recruited to become a playable character. This lets you assemble a team of whichever people you like best. There are also some great collectibles and minigames. Since it is set in London you get lots of British accents and culture that I found very enjoyable, especially since I am watching Ted Lasso these days. Apparently British people love football, drinking, and darts  :D. I feel like a switch port would have run just as well as Immortals, but I doubt we will get one.
That is 3 on four for me and since the month is over that is all I will get. Chibi-robo is not an easy game to rush through. Some of these pictures are not things I have access to so I don't know if I will ever finish it. Well there is always next year. Hopefully others can report back on if they got around to four games or not. It is a surprisingly difficult challenge some months but it is always fun to try.

Movies & TV / Re: Rate the last movie you've seen
« on: April 28, 2023, 06:32:21 PM »
Evil Dead Rise - 9.5/10

This was a good one. Once things got started... it was TENSE. I could see people that get scared, being scared by this one. It was creepy, very unsettling, extremely gory, nerve wracking, and it touched on the family aspect of this that wasn't in any of the previous versions, all while being entertaining throughout.

I'm not giving anything away on this one, but if you got a scaredy girlfriend/wife, this is the one pull them into.

.....and to think this was originally made for direct to HBO Max.
I'm glad new management looked at it and said "no, this is too good for direct to streaming, send it to the theaters!!".
that was a good call.

Are you a fan of the original trilogy? If so, does this relate to those at all or provide fan service for fans of the original?

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: April 28, 2023, 06:29:17 PM »
I beat Super Mario Galaxy on Wii and found the 120 power stars in the main game. It was better than I remember, with some of the comet levels being really fun. There was some really good writing as well. This one level you are breaking chomp chomps and when you go speak to the worker robot, they say something like "if you have time for talking, then you have time for breaking chomp chomps". For some reason that was really funny to me.
I also forgot that Rosalina shows up in the game. I remember being upset that she was not a central character like in the first game, but she appears as an apparition when you die too many times on a level to offer you help. Then at the very end she appears briefly to reunite with the luma in your hat.
Now this might be me but I remember trying to find some of the green stars and just not having fun with it. So I gave up and considered the game done. This time around I stopped at the same point, but more out of being ready to play something else. Has anyone really enjoyed those green stars? Did you use a guide or have any trick to finding them?
I also beat Watch Dogs but will post about that later. For now, that is 2 down and 2 to go

1 billion dollars here we go

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: April 17, 2023, 10:47:00 AM »
I rolled credits on Jak 3 on Saturday. This is the third and final game in the Jak and Daxter collection I played on PS3. The three games were originally on PS2 and remastered in HD (and 3D) for PS3. I mainly picked this collection up because they were developed by Naughty Dog (and in 3D). It is interesting to see how it changes from a fun platformer/collectathon to a GTA like in the first two games.

The first is by far my favorite but I liked the third game more than the second. Probably because the games were played a few years apart, I could not remember who any of these characters were, other than the eponymous Jak and Daxter. The trophy system is also strange in this game, and in the second one, in that you can easily get all but 3 trophies just playing through the main missions. There are two collectables, the metalhead skulls and precursor orbs. The skulls drop from defeated metalheads and are plentiful, however the precursor orbs are not easy to get. There are 600 and many come from some rather difficult challenges that I just didn't feel like attempting. So I currently have 51/600 leaving two additional trophies for collecting the rest (and the third is the platinum).

Game time was about 15 hours which was just right and the story wrapped up nicely. The 3D on this third game is really nice and better than the first two from what I remember. You can see the devs were ready for something more grown up here, but the jump from this to Uncharted is still a little shocking. I suppose I might come back to 100% the game eventually, but I would go back to the first two before that so it might be another ten years.

Anyway, that is 1 down and 3 to go for the 4 on four. Making good progress on SMG2 and Watch Dogs but I am not sure I will get all the photos I need for Chibi-Robo this month as one is an airplane.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Downloads - April 20, 2023
« on: April 17, 2023, 10:34:54 AM »
I do want to get Advance Wars but just don't have the time to play it right now.

Great review. I was thinking the first game alone would slake my interest in this spin off series. That along with the cost is what kept me to just getting the first game on Wii U VC. Of course now I may never play that version. Did Digital Eclipse handle the repackaging of this comp?

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: April 10, 2023, 11:34:10 AM »
I just got to some of the Comet levels in SMG2 last night and really enjoyed them. My main complaint before this was that it was too easy, but the comet levels provide the right challenge for me. I had an interesting thought to share. The "levels" in the game are now "galaxies", but the groups of levels are still called "worlds". This seemed funny since you would think of a galaxy as containing worlds and not the other way around.

I saw it over the weekend. I highly recommend you catch it in 3D if you can. I avoided watching any trailers beforehand and was pleasantly surprised. I think they did a great job with Peach's character.

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Downloads - April 13, 2023
« on: April 10, 2023, 10:24:13 AM »
I pre-ordered Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection from Best Buy so I should be getting that in the mail over the weekend.

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: April 07, 2023, 08:40:10 AM »
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii U Virtual Console) Never played it on launch, got it due to the eShop closure. Never was too much of a fan of the first Galaxy but I hear this one is more straightforward.
:o Wow, three of us all playing the same game. It's like the forum retrospective game for the month. Seriously, we need to get a fourth person on this title!

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: April 03, 2023, 09:35:25 PM »
I struggle to play games these days but first on my goal is:

Luigi's Mansion 3

Next I hope to play through the Metal Games

I'm debating between Metroid Dread and Alien Isolation.

Like I said, I'm a bit delayed.

All great games IMO. What system are you thinking for Alien Isolation?
That has been ported to quite a few different consoles.

General Gaming / Re: 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: April 03, 2023, 09:34:15 PM »
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Wii - Snap. Made a head start on this one too, currently 40 stars in. I'm enjoying it although I've been finding there are control issues with the waggle. I once went to itch my face and died because it read that as a shake. The precision just isn't there. Not a problem on easier stages though.

Crazy that we are both playing this at the same time. I was having a hard time with the Yoshi controls but I haven't given them that much time yet. I have always thought the first game was better and replayed it multiple times, but this is my first replay of the sequel.

General Gaming / M.K.Ultra's Four on Four
« on: April 01, 2023, 12:12:21 PM »
Here are the four games I hope to finish this month:
Jak 3 - playing on PS3
Watch Dogs Legion - playing on PS5
Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder - playing on 3DS
Super Mario Galaxy 2 - playing on Wii

General Gaming / 3rd Annual NWR Four on Four
« on: April 01, 2023, 12:10:28 PM »
Hey there forum fans, time to dig out those 3DOs, charge up those Game & Watches, plug in your PSVR2, and dust off the old Lynx. That's right, it's the fourth month of the year and thus time to kick off the 3rd annual Four on Four community event!

The basic idea is to complete four games from four different systems during the month of April. This will encourage us to play more games and as well as games on different systems. Feel free to modify the rules as you see fit. You could use the system the game was originally released on rather than the system you played it on. Instead maybe you just play four games on four different system without completing them. Personally, I am going to pick some games that I have already started and plan to finish in April

Just post the games you are playing and what system you are playing them on and have fun!

Does anybody know which companies are going to be there?

Playable Amy in the classic games is pretty sweet.

Great to hear such a positive review of this game. When PlatinumGames are good they are really good. Astral Chain is my favorite personally. I am still hoping to get this some time in the summer.

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