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Topics - undertakerprime

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Hardware and Tech / Best component cables for PS2?
« on: March 01, 2019, 09:12:58 am »
I’ve been using my third-party PS2 component cables (that I’ve had for years) to hook it up to my HDTV, but apparently the cables must not be very good, because the picture has a lot of static and distortion. I’ve determined it’s not the TV itself because I hook up my original Xbox the same way and it looks fine.

So, I’m trying to find some good PS2 component cables without breaking the bank. I’m aware that the higher priced ones tend to be better quality, but I really can’t afford to pay $50 for some cables. On the other hand, I’m afraid buying some cheapo $10 cables won’t improve the picture at all. Any recommendations?

General / Underrated/unexpectedly good game soundtracks
« on: March 28, 2018, 12:07:31 pm »
I just ordered a copy of Gauntlet: Dark Legacy for PS2, which is a game I remember thoroughly enjoying years ago (and which I strangely thought I owned already; apparently I only rented it before). After watching some gameplay videos, I remembered how much I enjoyed the music, and I actually find it somewhat surprising how good the music is, since it’s not really the type of game you’d expect it from (honestly, the game’s entire sound design is very impressive). I especially enjoy the almost folk-music rendition of the classic Gauntlet theme in Sumner’s tower.

So I got to thinking, what are some other games that have unexpectedly good music?
Off the top of my head, I can think of Sunsoft NES games like Journey to Silius, Gremlins 2, and Fester’s Quest. Journey to Silius in particular has an unbelievable score for an NES game, especially for a fairly nondescript run-n-gun.
Another example: Gradius Interstellar Assault on GB. Impressive soundtrack for a GB game, and for a shmup that most people don’t talk much about.

Basically, this thread is not for the exceptional soundtracks we always hear about, like Castlevania SOTN or Streets of Rage, but for the music we likely haven’t heard and are missing out on.
So, what other examples are there?

So about 2 years ago I had a moment when open-world RPGs just "clicked;" that is, I just suddenly "got" them, and I was curious if anyone else has had the same experience.

My first experience with open-world type games was back in the early 2000s when my cousin in Norway showed me Grand Theft Auto III and kept gushing about how great it was. I tried it and I was not really impressed. Later my sister got me GTA: Vice City for my birthday, and I played it for a few days, but I got so bored I quit and never played it again. So my first impressions of open-world were not great.

A bit later, I kept reading about how great Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was, so I bought a used copy for XBOX for cheap. The same thing happened; I played it for a few days and thought it was OK, but got bored again. At the time my reaction was, why would anyone want to wander around aimlessly doing all these little things? I felt like I needed more direction, instead of everything being so, well, OPEN.

So I skipped Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion because I figured I'd find it boring too. I did buy Fallout 3, again because I heard good things about it. The beginning part in the vault was kinda boring, but I stuck through until I left the vault and reached the first town (Megaton). Now, after you leave the vault you can't see much of the world, just a small abandoned town down below, and I was not impressed. A path to the right leads to Megaton, but there's a ridge straight ahead that I never went over. I did a couple of quests in Megaton, but I started having the same feelings of boredom. I put it aside and didn't play for probably a year. I tried again and the same thing happened.

So about 2 years ago, I was gathering some games together to sell to Gamestop to get rid of clutter and get a little extra cash. I added Fallout 3 to the pile without a thought, but the day before I brought the pile to Gamestop, I decided to give it one last chance. I played through everything I had done twice before... but this time I finally went over that ridge I mentioned earlier.

My mouth dropped open and I probably muttered something like "holy crap."
Sprawled out before me was a HUGE barren landscape, with the ruined Washington Monument in the background, the sun peeking through the haze. It was beautiful.
I couldn't wait to get down there and explore the area. I stopped at the abandoned grocery store straight ahead and ran into my first enemy mutant. Through my first 2 tries, I just had not gotten the hang of the VATS targeting system. I tried it out on this mutant...
BAM! His head went flying, and I said "HOLY SHIT!"

In a span of probably less than 2 minutes, I not only got hooked on Fallout 3 and finally understood the targeting system, but I understood what open-world RPGs are all about. It's all about the exploration, finding new places, taking a short detour to check out a random building or cave. I ended up with over 100 hours into Fallout 3. Then I got Skyrim and was blown away. I have 120 hours into that game. I'm currently playing through Oblivion, which I finally went back and tried. Last night I battled through a dungeon of really tough undead soldiers to reach the Madstone, and it was thrilling. Funny to think it wasn't that long ago I was about to give up on the open-world genre forever.

Anyway, that's my story. Anyone else have something similar to share?

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