Thursday, April 28, 2011

Medal of Honor (PS1)


I'm not sure what got me into playing these games after having just repaired my PSone. I guess I was in the mood for shooters. World War 2 shooters, to be exact.

Well, it had been a while since I had played the original FPSes that started the World War 2 FPS craze so I thought now would be a good time to revisit them. Medal of Honor was the first FPS I played on a console and I remember being impressed by the controls at the time. I was, of course, familiar with the PC FPS mouse+keyboard setup so I was at first very critical of how Medal of Honor would play. That didn't last long. From the get go, I enjoyed blasting the endless troops of Nazi soldiers.

Fast forward to 2011. How would the game fare to today's standards? I didn't expect the control scheme to be any good. Turns out there's a control scheme in the game that you can choose that fits today's modern console FPS dual analogue stick control scheme. I was truly surprised by that as I thought the control scheme would be more akin to earlier PS1 FPSes where you moved using the D-pad and strafed using the shoulder buttons.

Thanks to the modern control scheme, the first Medal of Honor is surprisingly playable by today's standards. Well, barely. There are still some flaws. For instance, there's no targeting reticule. When you're aiming, you really have to use your gun as your guide to shoot. Great for realism, not so great for gaming. I had no idea where I was shooting and ended up wasting bullets half the time. And thanks to the limited power of the PlayStation, there was a very limited draw distance and a limit of about 3 enemy soldiers appearing on screen at a time, which made the game a little too easy at times. The enemy AI is occasionally a little wonky as well, which makes it frustrating when enemy guards spot you when they're not supposed to but at other times are painfully unaware that I have a gun pointed at them right under their noses.

However, even with those flaws the game does have its truly memorable moments. One moment you're covertly sneaking across a village while taking out enemy soldiers, and the next you're undercover as a German officer attempting to sabotage their artillery. There's a lot of variety in the setpieces of a mission - you go from French countryside to a submarine. Pretty impressive for an FPS from the PS1 era.

As good as this game was, I didn't finish playing it however. The lack of reticule was just too much of an annoyance for me, which is a shame because I truly wanted to know where the story was going. The developers actually fix this issue in the sequel, Medal of Honor: Underground, also for PS1, which I will be talking about in the next blog post.

Meanwhile, here's a gameplay Youtube video of the game (courtesy of user elbryan42):


If you feel like playing this, I think you can get this cheap on PSN under the PS1 classics label but seeing as hackers brought PSN down and stole our personal information, I can't be sure.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Regarding those Wii HD rumours...

So the rumour mill has started on the next home console from Nintendo. One of the big features is apparently going to be a controller with a HD screen built-in. This can only mean one thing...

Zelda: Four Swords Adventure 2! Woohoo!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Concerning a Station where you Play games.


Yes. The PlayStation. With a Super NES pad. You probably already know the famous story of how the PlayStation came to be, in which case you know it was originally supposed to be a Super NES with CD capabilities.

I'm using that Nintendo connection as a segue to my future series of posts concerning... tada! The Sony PlayStation, aka PSX, aka PS1, aka PS one.

Yeah, yeah. I know I'm supposed to be this big Nintendo fan who only blogs Nintendo stuff and I promised to blog about Gamecube stuff and... I haven't. Not yet anyway. But thing is, I was cleaning out my house the other day and I found my old PS one, looking all cute and white... and neglected.

The problem with my PS one was I had bought it after my previous original body PlayStation had died and very soon after the PS one died as well. Fed up with Sony's apparent lack of quality control I gave up on the PlayStation forever and moved on to (supposedly) more reliable world of PCs for my gaming needs.

But that was a decade ago, and absence makes the heart grow fonder, as the old adage goes. When I rediscovered my PS one, I decided to open it up and see if I could do anything to bring it back to life. It's main problem was that it just wouldn't power on, and before it died permanently, I would have to press the Power button on and off a couple of times before it would actually power up.

Taking advice from multiple console hacking forums like benheck.com, it was possible that one or more fuses had blew out, as it was a common problem with the PS ones. So I bought a multimeter and prodded all the fuses I could find on my PS one's mainboard... and all of them were working. Deciding that this was no longer a job for an amateur like me, I sent it in to a qualified technician to get it repaired.

And now I have a working PS one again! Hurray! This made me google up some old games I might have missed back in the day. I didn't think I'd find much because well, I'm a video games nerd -- I spend all my time on the internet reading about video games and haunting retrogaming forums. There's not much that escapes me, video game-wise. But because the PlayStation library was so vast and it was an area of interest I had long neglected, there were actually a lot of games I had missed out on.

Most notable are the Japanese games that never got an official translation but eventually managed to be translated by fans, like Persona 2 - Innocent Sin. Or games that did get a Western release but were translated poorly but were reinserted with a better translation from the PSP rereleases of the games, such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Final Fantasy Tactics.

Anyway, because of the revival of my PS one, I will probably write more about PlayStation games, seeing as I have more of those games than I do for my Nintendo systems (they're easier to find for me). I'll still write about Nintendo games, of course but I'm just saying I'm hot and bothered for my PS one right now.