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According to Gameinfomer, The Skype headset is gonna sell for $29.99 and that Skype(and the headset) was only gonna work on the slims(Can't remember if the last part is true, I have to read the mag again). Haven't heard anything about 3G, It would be sweet if it was true.

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Impressions time!!!

Today's impressions are of Mega Man Powered Up and Castlevania The Dracula X Chronicles. I sure do love me some 3D side-scrolling action!

Whew anyway, so I've spent about an hour and a half with each game so far, and I've gotta say, if you loved the originals, then you're gonna think these are faptastic. I'll start with Mega Man.

It's Mega Man. It's totally remastered. It's totally awesome and now portable. So I guess that makes it portable awesome. I'm sure most of you have played the original, so we're all familiar with the story. Nothing new there. What IS new however are two new robot masters, Time Man and Oil Man(who looks like a duck), as well as multiple difficulty levels, and a choice between old-school and remastered levels. Not only that, but there's a challenge mode that gives you assorted goals and handicaps as you go through different levels and whatnot. Better yet is that you can play as all 8 robot masters! Yeah, go through all the levels and challenge levels with Cut Man, Guts Man, you name it. And just because this game is a remake doesn't mean you'll be having that much of an easier time. Let's just say there are a few surprises along the way. Not to mention a stage creator and being able to upload and download stages from players around the world on the network. Yay.

So far, the verdict is a winner.

Now on to Castlevania.

Well, it's a 3D remake of the original Rondo of Blood, as well as including the original PC Engine Rondo AND Symphony of The Night(although it DOES suck that it's the PSX version and not the Saturn version with Maria playable and two new areas... phooey). It isn't called "The Dracula X Chronicles" for nothing. As with Mega Man Powered Up, the game has been given a total makeover, including remastered music, cutscenes, voiceovers, etc. The voice acting isn't all that great thus far, but I think they made that intentional what with the piss poor dub for SoTN. At any rate, the game is(in my mind anyway) the apex of old-school Castlevania, and is definitely still fun. The coolest addition I've seen thus far is the FMV introduction, which is pretty much the intro to the original, complete with German narration, but in FMV form. Unlike Mega Man, there isn't that much of a departure from level design and difficulty(which is challenging enough as it is). Oh and I forgot to mention that both games have an auto-save function, so that should be useful for some people.

Verdict: Very nice.

Ok I've rambled on long enough. Back to playin'. I dunno if this stuff has been posted thus far in the thread, but here it is. Both games are relatively cheap at Amazon(MM was 15 while CV was 30), and I think they're worth it. Stay tuned for my impressions of Maverick Hunter X coming sometime this week.

Out.

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you mean she's playable in Rondo or in Symphony? 'Cause I know she's playable in Rondo for a fact.

Also, been playing a bit more. This really is the best Castlevania I've ever played.

You should play Symphony and Portrait or Ruin(with Richter) if you need your Richter fix :)

Richter <3

Off topic: I was talking to some guy in guild wars and some how Castlevania came up and said he loved it so much that he got Belmont engraved in his class ring.

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Quick question - has anyone played Metal Gear: Portable Ops? How is it? The MG Acid games don't seem terribly exciting to me, but Portable Ops sounds like it could be interesting.

Yeah I've played Portable Ops and it is pretty neat, especially how you can recruit the enemy and make your own army and all that jazz. Pick new soldiers up at different wireless hotspots(i think you can recruit a new soldier for every new IP address you tap into).

It was a while back when I played it but I remember thinking it was a really cool concept.

Now they got Portable Ops Plus which is supposed to be bigger, badder, blah blah blah

might b worth chekin' out

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Yeah I've played Portable Ops and it is pretty neat, especially how you can recruit the enemy and make your own army and all that jazz. Pick new soldiers up at different wireless hotspots(i think you can recruit a new soldier for every new IP address you tap into).

It was a while back when I played it but I remember thinking it was a really cool concept.

Now they got Portable Ops Plus which is supposed to be bigger, badder, blah blah blah

might b worth chekin' out

Cool, thanks man!

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Yeah for some reason I'm enjoying the hell out of the original Rondo of Blood more than the actual remake, but it's fun playing the remake using the music from the original game. I still prefer the SNES version of Bloodlines though.

Anyway, impressions time yet again!!!

This time it's Mega Man Maverick Hunter X(Who loves ya, Penfold?), which as everyone knows by now is a 3D remake of the first Mega Man X game... Which was an awesome game to begin with.

If you're familiar with the original version of the game, then you'll be able to pick this one up and beat it relatively fast no problem. Almost all the stages are the same as their SNES counterparts save for a few details here and there, although there are several stages that are rather different entirely(won't say which), which is a pretty fresh idea. IGN says they moved around the power-up capsules around different areas this time, but it's not that hard to find 'em again. I just wonder if the hadouken is still in the game. :P

Being that I'm a weirdo, one thing that always bugged me in the original version was lack of motivation and purpose if you will. Of course they added plot in later games(like MMX4) to explain certain events in this game, but it feels that much better to have actual cutscenes and text to explain why the hell you start playing the game on that highway! >.>;.

In terms of extras, there really isn't much save for some movie that apparently explains everything(I haven't unlocked it yet) and Vile Mode(ditto on that one). Vile mode however, is supposed to be a hoot to play... Also very hard. He's able to equip different weapons before beginning a stage, shoulder cannons, leg cannons, arms cannons, etc. His mobile armor also has a machine gun in addition to the standard punch, so that makes it cooler I guess. There is one downside in my opinion to the game, and that's the control scheme. I can never seem to pull off a dash jump off a wall with the PSP buttons for some reason. I have to awkwardly change finger positions to get it to work. Somewhat annoying, but the command can be switched.

I could go on, but I'd rather keep playing. Anyway, verdict is: If you enjoyed the hell out of MMX the first time, then this will leave you feeling very satisfied. If you can't find it in a store near you, then grab it off Amazon for 15 bucks.

Happy gaming, all.

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I'm actually starting to appreciate the remake for Rondo of Blood much more after having gotten through the original just now. This really is the best old-school Castlevania game I've played. It's a shame they never released it over here when it first came out in '93(I think). Oh well, at least it DID finally make it over here.

That being said, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, as well as Maverick Hunter X and Mega Man Powered Up, was worth every penny I spent on it. Really great set of games. I've already gone through it several times and I still love it.

On another note, I've managed to pull in around $1,000 for Sony via free word-of-mouth advertising just by demoing everything this sucker can do. The PSP is a seriously awesome little handheld. I salute you, Sony.

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I updated my firmware last night to 3.52 M33 finally. I <3 my PSP so much now, I can play all of the PS1 games I want, and PSP games. I'm excited about the insane number of games I can play now on it.

Btw is it just me or does FFT: War of the Lions have crazy slowdown?

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No one has yet talked about Patapon in depth, which is kinda weird since the game is completely addictive. One thing that people should know about Patapon is that it isn't a rhythm game, per se; Patapon is a tactical side-scrolling adventure game with rhythm game mechanics. It's weird to issue battle commands via drumming, but just incredible fun when you start chaining combos and learning to adjust drumming patterns in beat with the music.

The key to winning most of the game is in properly equiping and arming your Patapon troops. Even if you have terrible rhythm and can't manage to pull off chains, you can usually prevail if your troops have on the best equipment available to you. Still, it's a lot more fun to keep up the rhythm and groove to the music as it progresses.

The game progresses in traditional stage format, being that each new stage is unlocked after having completed the previous one. There are three different types of stages: a hunting stage (where you gather materials by hunting animals), a mission stage (where your goal is to defeat the Zigaton army), and boss stages (where your skills are tested at the end of each chapter). Hunting and Boss stages can be repeated from the stage select screen, but Mission stages cannot be repeated after being completed.

You can also unlock new songs and commands which give you a better arsenal in combating the Zigatons, but I wish that the game could have given you more and really emphasized the strategy aspect of the game, since recognizing attack patterns and predicting enemy actions make up a good portion of the game, especially with bosses.

There are also some rhythm-based mini-games available at the home camp that will reward you for doing well. All-in-all, the game is incredible fun and has just really great music throughout. As a combat-based spiritual successor to LocoRoco, you couldn't expect less.

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