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Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Ridge Racer V (PS2)


Ridge Racer V by Namco, a very early PlayStation 2 release. Reiko Nagase - the series mascot - got a lot of media attention as her hair seemed to exist of loose strands that were animated separately, showing the awesome power harnessed inside the PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine. Quite a cool racer I hadn't given much attention when I first got it. The release of the Dreamcast back in the day and Metropolis Street Racer may have had something to do with it. But, lately, the game has gotten a lot attention from me.

Check it out. It's a long one and I just waffle though it on various topics: Android, Nvidia Shield, Gamemid, Archos Gamepad, and some more.

Mark Vergeer's picture

New consoles and Micro transactions in (Full Price) Games

Mark Smile Micro transactions in full priced games with the gameplay being so much of a grind that people are motivated to buy the advancements in the game rather than going to the process of actually playing the games is what kills modern gaming for me. Games that have that mechanic will far less likely get played by me.

Whether or not I buy a new console depends on the publishers getting their act together on the new systems. Full price games like Forza 5 and Gran Turismo 6 (on the PS3) still have microtransactions in them. If the majority of full price games will contain this mechanic, what does that mean for gaming as a whole?

Micro transactions are meant to squeeze even more money out of customers' pockets, they have nothing to do with better gameplay or enhancing the game mechanics. They largely ruin the game experience. And I believe micro transactions are something you don't want to expose kids to as they don't teach you the value of things at all. Kids need to learn to be able to deal with money responsibly and such transactions won't help them - it will most likely confuse quite a few of them. Or does it?

Ad ridden free to play games are fine for some perhaps. The model does provide people with a full game and that's fine for some and also very enjoyable. It's comparable to watching a movie that is hacked to pieces with 15 minutes of commercials thrown in every so often. I'd much rather watch without interruptions and commercials and I think I get a better experience. I choose to do the same for my gaming.

I am of the opinion that if you opt to play those free to play / Micro transaction-containing games you basically support that marketing model and the masses of people choosing to do the same will make the game developers think they have something good there.

I choose not to expose myself to that kind of marketing mechanic or as little as possible as I am human and have a right to be irrational at times. Just give me a full game for a good price that I am able to play when I want - even a couple of years down the line - which with activations and online passes and closed systems needing day 1 updates and games that are basically broken when released today can only be dreamt of.

What are your opinions on the matter?

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Outrun2006 Coast to Coast / Outrun2SP (PC)(Post Replay 2013)


Outrun2006SP a wonderful arcade game that found its way onto the PS2 and the Xbox as well as the XBox360 - not sure about the PS3 but I am sure it's on there too. Well at Replay 2013 I finally got the chance to sit down (barely as I am a tad too tall for the machine to really fit) and play me some Outrun2006SP. I also played the full sized two seater arcade game at the Namco Arcade at the Trafford Center but that also has a hard time accommodating my long legs (I am 6'8"). So my performance was hindered by me not being too good with the pedals resulting in some rather poor gameplay :P
After getting home today I figured up Steam on the PC and downloaded the PC version of the game I bought many eons ago and it worked great. I grabbed it at 60fps which YouTube sadly degraded to 30fps so the footage is not as smooth as the original. I just had to redeem myself a little - recover my crushed ego :P

Well here's a little of me playing the game on Easy and Hard. Enjoy!

Mark Vergeer's picture

My Experiences With The OUYA, What Are Yours?

OUYA Game ConsoleOUYA Game ConsoleA couple of months in I really really want to like it but I don't. I really don't. The concept is very cool, the Indie games for it are really cool and there's some great emulators out there for it BUT... there are too many negatives to make this right.

The controller just isn't up to standards, the thumb-pad touches the sides of the mold so it feels cheap and not well designed. What this also creates is a feeling of unresponsiveness on the thumb-pad button itself as it seems to get stuck in a depressed position quite often. The analog joysticks are actually the best bit of the controllers as they are of a good quality, but they do grind on the top of the controller's surface-plates creating a lot of plastic powder that will no doubt foul up button functionality in the future. The action buttons suffer a similar fate as the thumb-pad button - the holes on the surface of the controller are too narrow with too little margins for the buttons to move freely so they end up actually getting caught underneath the top of the controller. The touch interface area / mousepad is on the controller is actually quite nifty.

But there's more, read below to find out what it is...

Bill Loguidice's picture

How do you play videogames today?

NVIDIA ShieldNVIDIA ShieldConsidering the amazing number of devices most of us have access to these days, including smartphones, tablets, consoles, set top boxes, and computers, I'd be curious to know how everyone goes about playing. Do you stick to a handful of devices (and if so, which ones) or do you like to sample from everything that you own? What if you're like me and also have a collection of vintage platforms to choose from as well? There's a point where you have "option paralysis," of course, where you have so many gaming options to choose from that you tend not to play much of anything. Have you reached that point?

As for me, I find my habits fluctuate greatly. One week I might be on a vintage platform kick, while another I might exclusively game on my tablet or PC, while another still I might pick a recent console. Other times I want to play multiple things on multiple systems and end up not being able to choose or be limited by real world demands on my time (or energy), despite my enthusiasm otherwise. I suspect this will get worse as the two latest consoles get released this November and interest in the previous generation of systems wanes and we have to start making decisions about what to do with these now "legacy" consoles. Of course, that's to say nothing of things like low cost Android devices and even the upcoming "Steam Box," which will add further options (and confusion) to the mix. All these choices are truly both exciting and overwhelming.

So, what's YOUR plan of action?

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Dragon Saber (PCEngine/TG16)(NTSC)


The sequel to Dragon Spirit, a game by Namco falling into the shmup category. Released in 1991 about 3 years after the 1st game. The cool bit about this game is that it actually has a two player mode which I can't show as I can't control two controllers at the same time. It features organic end-of-level bosses that you will find in many other shmups of this golden era of the shmup.
The Wii (Virtual Console) as well as the Playstation (Namco Museum Encore) got ports of this game so it is also available on newer systems.

If you are interested in the 1st game in this 2 game series check out Dave Webster's video on the 1st game called 'Dragon Spirit'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huQBLle9nqM
This video was inspired by him as I heard him mention he didn't own the sequel so I figured I'd show my little gameplay on it.

Check out Dave Webster's channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/DaveWebster

Mark Vergeer's picture

GameMID Android Handheld - Update on availability - 6-28-2013


The review video was watched a lot - and I really mean - A LOT. Thanks for that. I got a ton of questions on the device and thanks for all the feedback. A lot of the questions were regarding the availability of the device and things like pricing etc. At the time I created the review no information on this was available yet so I forwarded those questions to the producers of the machine and today they came back with the following information:

sales@gamemid.com is the email address that can be used to ask questions regarding the device
http://www.gamemid.com will be the website containing more information on the device.

Mind you I/We am/are not affiliated with the company making the device, this video is to address the many questions from the viewers and to point them in the right direction.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Need for Speed Most Wanted (Android)(GameMID)


A small review of the Need for Speed Most Wanted game by Electronic Arts on Android. In this video I use the GameMID Android handheld. Mind you it is quite a different game than the versions found on the consoles but it is worth checking out. I first play the game with the Gyroscopic controls and then I will configure the game to use the touch controls which I will map to the physical buttons.

Overall score: 6.5-7 / 10
Enjoy and please let me know what you think.

You can find the game here

Mark Vergeer's picture

GameMID Android Handheld Review - an 1hr in depth look (including gameplay & benchmarks) (HD)


A review of the GameMID Android Handheld produced by REP Electronics Ltd (Hong Kong based) that will be brought to the market by various vendors under various brands. My unit comes with 8Gb of memory, the bare minimum will be 4Gb, but 16Gb or 32Gb of Flash memory is possible depending on ways the resellers would like the setup.

This video contains a look at the device itself, the specifications, some live gameplay, a look at its guts, benchmarking it and comparing it to the JXD S3700B, the Archos Gamepad and the Nexus 7, HDMI captured gameplay of various Android native games and various emulators. Read more below.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Ridge Racer V (PS2)

Ridge Racer V - is the 5th game in the Ridge Racer series on the Playstation line of consoles. This actually was one of the launch titles the PS2 was graced with and it is quite similar to Ridge Racer Type IV on the original Playstation or PSOne. It plays a lot faster and is more twitchy and it took me some time to get used to but it also showed a promise of things to come as Ridge Racer VI and VII obviously built opon the foundations laid in this game. A must play if you are a fan of the Ridge Racer series.

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