Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pick Axe Pete - Fight your way through homocidal boulders to unlock doors to progress deeper into hell!

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the oldest game to be discussed on my humble little blog.  Thanks to AP0976 for suggesting this little treasure to me.  Pick Axe Pete was released in 1982 for the Magnavox Odyssey 2 and it's very awesome!  Be warned though, this game is NOT for babies.  You know who you are!

Welcome to hell.
If you ever played Nintendos' Donkey Kong you have a similar idea of how Pick Axe Pete works. As the titular hero, Pick Axe Pete, you destroy oncoming boulders with your mighty pick axe while trying to find the key that opens the door to the next level. The pick axe gives Pete the strength that gods would envy as you make short work of any boulder coming your way, but such power is fleeting as your pick axe would disappear before your very eyes leaving you only to your wits and athletic ability as you jump or duck under any boulder coming your way to avenge their fallen boulder brethren.  Luckily, Pick axes respawn, but often enough they would be too far away leaving you to make a complex decision: Do you stay where you are and wait for the possibility of a key spawning nearby? Or do you climb all the way down for that pick axe to forsake what may be your last opportunity to escape the mine?! This is one game that forces you to think on your feet for sure.

In case you can't tell, Pick Axe Pete is a man. A man for a manly game, a game that doesn't need "good graphics", or "online multi-player". Make it to level 5 and then suddenly die? WELL IT'S BACK TO LEVEL 1 FOR YOU, SCRUB! Extra lives? Check Points? What the heck is that pansy crap? Screw you, go back to playing Call of Duty 4 that your mom probably bought you, you stupid baby. Pick Axe Pete is too much game for you.

All ribbing aside, this game has aged incredibly well for me to find it fun despite the ancient hardware. Find a way to give this game a shot, see how far into madness you can delve into before a boulder appears and ends your life. Also, here's a little challenge to my commentators: Try leaving a comment without using the words "Old-school", "Retro", "Nostalgia", or any synonym for the word "old".  Not too difficult, right?!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun - Kunio Tachi No Banka - Get framed for a hit and run! Break out of jail and beat up police officers!!

Playing Rage of the Dragons yesterday sure made me feel like playing another old school beat-em-up, so I did! That's right we're going to talk about Double Dra-NOPE! Instead we're going to talk about Japanese import title: Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun - Kunio Tachi No Banka, and there's no way I'm typing that title again. You can roughly translate it as "The New Nekketsu Tough Guy: The Elegy of Kunio and Co.", and even that is a mouthful!

This game was released only in Japan in 1994 and is part of the long-running "Kunio-Kun" series. The series will seem unfamiliar to you right now but you might already be well acquainted with the guy if you played the popular NES title "River City Ransom". Yes, he was the star of the game too but the changed the names and Americanized it to the game that you know today. But that's neither here nor there, we're here to talk about this super famicom title instead.

Luckily, a fan has went through and translated the game into English, which is great because this game is surprisingly story heavy. As it starts out, there's a motorcycle hit and run by two guys who look suspiciously like our heroes Kunio and Riki. As a result, the two are framed for the crime and thrown into jail. Immediately, Kunio and Riki are informed that since their incarceration all hell has broken loose at their schools. It then becomes apparent to Kunio and Riki that it's no coincidence and somebody wants them out of the picture. They then proceed to break out of jail to figure out just what the hell is going on and to clear their (mostly) good names.

Being a Technos game, this game plays a lot like Double Dragon. It starts off with simple punches and kick combos, but as soon as you get your clothes back you're suddenly able to do a lot more like pinning a guy to the ground and punching him in the face repeatedly. For sure, Kunio and Riki aren't the most graceful or honorable of fighters but they get the job done. Later on in the story, they're joined by their girlfriends Misako and Kyouko as playable characters with their own set of moves. If you're playing by yourself, you get to switch between all 4 characters on-the-fly, and you'll need to since the enemies will put up a good fight. The scenarios are all pretty dynamic, there's a particularly memorable moment early on in the game where you have a showdown with a gang boss on top of the high school building. The building crumbles as you keep fighting, making things quite exciting as you try to avoid your opponents attacks AND suffering damage from the crumbling school.

Sure, it's kind of a goofy looking game with silly looking sprites, but they animate nicely for a super famicom game. Music is catchy as well, of course don't take my word for it at all since my taste in tunes is decidedly bizarre to most people I talk to. Overall, the game is worth checking out, especially if you got the english translation patch. The translator had a hell of a time writing this game as there's plenty of foul language in it, most of it coming from Kunio-kun himself!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rage of the Dragons - A fighting game inspired by Double Dragon.

Rage of the Dragons has some rather unusual origins. This game was released on the NeoGeo in 2002 (yes, they were still making games for a system that made it's debut in 1990!) and it was a collaborative effort between a Mexican game company named "Evoga" and the Japanese company "Noise Factory". Yes, you read that right:  Mexico teamed up with Japan to make this game.  When was the last time the Mexicans and the Japanese ever teamed up for ANYTHING?! This must be the first of it's kind! Not only that, but it's a great game too! I bet nobody saw this game coming for sure. I certainly didn't.

Originally, this game was intended to be a sequel to the "Double Dragon" fighting game that was released on NeoGeo in 1995. Of course, with Technos going bankrupt, Evoga couldn't acquire the intellectual property rights before Million did. So this game became a homage to the franchise with a few of it's characters. Just like there was a Billy and Jimmy Lee in Double Dragon, you get a Billy and Jimmy LEWIS in Rage of the Dragons, same goes for popular boss character Abobo, he is referenced with Rage of the Dragon's own sub-boss Abubo! Aside from similar names and designs, this is still a game that stands on it's own.

Rage of the Dragons is a 2 vs 2 tag-team fighting game with a few tweaks. You can tag in and out with your partner at anytime, and combo like you would in a game like Marvel vs Capcom. What makes this a bit different is that you can surrender one of your characters to forfeit the match transferring his/her health to their partner. This is great if you are good with one character but suck with the other! There is also a combo system that sends your opponent into the air and you have to enter in a specific button command to unleash a string of attacks to capitalize on the situation. All-in-all, it's a very fun and fast paced fighting system.

Graphics are well animated and nicely detailed for a game made in 2002. NeoGeo truly was a 2D powerhouse to still have games made for it a decade since it's launch! All characters in-game dialogue is a mixture of Japanese or very funny sounding Engrish. Billy and Jimmy try their best English language impersonations but you can still hear the accent!

Funny voices not-withstanding, this game is a solid piece of work that is well worth a look. I honestly find it's quality to be quite surprising given that there aren't many Mexican video game companies out there. And, sadly, things didn't turn out well for Evoga either as they went bankrupt in 2004. Still, they helped make one hell of a game, and I applaud them for that.  Be sure to think about checking this one out.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Progear - Take the "pro" part of the title seriously.

Ever play a "bullet hell" game? It's you're typical shoot-em-up turned all the way to 11. Known in Japan as a "Daimaku" game (literally "Bullet Curtain")the entire screen is, more often than not, filled with bullets and your job is to dodge every single ONE of them. These games aren't meant for your casual Call of Duty player, ohhhhh no. <b>Progear</b> is the big leagues.  It will separate the men from the boys.  And you'll love it.

The crew sacrificed their lives to get you flying.  You'll join them soon enough.

Published in 2001 by Capcom, Progear was actually developed by CAVE. Never heard of CAVE? Well, they are really well known in Japan for bullet hell games, it's their forte. True to the developers reputation this game does NOT let up. From the second you insert your credits to the second you manage to defeat a boss, you're under attack at ALL TIMES. You only get a few second breather between stages but then you're back in the action again. With such a rapid pace for a game, clearing it in half an hour is no stretch. Plot basically encompasses a group of nobles finding the secret to immortality, with their new found powers they decide to start a new world order and take over the country, a group of kids from an attacked village attempt to battle these tyrants with their newly developed "Progear" plane.

This is one of the game's easier moments.
You choose from one of two male pilots, and then you choose a 1 female gunner out of 3 available. How you perform in each stage affects your relationship with the gunner, it's measure in "Active" (How often you use gunner mode), "Safe" (how well you STAY ALIVE), and finally "Lovely" (average of "Active" and "Safe" scores). You're ultimate relationship at the end will determine which ending you get, which may or may not end in a romantic end for the pilot and gunner! But good luck getting that girl to like you, because she hates SCRUBS WHO DIE!

And you will die. A lot. Especially if you never played a game like this one before, and you know what? I don't even think this is considered one of the HARD games. It's actually kind of easy compared to Cave's other shooters. But for total casuals this game is all sorts of evil. It's not my favorite shoot-em-up, but I like it's style and it's Shmup gameplay is top-notch as usual for Cave. If you think you're man enough for this game, then all I have to say to you is: "Good Luck", if you can't handle this then don't even bother trying something like Touhou or DoDonPachi, you're done.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon - This game has its' own laugh track...

Much like Metal Saga, I have passed this game up many times before because of the stupid looking box art/characters. And again, much like Metal Saga, I was wrong for putting it off for so long. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for the Nintendo 64 is a gem, and I know many of you got a chance to play this and agree with me as well. If you want a Zelda game that isn't Zelda, then give this game a shot!

Released in the states in 1998, America was simply not ready for Mystical Ninja. This game is Japanese to the max! This was my first time, as a kid, being exposed to so much Japanese culture at once. The second you pop this game into the system, you are treated to a crazy song with Japanese vocals and it was then that I knew that this game was going to take me for a ride I wouldn't forget. The game's plot is so out there that you wouldn't be able to make sense of it, let's just say that a UFO in a shape of a peach fruit attacked Edo castle and transformed it into a European style castle. A EUROPEAN CASTLE IN JAPAN?! THAT CRAZY BULL**** WON'T STAND! And then it's up to Goemon and friends to save the day. The game's plot is meant to be humorous, and this is probably a laugh riot in Japan. But when you translate it into English, it's just downright bizarre. But you need not worry about knowing whether or not to laugh! Because this game has a laugh track! Just laugh when the "audience" does and nobody will think you're an idiot at all! Nope. I certainly won't at least. Maybe.

This game simply has a lot to offer. From the great platforming, the multiple playable characters which you can switch out on the fly, to giant robot boss battles, there's simply something here almost any gamer can appreciate. But one thing I always remember clearly is the dungeons (technically they're Castles). Each dungeon is unique thanks to the varying locals and, more importantly, the theme music. The song that plays in each castle starts off with a simple beat which sets the mood for the dungeon. You'll soon find out that as you progress deeper into the castle that the music gets increasingly more complex with new instruments added into the already existing beat. Once the song hits full swing you got yourself a memorable tune. Ghost Toys Castle is a particular favorite of mine, but all of them are great!

Of course, I'm sure a good number of you people played this game, or at least heard of this one. Goemon is a classic franchise in Japan but it never really saw the same success over here in the states. It's understandable though, some games simply just don't appeal to all cultures, and one really needs to have an open mind when playing a game like this.  But cultural ignorance doesn't stop this game from being awesome!  One of the NPC town people even says that this game can teach you about Japanese geography.  I'm going to go try to plug my N64 into something, later....

On an unrelated note, happy 50th post!  Have a good weekend everybody.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Deadly Arts - Smooth beats for a mediocre fighter

To anyone that isn't me, this is a very mediocre fighter that isn't worth anyone's time. Now that I got that statement out of the way, I played this title quite a bit as a kid and I dare say that I still have fun with it even now. Remember folks, I was born with bad taste in video games, and with what I written about in this blog it clearly shows.

Deadly Arts (Known in Japan as "G.A.S.P!! Fighters' NEXTream", which is admittedly a SUPERIOR TITLE NAME) was a game I bought purely on the box-art alone. This was before I was even into anything "anime", I just enjoyed the character designs and the art. The characters are what I remember fondly about this game, a good number are pretty generic as far as in-game modeling goes, but the concept art was fantastic. Supposedly, there's a story to this game but American players will never know it because it removed from the instruction manuals for a silly reason. And since the game doesn't have cut-scenes, it just makes the final boss fight all the more confusing. "Why am I fighting a guy with a hat? Why is he-OH GOD WHAT THE F*** IS THAT?! Oh I won. Is that it?" Yes, this game is also very easy to win. So those looking for a challenge would probably be better off playing against a friend.

The fighting system is pretty simplistic, but also very sluggish. Fighters move pretty slow, but it features a juggling system similar to Tekken, but nowhere near as fun or useful. You're much better off mashing the punch button. That said, there's one cool aspect to the fighting system. In most fighting games whenever the clock runs out the person with the most health is determined as the victor. That isn't the case in Deadly Arts, when time is up your fighting ability is all tallied up into a score, with the highest score being the victor. Score based judgement actually punishes you for turtling so get in there! There is also a nifty create-a-fighter mode which is pretty fun but there isn't much there to spend all your time on it.

If there's one thing the makers of this game did well, it's the music. While it's not the best the video game music scene has to offer, the sound for this game is really smooth. Each character has their own stage and theme which are generally fitting for the atmosphere. The music is clear and sounds great which is backed up with an announcer who speaks perfect English, even in the Japanese version! He'll comment on combos simply going "Cool." or "Very good.", his voice gives off the impression that he isn't easily impressed so it feels reassuring to have him compliment you.

I suppose N64 fighters, aside from a select few, aren't all that great. This game was considered pretty bad, even in Japan. Did I have fun with it? Yes, but even I am aware of it's flaws. If you're a forgiving person, you might enjoy it a bit too. But I shouldn't expect my readers to be as tolerant of a game as I am, so I ultimately wouldn't recommend this game to anybody. Nice beats though.  FIST PUMP!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kamen Rider - Bloodsucking Monster, GebaCondor

Another week, another Kamen Rider episode! This is episode 11 of the 1971 series and it's a rather dark episode as well. Hiroshi Fujioka, the actor who portrays Takeshi Hongo/Kamen Rider was injured in a motor cycle accident so this episode is the first to not feature any new footage of the guy at all. And amazingly enough, using only recycled footage of the actor they still made the episode work! I'd dare say it was even a great one.

Yep, she's dead.
This episode starts off on a rather sinister note. The evil terrorist organization Shocker is learning from their past mistakes, as they taken all the elements of past enemies and combined it into one monster cyborg: GebaCondor! Unlike the other monsters, GebaCondor needs to feed on the blood of young women to sustain himself. Yes, shocker went from the blood of puppies/kitten to the blood of pretty girls now. So Shocker sets up a catholic church only lure soon-to-be married couples in and murder them in cold blood as soon as they finish reciting their vows. It's times like this that remind you that despite the cheese factor, Shocker is still a very evil group which makes Kamen Rider's quest to destroy Shocker once and for all a very important task in which watchers would become personally invested in.

Hongo/Kamen Rider barely appear in this episode save for the crucial fights (which was just a stuntman in a suit and not Fujioka) so this episode is mainly carried out by Kamen Rider's mentor, Tachibana and Kazuya Taki, a man out for revenge of his fiance who became hospitalized after a GebaCondor attack. These two characters actually engage in quite a bit of hand to hand combat with shocker minions making them just as important as Kamen Rider in this episode.

For what little of Hongo they had to work with, they made the most out of it for this episode. Most people wouldn't even notice that he was barely even there because the plot of this episode actually stands out on it's own as one of the stronger ones so far! Again, if you wish to check out Kamen Rider then I urge you to head on over to KITsubs. Until next week's episode, I wish you a good day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sengoku 3 - A beat-em-up that rewards skillful play...

It's no secret that I enjoy arcade titles, specifically anything in the "beat-em-up" genre. As a person who manages to find some enjoyment in every title I play, the constant complaint of "repetition" and "button mashing" always seem to be lost on a guy like me. I do know one thing for sure though, those who don't enjoy "beat-em-up" style games surely have NEVER played Sengoku 3. It's quite possibly one of the best examples of what the genre has to offer.

Still in a punchy mood after playing Ninja Baseball Bat Man yesterday, I decided to fire up this game for the Neo Geo. Sengoku 3 is, obviously, the 3rd title in the "Sengoku" series but it's entirely unrelated to the first 2 games including the fighting system. The plot involves a recent resurrection of Japanese demons and it's up to a clan of Ninjas to stop the chaos. You originally start out with 4 playable characters, but as you play you'll unlock two of the bosses as playable characters before the final level. 6 playable characters is quite a healthy number for a 2 player beat-em-up.  Even better is that they all control differently with their own set of combos. 

What sets this apart from other beat-em-ups though is that it rewards you for playing the game WELL. You have two different attack buttons, one for your sword and one for punches. The special thing is that you can chain these attacks together and create combos. Simply button mashing your way won't get you very far as enemies will be quick to capitalize on your mistakes. Just learn to combo and you'll have way more fun and you'll soon be slaying demons left and right!

Also, this game is simply gorgeous. All the sprites are well animated and the attack animations are simply awesome. Neo Geo hardware was way ahead of it's time and this game shows off exactly why as this game was made in 2001! I love the character designs, they did a good job of making each character attractive to play and still give them their own unique combos!

If you're afraid of a challenge, then I guess you can go ahead and forget about playing this game you stupid baby. It simply demands that you must learn the game in order to be successful. But if you want a rewarding experience in a beat-em-up, then look no further. It's one of the best games out there, and the fact that it's not that well known outside certain gamer circles is simply criminal. Try it out, you won't be sorry.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ninja Baseball Bat Man - I honestly can't make this blog title any cooler than it already is.

Let's talk about an arcade game today!  This one is particular favorite of mine, and soon to be yours as well!  Ninja Baseball Bat Man is a game created of equal parts "crazy" and "awesome". It has ninjas, baseball, and a whole lot of crazy action for you and up to three of your closest bros!

Sticks Straw has great reach with his bat.
Created by Irem in 1993, Ninja Baseball Bat Man is a 4-player beat-em-up in the same vein as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Konami. The basic plot is as crazy as the premise as several baseball artifacts stolen from the Baseball Hall of Fame, the commissioner of Baseball then sends out the Ninja Baseball Bat Men to retrieve the stolen treasures. Each of the 4 playable characters have their own unique playing style with their own combos. Captain Jose is your all-rounder, Twinbats Ryno is your quick but weak fighter, Beanball Roger is your slow powerhouse, and Stick Straw is your ranged attacker. Each of them have their own personalities, and even if nobody is playing as them, they will still appear in the end of stage cut-scenes doing something amusing. Beanball Roger is particularly great because he makes random muscle poses while walking.
Ninjas also drive cars.

The enemies are of your typical baseball fare. If you ever played a Banjo-Kazooie game, you know what to expect: inanimate objects with eyes. Yes, you fight giant baseballs, demonic umpires, poker cards(?), a buggy named "Mad Lax", and you even fight an airplane....inside an AIRPLANE. What? It's NINJA BASEBALL BAT MAN! It doesn't have to make sense, it's awesome! There's even a funny mini game between stages where you attempt to squeeze a baseball with your bare hands. Even if you're not a fan of the sport, you'd enjoy the baseball influences enjoyable.

Obviously, this game is great. Even if you take away the crazy premise you will still have, at it's core, a fairly deep and intricate beat-em-up that manage to stays fresh and not repetitive unlike many other games in the genre. So grab some friends and check this game out. The game will make you smile at least once, I guarantee it. As usual, I'll leave you with a gameplay video, have fun!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mystic Defender - Fire a hadoken fireball at demon babies!

Growing up with the Genesis as a kid, I spent a lot of time with Mystic Defender. Despite the name changes and graphic altering, this game was actually based on a Japanese Anime known as "Kujaku Ou". I honestly never seen it, nor is it really required, as this game stands on its own as a fine action-packed platformer.

The basic plot is your typical "rescue the hot girl" routine. Zareth is planning on sacrificing her to resurrect an evil god named Zao and it's up to "Mystic Defender" Joe Yamoto to say: "NOPE!" As a kid, I thought Joe was really cool because I compared his constant shooting of energy balls to Ryu's hadoken from Street Fighter. Picturing it as a game where you do nothing but throw hadoken at anything and everything made this game more amazing than it probably was. Of course, it's not REALLY a hadoken because it's not fire based and the orbs just freely fire from Joe's hands instead of thrusting forward like Ryu would. So in reality, Joe is more closer to Mega man than Ryu in retrospect.

Good luck with this level.
Luckily, that's not the only technique Joe has up his sleeve. During your journey, you'll pick up skills that help out tremendously in the various situations you're going to find yourself in. From the powerful flamethrower to the screen clearing multi-orbs, you're going to end up using all skills you find because this game isn't easy. You encounter a ton of hellish things in this game like men who swallow their own bodies to creepy demon babies that, when attacked, turn in a moving pile of blood and guts. In fact, as a kid, I never beat it. Stage 4 is the hardest level in the game and it's all downhill after it. I wouldn't know though, since level 4 is just plain crazy. The level features tons of floating enemies and you have to jump from platform to platform avoiding the death water below. Easier said than done, because those enemies can easily knock you into it.

Despite the crazy level 4, it's a fun ride right up to it. The game had fun action with bizarre enemies, and some inspired boss fights to boot. Though you can attribute most of the game's style to the fact that the game is actually based on an anime. If you have no problem with difficult games, you can go ahead and check this out. But it's obviously not for everybody though, so here's your damn gameplay video.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Super Noah's Ark 3D - The greatest survival horror game ever made...

How's the rapture treating you guys? I figured I play something religious today just in case things really went down! So what better game to play then the best religious game ever made? Super Noah's Ark 3D!

I'm sure plenty of you have heard of this game, but for those who haven't the game takes place on Noah's Ark and uses the Wolfenstein 3D engine. That instantly makes the game awesome, because you already got a great first person shooter in your hands. The basic plot is that there's 6 days left in the ark and the animals are all pissed off as hell so they break out of their cages and start wrecking Noah's sh*t. With all the animals against him, Noah bust out his slingshot and begins to kill every animal who stands against him. Or, more accurately, put the animals to sleep by feeding them food pellets through a slingshot. You don't actually kill anything, you merely put them to sleep, but I'm sure the animals have no qualms killing Noah. Goats will kick him, Camels would spit at him, Ostriches will peck at him, etc.

OH F*** ME!
Yeah, the game doesn't really sound much like the bible story at all. In fact, I doubt Noah had 200+ goats instead of two. The game is oddly entertaining though, but that's only if you're a fan of Doom or Wolfenstein. I'd argue it's better than BOTH OF THOSE GAMES COMBINED! (Not really.)

As I was playing the SNES version, the game was looking pretty bad and suffered from pretty awful slowdown. The music is awesomely repetitive and would drive any person to insanity. I've long since past that point though, since I'm writing about a game that no normal person should ever consider playing. And even worse, I'm enjoying the game in a non-ironic way. I play it on hard mode, of course, because I'm hardcore and it really brings a whole new element of fear to the game when you have no ammo and a camel is gunning you down with it's own saliva. Truly a terrifying way to go.  Later.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kung Fu Heroes - Fight Chinese Stereotypes while listening to Wipeout!

A cute little game from my childhood. Kung Fu Heroes for the Nintendo Entertainment System was a game that I spent a surprising amount of time on. It's certainly not an amazing game, and few would even consider it a good one, but it's a game that I remember fondly nonetheless.

Released in 1988 by Culture Brain, it was originally known as "Super Chinese" in Japan. Imagine if that name carried over stateside, huh? The game plays out top-down style similar to Legend of Zelda, the general objective is to rescue the princess but in order to clear each stage you must defeat a certain number of enemies on each floor using your punching or jumping skills. Most enemies are pretty simple to defeat, but there are a few that have counters to certain tactics forcing you to rethink your strategy though usually it boils down to "Punching doesn't work? Try jumping on him!" or "Jumping on him doesn't work? Try punching him!"

The game features two-player co-op where player 1 takes control of "Jacky" with player 2 controlling "Lee". Nothing familiar about those names at all. Nope. The game "borrows" a few elements of the ever popular "Super Mario Bros." from the concept of Warp Zones, the fireball power-up, and even the sound effect for the 1-up! Ignoring all those elements, you would also find out that all the daytime levels feature a song that is disturbing similar to Surfari's "Wipeout". I wouldn't call it an EXACT ripoff, but it sounds very close.

So, I guess it all comes to if this game is worth your time or not. It's not. Really don't bother. The hit-detection is just bad, and you will experience a ton of cheap deaths, and whenever you get a game over it's back to beginning of the game for you! With nostalgia goggles on though, I find the game entertaining if you can find a bro to play it with. Also, a fun fact about my childhood with this game: At school the teacher wanted us to bring our favorite book and she'll read it out to the class. I brought the instruction manual to King Fu Heroes. It was read aloud. It was awesome. I'm awesome. End of Story.

Did you listen to the song?  Sound familiar?  Check this out and verify that I'm just not hearing things, please:

Yeah maybe I'm just crazy.  Oh well, later...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Terraria - Dig holes! Fight Zombies! DIG MORE HOLES! Fight Skeletons! DIG YOURSELF TO HELL!

You want to know the game I've been playing these past couple of days? Well this is it. I got the game as a gift, and at first I was skeptical because the sprites looked like they were ripped straight out of Final Fantasy and I never really played Minecraft outside of the free demo on the website. But this game. This freaking game. It's way more fun than it has any right to be.

This is the world I live in.  And it's only a SMALL world.  I shudder to see a MEDIUM or LARGE one.
Terraria is often described to be something of a 2D side-scrolling Minecraft. I'm not entirely sure how true that is, because again, I never played Minecraft. Instead of building, the game heavily emphasizes combat and exploration. Sure you can build houses and stuff, but the real star of the game is the digging and finding treasure!

Hiding from a Zombie in my house
Me and a couple of friends started on a randomly generated world and from there we were in charge of our own destiny. Started off with a small house just to protect us from the nightly zombie attack, and then we started digging into the earth looking for priceless jewels and ores to craft into awesome weapons to fight more zombies with! As mentioned before, we played this game for 10 hours straight on the first day and we accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but we sure as hell had fun doing it!

This game isn't the best looking, but the sprites grow on you after a while, it feels like you're playing Zelda II: Adventures of Link coupled with Metroid-like exploration with the digging excitement of Dig Dug! The game is pretty much $10 on Steam, it's up to you if you think it's worth it or not. I'd think it's worth at least 4 times that amount, but I'm not going to try to sway you. Check it out if you want, maybe we can trade sometime. Here's the trailer:


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kamen Rider - CobraMan, Revived!

Before we get started I must apologize for my absence yesterday, because a certain friend of mine gifted me a certain game on steam and we ended up playing it for 10 hours straight. The game is too fun and I wish I could be playing it now, but my obligations to the blog outweigh my desires to be a useless piece of crap playing video games all day.

Guess who's back?!
At any rate, it's another week so that means we get another Kamen Rider episode! This episode is great because it features the monster from the previous episode. Even though Kamen Rider defeated him last week, CobraMan gets the rare luxury very few "Monsters of the Week" get: a second chance. (Unless we're talking about Power Rangers, those monsters get a second chance each episode for the giant robot fights)

Episode starts off with a lady posting up a sign that says "Buying pets at high prices". Obviously, this lady is a villainous Shocker operative, and is doing what I probably think is the most heinous Shocker scheme yet! She uses the blood of the animals to revive CobraMan and she captures the pet owners to brainwash them into Shocker soldiers! Using the blood of kittens and puppies to revive a monster? That should convince you that Shocker is really, really, REALLY EVIL.
The Final Showdown

With CobraMan's revival, he gets a new power: flame breath! Now this is 100x better than the acid he was spitting in the previous episode. Along with reviving CobraMan, they also revive their previous scheme: to steal JAPAN'S GOLD! All this leads into a thrilling episode of Kamen Rider which was even better than the previous one.

For those who want to check out Kamen Rider for themselves, head on over to KITsubs. It's a fun episode for a fun series that is well worth checking out. Bitch about cheesiness if you want, but you're truly missing out on an experience. Later.

Monday, May 16, 2011

BioMetal - Get ready for this! This is the Twilight Zone!

I can't do it. I just can't beat this game. And I'm not talking about my lack of skill or the game difficulty being too high (even though both are a factor!). It's just that I can't play this game without laughing at the crazy soundtrack. Even if you never heard of this game, I guarantee you heard its' music some time in your life ESPECIALLY if you go to sporting events. This game is none other than BioMetal.

Released in 1993, this is a side-scrolling shooter made for the Super Nintendo. If you played one shooter in your life, then you already know how this game plays out. It's difficult, even on Easy, with bullets flying in every direction that you're bound to be hit by ONE of them. The game does utilize a guard function to protect you from the heavy curtain fire, but it's limited so use it wisely!

But let's be honest here, the game is completely unremarkable except for one little thing. The American and European versions has a soundtrack composed by 90's techno group "2 Unlimited". When I first started the game and suddenly heard "Get Ready for this" my jaw hit the floor. This game, despite it's mediocrity, is now a video game gem! All the songs in this game were lifted from their first album "Get Ready!" which was made only 1 year prior to the release of this game. The choice of music is absolutely insane, and oddly appropriate to the chaotic nature of the game but it's far too distracting! I'm too busy reliving the entire "Space Jam" movie instead of focusing on all the bullets heading my way! DAMN YOU 90'S NOSTALGIA!

As for the Japanese version? It has an entirely different soundtrack, it's actually the original version that we were all probably meant to hear. But, you know, some 90's CEO jackass was probably high on "2 Unlimited" at the time and demanded the original music stripped and replaced with Eurodance music. For the purist, it probably pissed them off. But you know, the original soundtrack was pretty mediocre compared to the greatness of 2 Unlimited's timeless masterpieces of 90s sports arena background music. You're honestly not missing much you Japanophiles.

Ok, that's enough about this game. Seriously. Just listen to the TITLE SCREEN:

Still watching the video?  It has some game-play in it too!  I'm sure you recognize level 1's music as well!  Truly BioMetal is one of the greatest video games ever made all thanks to "2 Unlimited".  Thank you "2 Unlimited", your repetitive 90's Eurobeat music has saved a Japanese video game from a life of total obscurity. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Psychic Force 2012 - EXTRA: Richard Wong is a Bastard.

 Man, it's Sunday and I've been pretty busy today.  Busy doing absolutely nothing!  I've actually been playing Psychic Force 2012 this whole weekend and I honestly didn't feel like playing anything else, especially when this game is so dear to me.  So let's talk about it some more, shall we?  I'm that one guy who gives a lot of love to games that were tragically overlooked.  You probably picked up that hint if you looked at my previous blog entries and you couldn't recognize half of what I am even talking about.  But this game, I would have to say it's easily in my top 10 favorite games of all time.  I don't really HAVE a top 10, but if I did you can be sure this game would be in it!

He always has that grin on his face.
The music your typical Japanese synth, but I haven't forgot a single tune in this game.  Both the original arcade tunes and the special arranged versions, I enjoy them both!  Each character has their own theme song that plays when you fight them.  The cyborg GATES features an appropriately mechanical beat, the cool-headed water-focused Carlo got a smooth jazzy tune, and the fiery Regina having an appropriately hot guitar lick.  Though my favorite theme belongs to the glorious bastard of the series: Richard Wong.  This guy is one evil very EVIL man.  With the powers to manipulate time, he can easily ruin your day, his song is titled "Perfect World".  He considers himself to be a chess-master with everyone else in the world his unwitting pawns.  He has used and abused countless people to meet his own ends and he does it all with a mocking smile on face.  His theme song only amplifies his character, playing very elegant piano mixed in with a sense of animosity.  He's a guy with class, but he wouldn't mind stabbing you with hundreds of swords and this song proves that.
Yes, he's flipping you off in this game cover.

Oh wow, this suddenly became about Richard Wong!  Funny what happens when you start writing!  This guy is so badass, that even if you beat him in one of the many story modes, HE WILL STILL WIN!  Even if you kill him, he'll have one last ace up his sleeve to screw you over in your ending.  Play as him in the story mode, and you'll be so badass, that you don't have to GO anywhere!  All your opponents come to you looking for revenge so no traveling is necessary.  Just sit back in your mansion, and be the asshole that ruins so many lives!  In the end, Wong kills everyone on the roster and the world is his.  No screwjob.  No justice.  Nothing.  The bad guy WINS!  And all the good guys get horrible endings, but this bastard gets what he wants in his end!  ISN'T THAT WONDERFULLY HORRIBLE?!

And I'll end this weekend's post with Wong's theme song.  I picked up a new game today, and I'll talk about that in the coming days.  Until then, I hope you have a good evening.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Psychic Force 2012 - Fight for your beliefs! Kill those that you love! Be F***ED no matter what you do!

This game was my entire 6th grade. When I got a Dreamcast back when it came out, my parents bought Psychic Force 2012 as a random Christmas present. I wonder what was their logic for picking this game, especially when it has a particularly busty woman on the front of it but boy AM I GLAD that they got me something unlike anything I ever played before! I've played the hell out of it, and  I'M STILL PLAYING IT!

This game is all about aerial combat.
Psychic Force 2012 is a 3D-style Fighting game but with a unique system all it's own. You and your opponent are psychiccers who fight it out in a three dimensional cube hurling elemental projectiles at each other or engaging in close quarters combat. You could consider it a precursor to games like "Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi". The style of gameplay might not be for everyone but for me, it just CLICKED. The fighting was fast paced and chaotic coupled with an energetic soundtrack that have tunes still stuck in my head even today!

Even when you beat the game.  You lose.
Replaying this game, the impact of the story hasn't fully hit me until now. More often than not, it's depressing as hell. You choose one character and watch his or her story unfold through dialogue with the games other psychic powered fighters. Sadly, due to two warring factions, characters will refuse to listen to reason and you end up killing most of those people you encountered throughout the story. And when you reach the end, and beat the final boss (which also varies depending on who you are playing as), then ending you get will often be very bitter, tragic, or just a downright evil ending. The strength of the Japanese voice acting really drives home the point that not everyone in this game is going to have a happy ending. This is a testament to how strong the characters are, their interactions with each other bring out their best and worst of their emotions. I really loved the characters in this game, even the incredibly evil ones. It's just a shame that a lot of them will die, even for the most petty of reasons.

I just loved this game. I played it for hours upon hours until my Dreamcast finally died on me. But my love for Psychic Force 2012 lives on in my fond memories...oh and emulation! Truly, it's not a game for everyone, especially those who are put off by Japanese style games. I never met anybody in public who has even tried let alone HEARD of this game aside from my friends (but they don't count as I was the one who introduced it to them). There's also a Playstation version of the game known as "Psychic Force 2", so if you don't have a Dreamcast you can check out that version instead. As usual, I will leave you guys with a video of the game in action, have a good weekend everybody.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hey now, 200 followers!

Now I achieved over 200 followers, that's a fun milestone to reach.  Thank you for all of your support.  Here, have a scene from the All Riders vs Dai-Shocker movie.  It certainly shows how far the tokusatsu genre has come lately, it's suitably epic!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yo! Noid - Be an annoying piece of s**t, DIE APPROPRIATELY!

Haha, oh wow. Seriously, I try to watch my language while writing for you guys but this game will freaking hate you for playing it. For those looking at the picture you aren't seeing things. Domino's Pizza used to have a mascot known as "The Noid", and Capcom made a game for him. And yes this game is balls hard because EVERYTHING WILL KILL YOU!

Even in sprite form, I hate the Noid.
I don't know how I got this game as a kid. Did my inner troll pick this out personally? Did I receive this as a gift?! How this game ever ended up in my library is still a mystery that I'm trying to solve. Yo Noid! is a platformer where you play as the Noid and try to survive all the way until the end of the level. Of course, it's 1-hit kills everywhere! Usually I would not have a problem with this, because the challenge doesn't come from the enemies, even they they are irritating in their own way, it actually comes from the BS level design. I never beat this game, but even Rollergames was more reasonable than this game. Just touching the water on the first stage will kill you, not falling in it, just touching it!

If you ever manage to complete the first level (that's instant street cred right there.) then you're treated to a pizza eating contest with the resident champion Noid recolor. It's a card game where you have beat your opponent by choosing a higher number card and eventually consume more pizzas than your opponent. It's a pretty amusing diversion, but it's also pretty easy to win. I played this game before I even knew how to read, and I remember winning every time.

Seriously, F*** this level.
Get to the second level, and that is where I'll just rage quit the entire game. I beat it before, but it's simply infuriating to those who never played it before. It's an ice level, so you have to jump from platform to platform while trying not to slip off and die horribly. Ice levels in video games are always a pain so why is it only the second level?! 

Truly, this game was made to make children cry. You will play it, and you will die. But is this game fun? Oh yes, absolutely. Play it, and you will love it. I'm not lying at all! Nope. Not lying. In fact, you should play the game as soon as possible, I'm not trying to share my pain to others who don't deserve it. Not at all! Here, have a video of the game in action:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...