Ok, so I admit it, this was a bit of a softball as games go. But I was a big fan of the original arcade game and this one was always on my "I hope I play it someday" list. However, instead of a gameplay experience, I got more of an experience in comparative game qualities over different platforms. I started playing the Gamecube version and while not awful, I really thought the cut scenes could have been of a better quality; they were pixelated and blotchy. Checking the game on Gamespot, I found the Cube version to be 1.1 points lower than the PS2 version (which was released first), mostly because the graphics were so much worse. So, I went to Gamestop and picked up the PS2 version for a cheap $6 (gotta love Gamestop!) and low and behold, the graphics were MUCH better. And not just the cut scenes, but the gameplay too. I also liked playing it on the PS2 because of the controller differences. (One thing I've never liked about my beloved Cube is the large shoulder buttons on the controller - they're great for lock-on but suck for things like firing guns and accelerators in vehicles).
This problem, of one version of a multi-platform game being so much better or worse than another, is a constant concern for me. In general I've always figured the Cube and Xbox versions of any game would be superior, even if just a little, to the same game on PS2. Such is not always the case. I may have to look deeper into my collection and see if I've got the best versions of titles that appear on more than one platform (within reason, of course). Stocks of what are now "last generation" games are at their highest point as people clear out game collections to build up credit for 360's, PS3's, and Wii's. Eventually that flood will trickle out and dry up. I don't want to be caught in that drought. My game console plans don't include buying any new hardware any time soon.
I didn't do much more than play the tutorial levels in both and the first level in the Cube version, but this is a good pick up and play type of game (a bit hard though). The levels seem to only last about 10 minutes or less, and it's a good quick shoot'em up. I'll probably pop this one in now and again to see if I can get anywhere with it. In general, it's about as hard as the old arcade game - I loved it, but it kicked my ass regularly.
This week I'm going to jump into (or at least sample) a game from a series that has had me searching eBay and Gamestops like a possessed lunatic - Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne.