Tag Archives: 2005

Ape Escape: On The Loose, PSP

This 2005 conversion of the classic PlayStation game, Ape Escape, is a colourful 3D “chase ’em up”, where you’re basically chasing monkeys with a net through time. Yes: through various cartoony periods of history! And it’s a fairly fun game…

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Wipeout Pure, PSP

Published by Sony in 2005, Wipeout Pure was a launch release for the PlayStation Portable in North America. Because of that it was originally lacking a few features that were included in the later European release.

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Mario Tennis: Power Tour, Game Boy Advance

This 2005 tennis game is one of my favourite sports games of all time.

Mario Tennis: Power Tour was developed by Camelot for Nintendo and is known as Mario Power Tennis in Europe and Australia, but I’m sticking to the original title.

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Final Fantasy IV Advance, Game Boy Advance

In the mid Noughties Japanese developer Tose undertook the task of converting and updating the early Final Fantasy games to the Nintendo Game Boy Advance for Square Enix (as they were known then).

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Grandia III, PlayStation 2

Sony‘s PlayStation 2 has had its fair share of decent RPGs, but Grandia III – first released in 2005 by Game Arts and Square Enix – is one that sticks in my mind clearly.

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Boktai 3: Sabata’s Counterattack, Game Boy Advance

Unfortunately this third instalment in the excellent Boktai series did not recieve a release outside of its native Japan.

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F.E.A.R., PC

A classic first-person survival horror game from Monolith Productions and first released in 2005.

F.E.A.R. unfortunately came out not long after Half-Life 2, so was kind of drowned-out in the attention Valve‘s release was getting. It’s not as good as Half-Life 2 – to be quite frank – but is definitely up there with the best releases of that year.

In F.E.A.R. you play a guy in a crack S.W.A.T. team who is sent on a mission to eliminate a bad guy, but ends up getting dragged into a paranormal conspiracy. The story is so-so.

What is great about F.E.A.R., though, is the gameplay.

Not only can you use a thing called “Reflex Time”, which slows down time, but allows you to shoot as normal for a limited time (a bit like in The Matrix or in John Woo films), but you also have a much more interesting degree of control over your character than you do in most other first-person shooters. For example: melee combat is quite important in F.E.A.R. – you can instakill some enemies with perfectly executed rifle butt whacks. The stocks of all weapons can be used to strike enemies, and the lighter the weapon: the faster you move, and therefore the greater the chance of a surprise attack on your opponents.

Another great thing about F.E.A.R. is the opponent AI. You’re not fighting against dumb bots in this. Enemies will evade cleverly, even jumping through windows, or hunting you down as a team. You can only carry three different weapons at once, so must use weapons that you find strategically. Basically: you have to learn what weapon is good for what situation, and act accordingly.

Combined: all these factors make F.E.A.R. challenging and different enough to stand out from the crowd and also be very enjoyable to play. Especially on a dog’s bollocks PC.

F.E.A.R. does have its downsides. Your character’s run style is a bit ‘clompy’ – I felt as though the head movement was a bit weird. I got used to it eventually though. F.E.A.R. is also a bit repetitive and the opponents a bit ‘samey’, although none of these downsides mar the game too much.

Note #1: the game currently only seems to be available on Steam in a F.E.A.R. series pack, which is pricey, so I recommend buying it through GOG.com if you just want the first game (and the two expansion packs). It is worth noting that quite a few people say that this is the only game in the series worth playing…

Note #2: The online multiplayer element is no longer available. Multiplayer games via LAN only.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.E.A.R.
Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/21090/FEAR/
GOG.com: https://www.gog.com/game/fear_platinum

Darkwatch, XBox

Developed by High Moon Studios, Darkwatch is a First-Person Shooter/survival horror game that crosses the American “Wild West” with ghosts, zombies and werewolves and that kind of material.

When it was first released, back in 2005, is was quite impressive for the time. In this day and age Darkwatch looks and plays very simply, but is not entirely without its redeeming features.

Atmospherically, Darkwatch is still excellent, with lots of ghostly visual effects creating some interesting scenes. The horseback chase sequences are particularly good.

Where the game falls down, though, are the terrible cut scenes and the bogstandard script and voice acting.

The weapons and special powers are interesting. The baddies and bosses are interesting. The environments are interesting. It’s just that the dialogue and rather uninteresting protagonists hold Darkwatch back from being a true classic.

These grabs were taken on a development XBox that outputs lossless screenshots over a network, with pixel perfect quality. A grabber’s dream. 🙂

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkwatch

Resident Evil 4, GameCube

Resident Evil 4 – THE standout survival horror game of the Noughties – was released exclusively by Capcom on the Nintendo GameCube in 2005, and it immediately became a critical and commercial smash hit. For all the right reasons.

The traditional zombie approach has been tweaked slightly, and this time you’re battling with weird Eastern European villagers and some super scary sub-bosses.

Resident Evil 4 has memorable moment after memorable moment, whether it’s fighting El Gigante, or having your throat torn out by zombie wolves – the action is relentless.

Those disgusting tentacles that spurt out of decapitated heads are a sight for sore eyes too.

Resident Evil 4 is a must-play game for all gamers. Except small children and people of a nervous disposition…

Resident Evil series on The King of Grabs:
Resident Evil HD Remaster, PC
Resident Evil 2, PlayStation
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, PlayStation
Resident Evil 4, GameCube
Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition, PC
Resident Evil 5, PC
Resident Evil 6, PC
Resident Evil, Game Boy Color
Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Dreamcast
Resident Evil Zero, GameCube

More: Resident Evil 4 on Wikipedia
Steam: Resident Evil 4 HD Remaster on Steam

Killer7, PlayStation 2

Killer7 – it has to be said – is possibly THE weirdest game of all time.

Part first-person shooter; part on-rails shooter. A full-on nightmare of strange characters, both playable and not. Bizarre monsters, called “Smiles”, that approach you invisibly, before revealing themselves in a screech of laughter. A power-up system that collects the blood of your fallen foes. Unconventional boss battles…

Killer7 is relentless in its determination to weird you out. Hell, even the tutorial guy is dressed in a gimp suit and hanging from the ceiling…

Definitely an acquired taste, Killer7 is, although the game’s creators – Grasshopper Manufacture – must be applauded for trying something different to the norm.

Killer7 was released for both the PS2 and the Nintendo GameCube in 2005. It was developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and published by Capcom. These grabs are from the PS2 version.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer7