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Category Archives: On the Cutting Room Floor

On the Cutting Room Floor – Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion For N64 (Episode 11)

Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion Wallpaper Box Art

Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion is the oft-forgotten N64-exclusive sequel to Turok 2.

Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion for Nintendo 64 is Episode 11 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play). Turok 3 marks a little-known, oft-forgotten, somewhat rare N64 sequel that few gamers played and even fewer remember. It was released on August 30th 2000 exclusively for the N64 as the sequel to the beastly Turok 2, which was itself sequel to the original Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.

After a very long, sad, hiatus, I am back with my original series of “On the Cutting Room Floor” articles. I never meant to take a break for as long as I did (the last entry I did was in early July!) but it feels good to be back. :)

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Hopefully I’ll play through them in the near future. :)

EPISODE #11 – Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion
Released: 2000
System: N64
Re-Released: No
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Developed By: Acclaim Studios Austin (Formerly Iguana Entertainment… I think)
Publisher: Acclaim
Is There A Digital Version?: No. I highly doubt there ever will be… though there should be already!

The Turok series of the late-90s greatly helped to propel the Nintendo 64 into a first-person shooter fans dream-console, alongside other high-profile console FPS games like GoldenEye 007, Doom 64, Duke Nukem 64, Quake 64, and Perfect Dark (among others).

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter N64 Box Art (Sealed)

A sealed Nintendo 64 copy of the awesome Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.

These games also helped to rewrite what to expect from the FPS genre in the days where first-person shooters were known as “Doom Clones”, and greatly changed the game. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (February 28 1997), Turok 2: Seeds of Evil (October 21 1998), Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion (August 30 2000), Turok: Rage Wars (October 31 1999), GoldenEye 007 (August 25 1997), and Perfect Dark (May 22 2000) are the title that literally redefined the definition of what a first-person shooter could be, away from dungeon corridor crawling games and into more of a sprawling adventure-style.

In the process they also rewrote what to expect from both a single-player and multiplayer console FPS, in the days before the Internet on consoles.

Turok 2: Seeds of Evil Box Art Europe Black

Awesome black-bordered European Turok 2: Seeds of Evil N64 box art.

Both Turok 1 and Turok 2 were huge smash successes for the N64, however Turok 3, while recieving favorable reviews (but not spectacular scores) is not a well-remembered game and many people forget that they even made a third Turok title (not to mention Turok: Rage Wars, a multiplayer-only title that I won’t even get into).

Sadly, I myself have never even played Turok 3, nor seen it been played, nor have I ever bought it. Literally all I know about the game is what I can recall from reading about it in EGM magazine. What I do remember is that the game has you playing as one of two different characters. A male or a female, the sons and daughter of the Native American hero from the original Turok game. You know the one, of “I AM TUROK!” fame.

Each of the characters has their own special abilities (I recall one of them can fit into small spaces) and I believe they each have their own different campiaign as well as their own unique weapons that they gain access too.

Obviously, I could look the game up and find all of this information out, but Turok 3 still represents a game I want to play for myself. Since I know nothing about it, I want to hold the surprises for whenever I pick the game up and pop it into the system myself. Which is why Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion has made my “On the Cutting Room Floor” list.

To this day I am a HUGE fan of Turok 1 AND Turok 2. I still think both games are so highly unique. What really sells the games, outside of the large worlds and steep difficulty, is the incredible music. If anything, play these games again just for the music. But they also offer very unique experiences. The weapons are so iconic and cool to use, and unlike anything else in the FPS genre really (especially these days, in which “realism” [yawn] has seemingly replaced epic coolness) and they enemies were also unique and fun to fight.

I still really want to track down and play the Xbox 360, PS3 Turok revival (title simply “Turok”) which was released by Disney in 2008. I was really hoping THAT game would sell extremely well and revive the series, since Dinosaurs definitely make some of the coolest FPS enemies of all time… Sadly the game bombed, essentially putting the arrow in the coffin (ahem, er, nail… or maybe I should say arrow in the knee) of the Turok franchise (FOR SHAME!)

Sadly, and mind-boggingly, known of the Turok games have ever been re-released. You’d think that someone would have had the sense to do an HD remastering of the games for modern systems, release a “Turok Trilogy” title for Wii, or, at the very least, re-release each of the Turok games in their original N64 forms for the Wii Virtual Console. But that amazingly has yet to happen.

Hopefully it still will. In the meantime, definitely try out Turok 1, 2 or 3 for N64 if you get the chance (some of them, like Turok 1 and 2, are also available for PC). The second game is well-known as one of the hardest games of all time. I tried diligently to beat it legitimately a few years back, and finally gave up on it wholeheartedly. I still want to try it out….

But despite that, each of the games is really a milestone videogame achievement and they are worth tracking down and playing. And now, for that iconic drumming Turok 1 theme!

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 10 – Resident Evil: Deadly Silence for DS (Posted On July 7 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 9 – Car Battler Joe For Game Boy Advance (Posted On July 2 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 8 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Posted On June 16 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 7 – Halo 2 For Xbox1 (Posted on June 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 6 – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons For Game Boy Color (Posted: June 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 5 – Otogi: Myth of Demons For Xbox1 (Posted: May 27, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer For Game Boy Advance (Posted: May 21, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts For Xbox1, PS2, PC (Posted: May 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3 For PS2 (Posted: May 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 1 – EarthBound For SNES (Posted: April 26, 2012)

 

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On the Cutting Room Floor – Resident Evil: Deadly Silence For DS (Episode 10)

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence Cover Box Art

A 2006 updated version of Resident Evil 96 with enhanced features for DS!

Episode 10 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play) is Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, a little-known, extremely rare Resident Evil ’96 port with enhanced features released for Nintendo DS in 2006.

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Hopefully I’ll play through them in the near future. :)

EPISODE #10 – Resident Evil: Deadly Silence
Released: 2006
System: DS
Re-Released: No
Genre: Survival Horror Action Adventure
Developed By: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Is There A Digital Version?: No. I highly doubt there ever will be.

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence was released for the original DS in 2006, as an enhanced port of the 1996 Resident Evil, the original Resident Evil 1 that kicked off the series way back on the PS1. This was impressive, as the developers managed to squeeze all of that games full-motion video sequences, gameplay and voice acting onto a tiny DS cart. They also added some new features to the game.

The biggest new addition is a “Rebirth Mode”, which adds a great challenge with more enemies to battle, and a series of new puzzles that you must solve using the features of the DS like the touchscreen. These include all-new first-person sequences.

You can also play the game in Classic Mode, which makes it feel just like the PS1 original with a few enhancements, such as a quickturn (the 180 degree turn was first introduced in Resident Evil 3) and the tactical reload introduced in Resident Evil 4, along with touch controls for inventory manipulation and the like. This streamlines the game a bit. The dual screens are also used to great effect, with the Map always shown on the top screen, while the action is always shown on the bottom screen (along with your inventory, where the touchscreen controls makes it quick and easy to select, equip or combine items). You can also skip any dialog or cutscenes, which makes playing through the game much faster for those who have already mastered Resident Evil 1.

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence First Person Knight Attack Mode

… New features like first-person knife battles have been added to Resident Evil 96 to spruce things up!

Sadly some of the cutscenes were censored, although the live-action introduction and all the rest of the live-action movie scenes with the actors were kept, including the violent decapitation of Kenneth. However the censoring isn’t unique to the DS version, as Resident Evil 1 has been censored in other versions of the game in the past as well. And it doesn’t really have any bearing on the actual game, as only the live-action cutscenes were censored.

Last and… probably least, is the fact that the game contains some unique local multiplayer modes using the wi-fi capabilities of the DS. By wirelessly linking several systems together, you can play multiplayer with up to four players! The two modes available include a cooperative mode where you must help each other solve puzzles in order to escape the mansion. And a competitive mode wherein you must get the most amount of points for killing enemies, with tougher enemies being worth more points. There are three multiplayer stages available with nine playable characters; making this a unique version of Resident Evil ’96 for that fact alone. Although you aren’t very likely to play these modes unless you know someone else with a DS and copy of the game who’s willing to play.

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence Gameplay Screenshots

Here is what Resident Evil: Deadly Silence for DS looks like in action. Very similar to the 96 PS1 original. Note the topscreen Map.

Ever since I first saw Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, I wanted it. But I never got around to buying the game. It still tops the list of the videogames I most want; both because I want to play it, and, of course, because I want to collect it!

And Resident Evil: Deadly Silence isn’t the only rare, uncommon Resident Evil game that is somewhat hard to find, there are others like the Game Boy Color RE game, which I’ll most likely list in a future episode of On the Cutting Room Floor.

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence New Puzzles Screenshot

… Awesome new touchscreen-based puzzles like this one have been added in Resident Evil: Deadly Silence!

Doing a quick Resident Evil: Deadly Silence ebay search, you can buy Resident Evil: Deadly Silence for around $25. Although prices are in excess of $60 to around $200 if you want to purchase a brand-new, sealed copy of this DS gem.

All-in-all, Resident Evil: Deadly Silence is not the most conveniant way to play Resident Evil ’96 now that the game is easily downloadable for PS3 via the PlayStation Network (as a PS1 classic), and the PS1 version of the game is also readily obtainable quite easily. Or you can play the game in one of its myriad of different versions, like the GameCube remake with amazing graphics, or the updated Dual Shock and Director’s Cut versions for PS1. Even so though, none of those versions contain the unique features of this DS version, like the touchscreen based puzzles, the multiplayer modes or the first-person sequences, making Resident Evil: Deadly Silence a rare treat, especially for fans of the original Resident Evil 1, and definitely making it worth your time to track this rarely-seen DS title down.

Definitely pick up Resident Evil: Deadly Silence while you still can, before the game disappears!

Resident Evil: Deadly Silence Wallpaper Jill Valentine

Be sure to track down a copy of this rare DS gem before it disappears!

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 9 – Car Battler Joe For DS
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 8 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Posted On June 16 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 7 – Halo 2 (Posted on June 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 6 – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Posted: June 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 5 – Otogi: Myth of Demons (Posted: May 27, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer (Posted: May 21, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts (Posted: May 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3 (Posted: May 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 1 – EarthBound (Posted: April 26, 2012)

 

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On the Cutting Room Floor – Car Battler Joe For Game Boy Advance (Episode 9)

Car Battler Joe Box Artwork (Game Boy Advance)

The anime RPG style of the box art for Car Battler Joe for GBA, released in 2002.

Episode 9 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play) is Car Battler Joe, a little-known, extremely unique GBA RPG that combines Twisted Metal-style Car Combat with RPG elements!

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Hopefully I’ll play through them in the near future. :)

EPISODE #9 – Car Battler Joe
Released: 2002
System: Game Boy Advance
Re-Released: No
Genre: Car Combat RPG
Developed By: Ancient Corp
Publisher: Natsume
Is There A Digital Version?: No. I highly doubt there ever will be.

Here is a video of Car Battler Joe in action!

In the early 2000s, the Game Boy Advance was stuffed to the gills with very cool, interesting, and unique games that have been seemingly lost to the sands of time… Most people do not know of some of the best little gems that GBA has to offer; games like Drill Dozer, Car Battler Joe, Demi Kids, Sigma Star Saga and Klonoa: Empire of Dreams. Among many others.

Which is a crying shame, because some of the above titles are truly lost gems… Such as this game, released in 2002 by RPG house Natsume, and known as Car Battler Joe!

Pokemon Cars in Car Battler Joe Combat Gameplay Screenshot

….. Car Battler Joe is often thought of as Pokemon Cars, which isn’t quite accurate. More like Twisted Metal RPG.

Car Battler Joe is a unique mashup of Twisted Metal-style car combat with RPG elements! It is truly a mix of genres and styles that you have never seen before. The brunt of the game sees players stepping into the shoes of the titular mechanic Joe, who must run around an RPG world, talking to people, purchasing new items and equipment, and battling car owners in Mode-7 arenas with car-on-car-combat in order to gain more cash which is used to upgrade your car. Eventually players will proceed in the storyline of the game and find out about Joe’s father.

While it is tempting to think of Car Battler Joe as “Pokemon Cars”, it’s actually not, as the game is more about upgrading your car with new abilities, and less about collecting new cars in the way you collect “Pocket Monsters” in Pokemon. Instead you are typically collecting new parts to improve your car in an number of areas and add a variety of weapons and abilities to it. Which make defeating new Car Owners easier.

Car Battler Joe Car On Car Combat Artwork

Don’t be deceived by the very cool looking artwork. The game doesn’t look this!

Overall, Car Battler Joe is a very unique game that very few people know about. The game garnered good reviews (mostly in the 7 range) upon release and was praised for offering a unique hook. One that has still yet to be seen in the same way. In particular because Car Battler Joe makes heavy use of the 32bit Game Boy Advance to offer 16bit style graphics and effects, which are much different than how the game would’ve been done had it come out on a more powerful system. Yet these oldschool graphics are what instill Car Battler Joe with such a unique charm. If the game was to be done today, it likely would lack that charm.

Car Battler Joe is quite rare and hard to come by, although you can get it off ebay for around $20 if you can even find it being sold. Hopefully the game will get a digital re-release at some point, as very few people even know it exists. Of course, there’s always piracy. Which is definitely the easiest way to play this lost gem. :)

Car Battler Joe RPG Exploration Gameplay Screenshot

Explore the world in RPG mode and talk to new car mechanics to battle!

Car Battler Joe New Parts Screenshot

Use the cash you win in battle to buy new parts and weapons to upgrade your vehicle!

Car Battler Joe Talking to People RPG Style Screenshot

In typical RPG style, run around the world and talk to everyone.

Car Battler Joe Battlebots Cutscene Screenshot Art

Hey is this Battle Bots or Car Battler Joe?!

Car Battler Joe RPG Mode

Exploring building interiors in the RPG mode of Car Battler Joe.

Twisted Metal RPG Car Battler Joe Battle Screenshot

Battling other cars is kinda like Twisted Metal RPG eh.

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 8 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Posted On June 16 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 7 – Halo 2 (Posted on June 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 6 – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Posted: June 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 5 – Otogi: Myth of Demons (Posted: May 27, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer (Posted: May 21, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts (Posted: May 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3 (Posted: May 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 1 – EarthBound (Posted: April 26, 2012)

 

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On the Cutting Room Floor – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Episode 8)

Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty Wallpaper Snake Artwork From Cover

The interesting artstyle for the cover artwork of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001).

Episode 8 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play) is Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Hideo Kojima’s cult-classic that stunned silent the gaming masses and followed-up one of the biggest games of all time.

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Maybe I’ll get to them at some point, and hopefully soon; but maybe not. We’ll see. Enjoy.

EPISODE #8 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Released: 2001
System: PS2, Xbox1, PC
Re-Released: Yes, as part of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita.
Genre: Stealth Action Adventure (Isometric third-person and first-person)
Developed By: KCEJ
Publisher: Konami
Creator Hideo Kojima
Is There A Digital Version?: Only for the PlayStation Vita (that I know of). It should eventually get a re-release as a PlayStation 2 Classic for PlayStation Network.

Metal Gear Solid 2 is the infamous sequel to one of the most groundbreaking games ever made, the original Metal Gear Solid. Hitting the same year as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the original MGS turned heads and made waves by presenting gamers with a highly realistic, highly scientific, fact-filled cinematic experience with dozens of hours of amazing voice-overs, movie-scenes, dramatic character development and story intrigue, and a Mature plot. It was stuffed to the gills with interesting situations, characters, interactions and moments that all-but-defined the original PlayStation and its library of innovative, cutting-edge videogames by some of the best developers in the world.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Stealth

Espionage Stealth Action continued in Metal Gear Solid 2.

In addition to offering outstanding visuals (for the time… MGS1 is hard to look at these days, the game didn’t even have lip-synching!), immersive audio and a fantastic plot and characters, the game offered interesting stealth-action gameplay to boot, where players stepped into the shoes of Solid Snake and snuck their way into highly secure areas, picking up new weapons and items as they went along that allowed them to better take-out their foes and explore their environment… from remote-controlled missiles to binoculars to a gas mask and infrared detection gear. Additionally, MGS gave gamers incredible boss fights where outwitting your opponent was just as important as anything else.

Many of the moments in the game, from the indepth and long-winded Codec messages where the two character’s facial profiles would appear on the screen and talk back and forth for seemingly forever (but those convos were awesome and full of interesting things to hear!), to the epic battle with Psycho Mantus, the game was highly unique and set the gaming world ablaze with perfect review scores in many publications and huge sales.

How would the developers at Konami and creator Hideo Kojima ever top it? That was the question by the time Metal Gear Solid 2 rolled around in 2001. One way they upped the first game was by sheer shock-value… while gamers thought they were going to continue the adventures of Solid Snake… Konami had placed wool over the eyes of gamers everywhere and, out of no-where, introduced them to an all-new playable character named Raiden who made up the vast majority of the game. This was a very controversial decision, and some people still maintain that the game losses out to the first game for just this reason. As many westerners saw Raiden as a pansy-boy who couldn’t dare fill the shoes of their gaming hero, Solid Snake. Still others say it was such a bold and dramatic move, that the game wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable without it. And that the Raiden-choice alone made MGS2 a must-have game and a momentous event in the history of gaming.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance Snake Tux VR Missions Gameplay

Substance added tons more… substance, to MGS2 via over 500 funfilled VR Missions!

Whichever side of the fence you fall on, Konami took many pains to make Metal Gear Solid 2 bigger, better and even more cinematic than ever before. Although they also introduced some unrealistic, supernatural elements into the game that many gamers feel held the game back when compared to the grounded realism of the original. Kind of like the flack that the Matrix sequels get, many people felt that Metal Gear Solid 2 made everything too convoluted for its own good, whereas the first game hit that sweet spot.

Sadly, I never got around to playing Metal Gear Solid 2, despite owning it several times. I only ever played a very small portion of it, and to this day I don’t know all of the surprises, crazy exposition and shocking moments that so set the world ajar WAYYYY back in 2001 with Metal Gear Solid 2. The game was improved upon with an extras-stuffed special edition as well (first released in 2002) called “Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance”, which hit for Xbox 1, PS2 and PC and added over 500 training VR missions/puzzles to the game, 5 new “Snake Tales” sidequests, a skateboarding minigame in the PS2 version, and more.

While Metal Gear Solid 1 will forever be held up as one of the biggest gaming moments of all time, Metal Gear Solid 2 was no slouch either, and still remains regarded by many as one of the best games ever made.

Here’s a classic GameSpot review of Metal Gear Solid 2 by none-other than Greg Kasavin, producer of the hit Indie RPG Bastion and beloved ex-GameSpot Editor in Chief!

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor: Halo 2 (Episode 7) (Posted on June 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 6 – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Posted: June 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 5 – Otogi: Myth of Demons (Posted: May 27, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer (Posted: May 21, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts (Posted: May 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3 (Posted: May 3, 2012)
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBound (Posted: April 26, 2012)

 

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On the Cutting Room Floor: Halo 2 (Episode 7)

Halo 2 Wallpaper

Master Chief watches from above, ready for action!

Episode 7 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play) is Halo 2 for the original Xbox, the first sequel in the Halo series and the second game in the beloved first-person shooter franchise that greatly expanded on the mythos of the Halo saga.

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

In fact, my most played system as of late has been my Nintendo 3DS, and that’s simply because it is the easiest system to play when I’m sitting on the throne…. And cause I’m a hardcore Nintendo fanboy to boot.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Maybe I’ll get to them at some point, and hopefully soon; but maybe not. We’ll see. Enjoy.

EPISODE #7 – Halo 2
Released: November 9 2004 (Xbox), May 17 2007 (Windows Vista PC)
System: Xbox1, Windows PC
Re-Released: Never
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Developed By: Bungie
Publisher: Microsoft
Is There A Digital Version?: No (Not yet)

Halo 2 is a game that really needs no introduction. The second entry in Master Chief’s Halo saga, the game greatly expanded upon the original Halo after that game’s massive success as a 2001 launch game for the original Xbox, and the rest is history. Halo 2 would become THE signature game of the original Xbox system.

I loved the original Halo game (although I didn’t much play multiplayer, since I am not a multiplayer guy and could care less about multiplayer in games) and I reviewed it for VGB where I gave the game a score of 8.5. Give my VideoGamesBlogger Halo 1: Combat Evolved review a read to see what I thought about the first Halo game.

Halo 2 Xbox1 Limited Edition Set With Bonus Material

The bonus material included in the Limited Edition of Halo 2 for the original Xbox.

Once Halo 2 hit however, I didn’t keep up with the series and I never got around to playing the game despite all the hysteria surrounding the epic sequel. To this day I still want to track the Halo 2 Collector’s Edition down to own a copy of it.

Halo 2 was arguably the game that everyone was hoping they’d get with the original Halo. It greatly expanded the mythos of the series by adding a new universe and extensive cast of new characters, including a playable alien Covenant named “The Arbiter”! This made a huge splash and was akin to the first time that gamers figured out that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was actually more about a fellow named Raiden than Solid Snake! Likewise, when players found out that the Master Chief wasn’t the sole focus of Halo 2…. waves were made. It was a HUGE decision by developer Bungie and publisher Microsoft, but it was something that really helped the sequel stand-out among other games, and it made the game a very memorable experience. Additionally, the single-player story was expanded to a galactic level, and ended on a Cliffhanger that left fans dazed and craving more. The perfect excuse to transition into the sequel to Halo 2, Halo 3! Which wouldn’t hit until the original Xbox1’s successor, the Xbox 360 launched in 2006, with Halo 3 arriving a year later in 2007 to just as much, if not more, fanfare than Halo 2.

Halo 2 Multiplayer Gameplay Screenshot

Here is what the intense, beloved multiplayer of Halo 2 looked like. From 3rd-person instead of 1st.

Halo 2 made its biggest splash however with the multiplayer game. It was here where the Xbox really propelled itself as a true online multiplayer powerhouse extraordinaire, as Halo 2 introduced gamers to Xbox Live, Microsoft’s then-new online service. Xbox Live allowed players to connect their Xbox1 machines to the Internet and play multiplayer games online! The game also included full cooperative play where you could tackle the single-player game with a buddy, and supported System Link, wherein people would stage massive house parties where several Xbox systems were linked up to each other allowing for 8-16 player offline multiplayer matches (something also offered with the original Halo).

Although I wasn’t a Halo player, I clearly remember some of the insanely fun Halo 2 multiplayer matches that the game spawned. One time several of my buddies and a friend who was the brother of our church’s pastor (much younger brother, mind), got two Xbox’s, two copies of Halo 2 and multiple Xbox controllers together, and we headed down to the church that night. Our buddy had the key to the church doors and permission to enter from the pastor, so we headed into the church and staged a massive Halo 2 tournament, playing the game on the big projector screens with the church’s booming sound! Since I wasn’t interested in Halo 2, I sat back and played DJ. Pumping out awesome metal beats to go along with all the multiplayer shooting action!

Halo 2 Single Player Screenshot

Here is what Halo 2 single-player looks like, facing off some enemy aliens with a Shotgun!

Ahhhh, those were the days! I can clearly remember another giant houseparty I went to where they had 16 players with Xbox systems set up in each and every room. Suffice it to say, Halo 2 and system link multiplayer were HUGE back-in-the-day, and they truly elevated Halo to mainstream status that was akin to what happened when GoldenEye 007 hit, where everyone and their mother seemed to be playing it (Oh yeah, and Halo 2 copied GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark’s “dual-wielding”, while acting like they made it up themselves. Tsk tsk… There I said it.)

I feel like a very sad, wise-old turtle for not having played Halo 2. But it is definitely still a game that I intend to play very soon. And due to never having played Halo 2, I still don’t know much of anything about the Halo storyline and mythos as a whole, having tried my best to avoid spoilers for each subsequent game. Because I never played the second one, I also never played the following titles, including Halo 3, Halo Reach, Halo 3: ODST and Halo Wars…. all games that I’d love to play so I can finally catch myself up on what everyone has been clamoring about all these years… and prepare myself for the total epic awesomeness that is sure to be Halo 4!

Halo 2 Master Chief Wallpaper by I Got Game

The Master Chief defending against an aerial bombardment in this Halo 2 wallpaper.

It’s worth noting that Halo 2 was the most popular Xbox Live online game all the way up until two years later and the Xbox 360, when Gears of War finally unseated it! Halo 2 was also the most successful original Xbox game, selling well-over 6 million copies in the United States alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if the real worldwide sales numbers were closer to 20 million.

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 6 – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Posted: June 3, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 5 – Otogi: Myth of Demons (Posted: May 27, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer (Posted: May 21, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts (Posted: May 11, 2012)
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3 (Posted: May 3, 2012)
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBound (Posted: April 26, 2012)

 

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On the Cutting Room Floor – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Episode 6)

On the Cutting Room Floor Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons

Mmmm Zelda: Oracle… I think I’ll like Ages more than Seasons….

Episode 6 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play) is The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, a cult-classic, critically acclaimed retro Zelda duo for the Game Boy Color.

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

In fact, my most played system as of late has been my Nintendo 3DS, and that’s simply because it is the easiest system to play when I’m sitting on the throne…. And cause I’m a hardcore Nintendo fanboy to boot.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Maybe I’ll get to them at some point, and hopefully soon; but maybe not. We’ll see. Enjoy.

EPISODE #6 – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages
Released: 2001
System: Game Boy Color
Re-Released: Never
Genre: Isometric Action Adventure
Developed By: Flagship (Capcom 2nd-Party Subsidiary)
Publisher: Nintendo
Is There A Digital Version?: No (Not yet)

Zelda Oracle of Ages and Seasons Sealed

Blue Zelda Oracles of Ages, Red Zelda Oracles of Seasons cover artwork.

What originally began as a port of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and later the original Legend of Zelda to the then-new Game Boy Color (released in 2001) would evolve into two separate Game Boy Color Zelda titles, both of which were highly critically acclaimed.

Capcom begun having a good working relationship with Nintendo due to a little game called Resident Evil 0. Originally in development for release on the Nintendo 64DD, it would be delayed for years and skip the N64 entirely, eventually hitting the GameCube in 2002.

Through that relationship of bringing a rival AAA series to a Nintendo system, Capcom had the bright idea of bringing a new or ported Zelda title over to the Game Boy Color. They put second party subsidiary Flagship on porting duties. Flagship had worked with Nintendo on developing an improved Nintendo 64 port of Resident Evil 2, released on that system in 1999.

Zelda Mystical Seed of Courage Logo (Cancelled)

Zelda: Mystical Seed of Courage was a cancelled part of the Triforce series. It would’ve been a Zelda 1 remake.

Thus Capcom tapped them to work with Nintendo on putting out a big AAA project for the Game Boy Color, which started out as a Zelda port. After considering porting the beloved A Link to the Past, the project would’ve been complex and was scaled back to be the original Zelda instead. Which they would completely remake to be an improved version.

Here’s a video of Zelda: Oracle of Ages in action.

At this point Nintendo stepped in and talked with Capcom on developing a unique Zelda series to be killer-apps for the Game Boy Color. This is when they had the really awesome idea to develop THREE unique and yet intersecting Zelda titles, one based on each piece of the Triforce… These would be The Legend of Zelda Power, The Legend of Zelda Wisdom and The Legend of Zelda Courage, one of which would be a remake of the original Zelda, the other two being unique titles.

Here is a video of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons in action.

Later these games were given actual names, turning into The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Power, The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Wisdom, and The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Courage. Eventually, the interconnected nature of all three games proved too complicated, and Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, who had come up with the Triforce idea, decided to scale it down to two games instead of three. Thus, Mystical Seed of Power became Oracle of Seasons and Mystical Seed of Wisdom became Oracle of Ages. The remake of the original Legend of Zelda, Mystical Seed of Courage, was ultimately cancelled (FOR SHAME!). Although Flagship would go on to update and re-release The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past/Four Swords for Game Boy Advance, which was likely birthed from the cancelled remains of Mystical Seed of Courage.

The Triforce (Zelda)

…. Awesome artwork for the mythical Triforce relic in Zelda mythology. Each piece of the triangle represents Power, Wisdom or Courage.

By this point years and years had delayed the project ad infinitum, and just when the two titles were about to hit, the Game Boy Advance was rearing its pretty new head. The team decided to delay one last time to incorporate special features into the games if played on a Game Boy Advance system, and the two titles, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, were finally released on May 14 2001, just two months before the June 11th release of the Game Boy Advance.

The games were HUGE hits, both critically, commercially and in the eyes of players, creating a huge cult-following and going on to sell over 4 million copies EACH (for a total of over 8 million), making them some of the best-selling Game Boy Color titles ever. Surely making all that trouble and long-delays from 1995 to 2001 worth it, eh.

Oracles of Ages Wallpaper

Awesome Zelda: Oracles of Ages Wallpaper!

As previously stated, both of the game’s are entirely unique, featuring different characters, different storylines, different gameplay hooks, different worlds to explore, puzzles to solve, dungeons to conquer, weapons and items to acquire and bosses to defeat. They also link together. Play and beat one game and you’ll get a password that expands the other game and changes it in different ways, completing both gives you a special item. Both games feature multiple endings and an ending that can only be obtained by linking both games together (via password or Game Link Cable). All in all, these two titles were among the most sweeping and epic ever released for the Game Boy systems.

Additionally, each game in the duo offers unique gameplay that is focused on a different type of Zelda player and each game is self-contained (meaning you’ll get a full experience whether you play both games or not. Playing both is not required to complete the game, only expand them). Oracle of Ages is more focused on the puzzle-solving aspect of Zelda, while Oracle of Seasons is more focused on action gameplay.

Zelda Oracle of Seasons Wallpaper

Awesome The Legend of Zelda: Oracles of Seasons wallpaper!

This means that whatever type of player you are, you are sure to get a ton of enjoyment out of the Zelda Oracle series, and you can choose which type of Zelda gameplay most interests you.

Of course, if you buy both games and play them together, you’re experience will be greatly expanded on. :)

Zelda Oracle of Ages Seasons Movie Scene

Link riding his horse Epona in a cutscene from Zelda Oracle of Seasons.

As stated, each game has a unique hook, thus the different names. In Oracle of Ages, Time plays a big role in the game, with the player traveling to the past or future to solve puzzles. In Oracle of Seasons, the player has the ability to change the season from Fall to Winter, Summer or Spring, and that hook is used in solving puzzles.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Screenshot

A gameplay screenshot of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons.

It’s worth nothing that Flagship went on to develop the first multiplayer Zelda called “The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords”, which was bundled with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in a Game Boy Advance cart released in late 2002 and an another all-new Zelda title called “The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap”, released for the Game Boy Advance in early 2005.

I am a proud owner of complete, boxed versions of BOTH The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, and they are definitely prides of my collection. However I’ve never really played either game. (Don’t ask).

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages Screenshot

A gameplay screenshot from Zelda: Oracle of Ages.

I actually tried on a few occasions to play them, and for some odd reason I just couldn’t get into the games. Which is weird because I am a HUGE fan of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Given that Oracle of Ages and Seasons have yet to be re-released for the 3DS eShop, I plan on playing through them (and recording it!) very soon, before they get digitally re-released.

They assuredly WILL be re-released on the 3DS eShop’s Game Boy Color Virtual Console at some point, as the game’s are among the most highly requested eShop titles and Nintendo knows they are beloved games with a big cult-following.

Sexy Girl Triforce Tattoo

A sexy girl named Jaqqis made even sexier thanks to this amazing Triforce tattoo on her back!

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 5 – Otogi: Myth of Demons
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBoundPrevious Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBound

 

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On the Cutting Room Floor – Otogi 1: Myth of Demons (Episode 5)

On the Cutting Room Floor Otogi Sad Panda Face

Yes I own both Otogi 1 & 2. No I haven’t played them. Yes I am a sad panda. :(

Episode 5 of On the Cutting Room Floor (Games I’m Longing to Play) is Otogi 1: Myth of Demons, a cult-classic for the original Xbox.

If you know me, you know that there are TONS AND TONS of videogames I’ve never played. Sadly, although I consider myself to be a “hardcore” gamer, I really am not compared to most “gamers”. The reason for that is because, unlike other more productive people, I can never seem to find the time to play games. Period.

In fact, my most played system as of late has been my Nintendo 3DS, and that’s simply because it is the easiest system to play when I’m sitting on the throne…. And cause I’m a hardcore Nintendo fanboy to boot.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some of the games I’d LOVE to play and still plan on playing someday, but never have up to this point and why I want to play them. Maybe I’ll get to them at some point, and hopefully soon; but maybe not. We’ll see. Enjoy.

EPISODE #5 – OTOGI: MYTH OF DEMONS
Released: 2003
System: Xbox1
Re-Released: Never
Genre: Action
Developed By: From Software
Publisher: Sega
Is There A Digital Version?: No

Otogi Myth of Demons Box Art Covers Front and Back

Otogi was one of the highest-praised games for the original Xbox.

Otogi: Myth of Demons is one of the most critically acclaimed, highly-praised action titles to hit the original Xbox. Developed by From Software, in the days before they hit it big with Demon’s Souls (but were well-known for the Tenchu & Armored Core titles), and published by Sega; Otogi 1: Myth of Demons was an extremely unique brightspot in the Xbox 1’s library, and served to give the system a huge critical hit that came out of no where and surprised a lot of people.

The game received high review scores across the board, was honored with Game of the Month and Game of the Year nominations, helping to feed the original Xbox’s image as THE system for great third-person action games; also being home to Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden series reboot.

Otogi: Myth of Demons Gameplay Screenshot

Here is what Otogi: Myth of Demons looks like in gameplay.

Otogi 1 though was a different kind of game than say Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry. It was action through and through, but a slower-paced action than that of its contemporaries, and it was a game that was as much focused on atmosphere and mood as it was on crazy action scenes, swarms of deadly enemies, skilled combo-creation and tough boss fights.

In Otogi 1, players took on the role of an ancient Japanese style seemingly demonic human character, who was given the ability to completely level the buildings and structures of the environment around him with his weapons. Ancient Japanese mythology was the set-piece, and the game featured eerie, strange characters and spooky enemies.

Otogi 1 Giant Dragon Boss (Snake-like)

Titanic boss creatures and ugly, demonic fiends were par-for-the-course in Otogi 1: Myth of Demons

Otogi’s hook is that you could use your sword and weapons to completely obliterate any building or structure in your path (this had been offered in a few games before, but unlike in them, here you were human-sized and not giant. Additionally virtually ANY structure could be completely destroyed), you could also float through the air which added a kind of poetic grace to the smooth-action. In the age of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, this seemed like it may become a new trend; it didn’t, but the floaty nature of the action gave the game a unique feel that separated it from anything else gamers had played. This, along with the haunting world, style and voice-work; made the game into a cult-classic.

Here is a video review of Otogi 1, by none-other than ex-GameSpot head honcho Greg Kasavin! (who was lead designer behind the hit RPG Bastion)

Much like From Software’s huge modern hits Demon’s Souls and its sequel, Dark Souls, Otogi 1 turned heads and was one of the first games to really put From Software on the map and break them from the mold of mediocre franchise titles they were known for. The game also was heavily Japanese-styled, just like the aforementioned modern titles (maybe it inspired them?) with a focus on the demonic. Unlike the games From Software was most known for at the time (Armored Core & Tenchu), Otogi was of very high quality, and many considered it a 3D action title of killer-app proportions for the Xbox.

Sadly the game was criminally never re-released, but the game still holds up well today. If you can track down an original Xbox system, I urge you to pick up Otogi 1! This is one of my brother’s favorite games, and I’ve owned it for quite a long while. One of these days I’ll get around to playing it… as I always tell myself. But this is one that I’ve always wanted to sink my teeth into. I only played a bit of it, I’m sure I’d love it if I really gave it another shot.

Otogi 1 Gameplay Screenshot Gel Enemies

Surrounded by strange gel enemies? Just another day’s work in Otogi 1!

I’m a huge fan of other similar-styed action games like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden, so I think Otogi 1 is really right up my ally. Of course, Otogi is more artsy, which very cool and all the more reason to play it!

I may do a “ListenToMePlay” of Otogi 1 AND 2 along with my brother RedWinged Angel (who joined me on the ListenToMePlay The Witcher 2 podcast) as he has been begging me to play the game and review it. :)

Otogi: Myth of Demons Wallpaper

Cool wallpaper for main character Raikoh of Otogi: Myth of Demons.

Previous Episodes of “On the Cutting Room Floor”:
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 4 – Drill Dozer
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 3 – Psychonauts
* On the Cutting Room Floor Episode 2 – Silent Hill 3
* Episode 1 – On the Cutting Room Floor: Games I’ve Yet to Play – EarthBound

 

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