Category: Videos


For about a year or so, I had this idea: Play fairly cheap first-person shooters, third-person shooters and lightgun games that were $20 $30 US or less. I struggled to figure out how I wanted to present this. It was almost a podcast, it was fairly close to being an edited video series a-la a few video series I’ve seen online.

But sometimes the simpler options are the best. I opted to use my (at the time) dormant Twitch channel and just play along for the internet. It’s a slight homage to similar “beat ALL the games” projects like NESMania, PSXsplosion and others.

bst-logo

As I’ve said before: I’m a writer, not a graphic designer. 😛

Unlike those, this is practically a never-ending quest as there are lots and lots and lots of trai- er, shooter games out there to mess around with. But that’s fine, because this is more of a series of the interesting, the unusual, the good *and* the bad of the “shoot dudes in the face” genre. I’m okay with it not having an end goal except when I feel it’s done.

For the inaugural episode, I decided to go play through the 1993 classic, The Ultimate Doom. My friend Bobinator of HG101 fame tagged along as my co-commentator as I blasted through all four episodes in about three hours with various mods to spice things up. Coincidentally I played this on Doom‘s 23rd anniversary. You can watch it below:

Click here for the whole Budget Shooter Theater playlist of games I’ve played. It’s an interesting mix of the classics and obscura.

After I finish a game, I write a recap and review of sorts on how I felt about it. You can check out what I’ve played and written about here.

If you wanna watch this series, you can follow me on Twitch at twitch.tv/tonicbh. Leave a comment on here or in the usual social media circles (Twitter, the Facebook group) if there’s a game you wanna see me play on a future stream.

(EDIT 7/3/2017: Updated it so it’s a bit more current, with newer links. I will make a separate post for The Ultimate Doom instead of using this recap post. Stay tuned!)

Man, when’s the last time I did a game finds video? Back in January, to be exact. Well, after several months in the making, I finally got around to making the damn video a few days ago.

Boy oh boy, there’s a lot of stuff in there. A bunch of PlayStation games, cheap magazines, games from across the ocean, and undeniably my biggest game find yet. Give it a look and see what you guys think. Expect something more substantial later this week, maybe about that soundtrack I mentioned in the video.

One more thing: I will be at PAX Prime again this year. I might do a blog entry or two after the event, since I won’t be able to bring a computer with me to liveblog anything. It’ll be more fun this year since it’ll be four days long.

(If you’re viewing this from a place where you can’t watch videos, or you like handy dandy lists instead, there’s a list of everything I got under the “Read More” link below.)
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Time to revive the old YouTube channel again, this time with something more interesting.

I had gotten this PS2 controller at a thrift store a few weeks back, and I thought it was a cool little piece. I decided to grab it, and do a little comparison to the standard DualShock 2 on the PS2. It’s actually a pretty nice controller. Too bad it doesn’t have Scorpion on it. So I thought I’d make a video about it, and the turmoil I went through getting this thing fixed. It went through hell and back, and now it’s found a good home in my hands. At least I won’t spill soda on it.

Also on the YouTube channel: Me documenting the PlayStation Home E3 2013 booth. For anyone who wants some free PlayStation 3 themes or access to things like the Killzone Mercenary beta, you might wanna check it out. If you redeem the codes, leave a comment telling me. I like to be charitable sometimes. 🙂

So I want to get into making videos regularly again. What’s the best thing to do? A quick video about some PlayStation on Campus stuff.

A hat, some sunglasses, a bottle opener, and some voucher codes I’ll probably forget about until years from now. Still, an interesting trip that’s worth talking about.

So, the PlayStation truck rolled into town and set up their wares at Portland State University for avid gamers and anyone interesting. It was outside originally, but took place inside a small room when I went. It wasn’t hard to find the place once I knew where the truck was.

Once I got in, I got to see some of the games on display. Some of them were the commonplace PlayStation ones like PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, but also recent games like God of War: Ascension, MLB 13 The Show and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, as well as some PlayStation Vita stuff off in the corner. I tried some God of War (it was okay) and PlayStation All-Stars (which is still Super Smash Bros but with 1-2 PlayStation characters and a bunch of characters from third party companies to fill the roster).

One challenge they had there was to beat 18 home runs in MLB The Show’s Home Run Derby. Beating it won a PlayStation headset. I didn’t tackle the challenge, because someone had already beaten it with 21. Unless they had multiple headsets, the chance of winning a prize made things pointless.

How I got the stuff was interesting: I found the sunglasses loose on the Vita table, the hat was given to me after I checked in to the event on Facebook, and the rest… well, you were supposed to enter a contest to win a PS3 or something for your campus, but since I haven’t gone to college since 2010, I just smuggled them out. I’d feel regrets for stealing, but these are the kind of things that you have a whole bunch of in a plastic container or in the truck — taking these wasn’t going to be the end of the world to them. I probably wouldn’t do it again, that’s for sure.

But enough about that. I wanna try to do these Trinket videos every weekend or so, and I already have next week’s lined up. Here’s a hint: It’s related to a franchise I mentioned on this blog, and it’s not PlayStation All-Stars.

Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog entry on game finds. I found a bunch of stuff, and decided to get with the times and actually make a video out of it.

I decided to get back into the groove of making YouTube videos. I used to make videos from around 2007-2010, but lost interest for reasons I can’t explain. Realizing that YouTube is a thing I shouldn’t ignore in 2013, I started a new YouTube channel dedicated to this blog. I’ll likely be making videos from time to time, including making the game finds entries more video-focused.

For those who can’t view YouTube, here’s a quick summary of what I got over the course of January:

  • Largo Winch.// Commando SAR (PS1): A budget title by Ubisoft based on a French TV series, which in itself is based on a Belgian comic book. We never got either of those.
  • Wipeout XL/2097 soundtrack: CD soundtrack featuring some of the artists who contributed tracks to the game, with a bunch of other electronic artists thrown in for good measure. After the video, I accidentally dropped the CD on the floor, shattering parts of the case. CD still works, though.
  • Sonic Mega Collection Plus (Xbox): Sonic compilation. Better than the original Mega Collection since you don’t need to play Sonic 3 500 times to unlock Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  • DJ Hero 2 (360): Shrinkwrapped. Dozens of copies in one Goodwill. If you got the original DJ Hero and/or the turntable, check your Goodwills! Funny enough, this Goodwill is the same one where I also found Blur and Singularity shrinkwrapped.
  • American McGee’s Alice (PC) with Strategy guide: Found at a different Goodwill, the ones with everything in bins. Thankfully this was locked away in a case. Box is crushed, but the strategy guide is a nice bonus.

I’ll likely be making more video content in the coming weeks. I forgot how fun it is to make videos sometimes.

Half-Life is one of my most favorite games of all time. It blended action, platforming and story perfectly to be one of the awesome shooters of 1998. But it wasn’t always that way.

Valve, back then a small development studio, made a press demo version of Half-Life that showed a drastically different version of the game: While the story was similar, almost all the levels and designs were different from what we got. Originally slated for November 1997, it missed the release date and came out a year later with many significant changes to the final product, all for the better. Getting a chance to play the Half-Life that never was is really a treat, which has many unfinished levels — some early versions of levels in the final game — as well as tech demos such as skeletal animation. You can shoot a robot and make it do that dancing baby animation that was popular in the late ’90s! Not only that, it has documentation about the game and Valve itself, a walkthrough of all the levels, even copies of Paint Shop Pro and WinZip for some reason…

Here’s me playing through one of the levels, The Security Complex. It’s one of the more complete levels of the game. I go through the stage area at least once, then show the solution as given in the walkthrough.

Thanks reddit user jackaljayzer for uncovering this gem, who got it from a friend in Bellevue, Washington; and to Valve Time (har) for revealing the leak. There’s links in there if you wanna try it yourself. If somehow you are one of the few who have never played Half-Life, go buy the damn game on Steam already.

(The YouTube video is a sneak preview of what’s to come. Stay tuned…)

Happy fifth anniversary, Rock Band. Harmonix’s spiritual successor to Guitar Hero has been a crazy one, going through the memories of having Peter Moore screw up your E3 demo, to having the cast of Today play “Livin’ on a Prayer”, to even releasing games dedicated to amazing bands like The Beatles and Green Day. Okay, the last one hasn’t been an amazing band since 1998, but humor me here.

Sadly, my music game experience was really late, as I didn’t get onto the scene until 2009. It wasn’t even Rock Band that was my virgin experience, it was Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. Hey, it was $10 at GameStop and it came with a guitar controller for free, you can’t go wrong! Though, I did pick up Rock Band 2 a few months later and The Beatles Rock Band later that Christmas. I still have fond memories of making myself look like a jackass at parties as I pounded on a busted Rock Band kit at a friend’s house to The Who’s “I Can See For Miles.”  I never did get to play the original Rock Band, as I just bought the game to export the game’s songs into later Rock Band games, but when exported the songs into Rock Band 2, I noticed something that was a trend in a good chunk of the first game’s set list.

In addition to introducing drums and re-introducing vocals into music games, Rock Band introduced the “Big Rock Ending.” (BRE) Towards the end of some songs, it becomes a free-for-all mashing of buttons and drum pads to score some bonus points. After the free-for-all section, you must hit the correct string of notes, otherwise you get no bonus points. This sounds like a novel idea, it makes it easier for Harmonix as they don’t have to chart some crazy guitar wailing on the end of a song, and players don’t fail a challenging song towards the end, forcing them to start over. In Rock Band, the Big Rock Ending appears in songs where it makes sense, like Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” and The Outlaws’ “Green Grass and High Tides.”

But when you have a new feature, the mindset is to add them as much as possible so it doesn’t go unused. This leads to a problem in the first Rock Band where songs will just flail into a Big Rock Ending where it doesn’t really make sense for there to be one. Like in the above for OK Go’s “Here It Goes Again,” the song clearly ends, yet goes into this weird flailing portion for a moment, before going to the proper ending. The cover to Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” ends with an awkward Big Rock Ending, which is funny, because the original version released two years later, has an ordinary ending. This is not a freak occurrence, other songs with shoehorned-in BREs include Paranoid, Don’t Fear the Reaper, Detroit Rock City, among several others. Even the bonus songs aren’t immune, “Can’t Let Go” by Death of the Cool is another victim. However, the most awkward one has to be the one featured below:

Yeah. There’s a Big Rock Ending in “Black Hole Sun.” A song that’s pretty slow, and clearly ends. Harmonix deemed this song deserving of flailing on the buttons like an idiot. This should’ve been thought of a little bit more carefully. Thankfully Harmonix realized the overkill of BREs in the first game’s set list and scaled them back considerably since. There’s still a few songs where they put in a BRE when it didn’t really need one, but I digress.

Don’t think that this is me hating on Rock Band, far from it. This is just me poking at a stupid thing in a music video game.  I love the series to bits and have bought more songs in Rock Band than any sane person should. It’s just a funny little thing I realized from the many hours of playing fake plastic rock. Here’s to five more years of Rock Band, Harmonix. Even though music games are mostly dead these days, I will never forget the many moments I had playing these music games.

EDIT 2/2/13: Hey! Do you like videos? So do I! So I made a montage of all the random Big Rock Endings below:

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