Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

Pac Man World

(Am I back to covering non-obscure games again?) Damn it. It's not even like I get the benefit of covering modern games anym-Hold on, I forgot part of the title: 20th Anniversary. This is how Namco chose to celebrate Pac Man still not being old enough to drink: by bringing him into the third dimension. Yes, it makes perfect sense (even if the timing is kinda late), but if this was how Namco decided to celebrate Pac Man's 20th birthday, then this is probably how Pac Man chose to celebrate it. (I couldn't find a decent video.)

Why's that? Well, because this game essentially shoves him into a crappy Saturday morning cartoon. Or maybe he's just depressed because his family went missing. You see, a robot Pac Man captured every last friend he ever had, because...actually, I don't think it's ever explained. I'm honestly struggling to think of reasons why he'd ever want them captured. I'd say it's because Toc Man (I don't know why he has that name, either) wanted to ruin Pac Man's birthday, yet this game would make that a redundant task. But what about that Saturday morning cartoon vibe I mentioned before? How does that relate to the story? Well, given the lack of story, especially in the actual game-y parts, I can't really say (outside, of course, the "low-fi Rolie Polie Olie" look), but worry not! The actual game provides that cartoon vibe in spades. Now you may worry. I don't know why, but this type of atmosphere doesn't really work for Pac Man. I'm not sure how you'd adapt such an abstract game to something more tangible like a PS1 game (or even if you could), but this isn't really the way to do it. Why? Well, for one, the atmosphere doesn't feel very compelling. There's never anything in them to get me excited; it's just dull colors and level themes that just serve as mere decoration. It's almost like the game isn't too enthusiastic about its existence. I wonder why.

Why didn't anybody tell me I was responsible for getting screenshots? This isn't even a super obscure game or anything.

Speaking of the game, what of the rest of the game? Well, it's pretty much a mildly competent platformer. You jump, collect items, and then realize that there are, like, twenty more levels of this. OK, there's nothing inherently wrong with these concepts. Hell, it can be kinda fun to eat ghosts with your butt (more on that later), and although I hate to admit it, actually rescuing your friends from the danger of unguarded cages does add some decent length to the game. Unfortunately, that's the problem: the length. Specifically, there's no way you can carry a game this long on butt bounce alone. It simply wears out its welcome too soon, and it's not like the game develops these ideas further or introduces mechanics with some more meat to them; once you've played the first few levels, there's not much reason to continue. Though to be fair, the boss battles can often be pretty cool. Each one features a chase scene preceding it, and the bosses at least try to do something exciting. For example, the clowns force you into gladiatorial combat (they must test the meat before they deem it worthy of consumption), the space boss is pretty much a poor man's Galaga (in a good way), and the final boss tries to establish some sympathy before Pac Man eats him for literally no goddamn reason. But since these are boss battles, those moments are few and far between; the rest of the time, Pac Man World is a regular old platformer.

Of course, this isn't just a regular old platformer; it's a regular old platformer with Pac Man elements awkwardly included. Now remember how Pac Man was all about scarfing up pills while evading ghosts? Well, that's included here...kind of. Every so often, you'll stumble upon some ghosts and a switch to summon a bunch of dots, because somebody remembered that this was a Pac Man game. Then you do as Pac Man does: eat dots, ghosts, and sometimes fruit to promote a healthy diet. Sounds simple and inoffensive, right? On the face, yes. My problem with these sequences, though, is that they're about as necessary as the Toc Man thing from before. (Seriously, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Was it supposed to be Toke Man to relate to the drug theme, but censored to relate to it even more?) It's really easy to imagine this game without the mazes and ghosts and stuff, probably because they add jack shit to the game. The ghosts can sometimes heal you, sometimes, and dots serve as ammo for an attack you'll never use (probably because Pac Man's fists are so fragile that his butt is far deadlier than they'll ever be), but that's about it. The only benefit I could see in it is a score one, and to be fair, there are modes where this might actually be important. Looked at this way, it's a neat little side distraction, what with the different mazes and stuff. Then again, it's pretty hard to look at Pac Man World that way, since Pac Man World is a platformer. Not a very good platformer, but it's still a platformer.

Review Synopsis

  • This: The Game.
  • The Too Long for Its Own Good Game.
  • Did I Mention That This is Pac Man?

Apparently, this Japanese video with English subtitles and Spanish top comments is related to Futurama, and I'm the only person who can't understand how.

Operation Logic Bomb

(OK, what the fuck?) Didn't I do this exact thing last week? Don't pretend that you don't know what I'm talking about: Alcahest. You know, that obscure SNES top down shooter with light exploration elements? That's pretty much what Operation Logic Bomb is: an ob-Alcahest. It's much shorter just to say Alcahest. Although there is one key difference between this game and Alcahest that I've completely neglected in this brief opening: I actively like Operation Logic Bomb.

Though that's not to say the games aren't different in other ways. (Just trying to think of how I could hold two separate opinions about the same game is making my eyes reel back into my head so I can try to follow the confusing mental gymnastics that ensue.) For example, while Alcahest was a medieval-ass medieval game, Operation Logic Bomb is a sci-fi ass sci-fi game. (The ass is a powerful entity; as such, it would be unwise to place stress on it.) In fact, it's a very specific sci-fi game: Half-Life. This game is Half-Life. Don't believe me? Tell me which game I'm describing: it's the future, and scientists are doing their science rituals. One day, the scientists use the wrong capra aegagrus hemoglobin, thus summoning an evil alien army bent on their destruction. (Though that's most likely because the aliens are none too pleased that this is how they're always depicted in human media. Assholes.) It's now your job to run through the facilities, shooting anything that isn't a scientist, eventually culminating in you invading an alternate dimensino to kill the alien leader. Now, I ask you again: what did I just describe?....Exactly. Hell, the games even put the same amount of emphasis on the story...albeit in different ways. You see, every now and then, you'll stumble upon a piece of wall that divulges some story. Unfortunately, none of the cutscenes have any words, so it can be somewhat confusing in areas, but I still like it. There's some room for interpretation as to what the hell's going on, lending it a unique and totally-not-lazy charm.

Look at all the science in this picture. Power of the SNES, baby.

Actually, that last clause actually does a really good job of describing the entire game. What other shooter can you name that puts a large emphasis on exploration...besides Alcahest, of course? Hell, there aren't even levels in this game, because it's all one huge world. A stupidly linear world that can be obtuse to navigate, but a neat little world nonetheless. But what do you do in those confusing situations? Simple: shoot. SPRAY YOUR ENVIRONMENT WITH BULLETS UNTIL ONE OF THEM HITS SOMETHING THAT MOVES THE GAME FORWARD....And that's pretty much the entire basis for the game. That's all you're gonna get, along with four weapons and five enemies. So this is shaping up to be like the prev-SHUT IT. No, it's not. Why? First, because the only difference between Operation Logic Bomb and that video from before is, ironically, that the former actually makes more sense. Second, it actually manages to get a lot out of these simple concepts. Yea, you'll definitely notice the game repeating enemies, but I don't think I ever noticed it repeating scenarios, so it really knows how to keep the action going. Although part of all that may be due to the weapons in question. There's actually some strategy as to when you should use each weapon, like spread in tight situations or the laser in bouncy situations. (It's the future; bouncy situations are now a thing because everything's been invented.) I'd say that this adds a decent level of challenge, but...uh...

*breaks into a fit of laughter* Oh shit. I realize I should have been clear about that. I'm not saying that the game's a "push start to view credits" type of game. After all, you're still gonna get hit and have to dodge enemies if you want to see those credits. I'm just saying that it's a tad easier than it should be. Later weapons allow you to cheese half the enemies pretty easy, like by heating up a nearby wall until nearby things die, or using right angles to stab things in the distance. It feels really guilty doing this, too, because it's almost like Operation Logic Bomb doesn't even know about these techniques. It never caught on to my doing this, allowing me to blast through the levels relatively unscathed quite a bit of the time. But as I said before, the game can still deliver some challenge. The only exception seems to be the bosses, who happen to be really goddamn easy. I'd say that part of that is because of the whole "five enemies" thing, and to be fair, once you've seen one flying bug thing, you've literally seen them all. Then again, there are some unique boss battles in this game, and they can be pretty cool...and pretty effing easy, as I've already described. Hell, I was able to beat the final boss in a couple of minutes through liberal use of the "Gears of War" style of armed combat: hop behind cover and throw explosives at the enemy until you've saved the day. That aside, I still found this to be a pretty cool game. Play it, I guess. (Look, not every obscure game makes me angry about it not being played, OK?)

Review Synopsis

  • I'd ask you to imagine if Half-Life was a 2D game, but I'm certain that this idea has already been realized in some shitty Flash production somewhere. Still, this game's like Half-Life.
  • Shooting done semi-intelligently.
  • A bit on the easy side, but whatever.
#1 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

Pac Man World

(Am I back to covering non-obscure games again?) Damn it. It's not even like I get the benefit of covering modern games anym-Hold on, I forgot part of the title: 20th Anniversary. This is how Namco chose to celebrate Pac Man still not being old enough to drink: by bringing him into the third dimension. Yes, it makes perfect sense (even if the timing is kinda late), but if this was how Namco decided to celebrate Pac Man's 20th birthday, then this is probably how Pac Man chose to celebrate it. (I couldn't find a decent video.)

Why's that? Well, because this game essentially shoves him into a crappy Saturday morning cartoon. Or maybe he's just depressed because his family went missing. You see, a robot Pac Man captured every last friend he ever had, because...actually, I don't think it's ever explained. I'm honestly struggling to think of reasons why he'd ever want them captured. I'd say it's because Toc Man (I don't know why he has that name, either) wanted to ruin Pac Man's birthday, yet this game would make that a redundant task. But what about that Saturday morning cartoon vibe I mentioned before? How does that relate to the story? Well, given the lack of story, especially in the actual game-y parts, I can't really say (outside, of course, the "low-fi Rolie Polie Olie" look), but worry not! The actual game provides that cartoon vibe in spades. Now you may worry. I don't know why, but this type of atmosphere doesn't really work for Pac Man. I'm not sure how you'd adapt such an abstract game to something more tangible like a PS1 game (or even if you could), but this isn't really the way to do it. Why? Well, for one, the atmosphere doesn't feel very compelling. There's never anything in them to get me excited; it's just dull colors and level themes that just serve as mere decoration. It's almost like the game isn't too enthusiastic about its existence. I wonder why.

Why didn't anybody tell me I was responsible for getting screenshots? This isn't even a super obscure game or anything.

Speaking of the game, what of the rest of the game? Well, it's pretty much a mildly competent platformer. You jump, collect items, and then realize that there are, like, twenty more levels of this. OK, there's nothing inherently wrong with these concepts. Hell, it can be kinda fun to eat ghosts with your butt (more on that later), and although I hate to admit it, actually rescuing your friends from the danger of unguarded cages does add some decent length to the game. Unfortunately, that's the problem: the length. Specifically, there's no way you can carry a game this long on butt bounce alone. It simply wears out its welcome too soon, and it's not like the game develops these ideas further or introduces mechanics with some more meat to them; once you've played the first few levels, there's not much reason to continue. Though to be fair, the boss battles can often be pretty cool. Each one features a chase scene preceding it, and the bosses at least try to do something exciting. For example, the clowns force you into gladiatorial combat (they must test the meat before they deem it worthy of consumption), the space boss is pretty much a poor man's Galaga (in a good way), and the final boss tries to establish some sympathy before Pac Man eats him for literally no goddamn reason. But since these are boss battles, those moments are few and far between; the rest of the time, Pac Man World is a regular old platformer.

Of course, this isn't just a regular old platformer; it's a regular old platformer with Pac Man elements awkwardly included. Now remember how Pac Man was all about scarfing up pills while evading ghosts? Well, that's included here...kind of. Every so often, you'll stumble upon some ghosts and a switch to summon a bunch of dots, because somebody remembered that this was a Pac Man game. Then you do as Pac Man does: eat dots, ghosts, and sometimes fruit to promote a healthy diet. Sounds simple and inoffensive, right? On the face, yes. My problem with these sequences, though, is that they're about as necessary as the Toc Man thing from before. (Seriously, what the hell is that supposed to mean? Was it supposed to be Toke Man to relate to the drug theme, but censored to relate to it even more?) It's really easy to imagine this game without the mazes and ghosts and stuff, probably because they add jack shit to the game. The ghosts can sometimes heal you, sometimes, and dots serve as ammo for an attack you'll never use (probably because Pac Man's fists are so fragile that his butt is far deadlier than they'll ever be), but that's about it. The only benefit I could see in it is a score one, and to be fair, there are modes where this might actually be important. Looked at this way, it's a neat little side distraction, what with the different mazes and stuff. Then again, it's pretty hard to look at Pac Man World that way, since Pac Man World is a platformer. Not a very good platformer, but it's still a platformer.

Review Synopsis

  • This: The Game.
  • The Too Long for Its Own Good Game.
  • Did I Mention That This is Pac Man?

Apparently, this Japanese video with English subtitles and Spanish top comments is related to Futurama, and I'm the only person who can't understand how.

Operation Logic Bomb

(OK, what the fuck?) Didn't I do this exact thing last week? Don't pretend that you don't know what I'm talking about: Alcahest. You know, that obscure SNES top down shooter with light exploration elements? That's pretty much what Operation Logic Bomb is: an ob-Alcahest. It's much shorter just to say Alcahest. Although there is one key difference between this game and Alcahest that I've completely neglected in this brief opening: I actively like Operation Logic Bomb.

Though that's not to say the games aren't different in other ways. (Just trying to think of how I could hold two separate opinions about the same game is making my eyes reel back into my head so I can try to follow the confusing mental gymnastics that ensue.) For example, while Alcahest was a medieval-ass medieval game, Operation Logic Bomb is a sci-fi ass sci-fi game. (The ass is a powerful entity; as such, it would be unwise to place stress on it.) In fact, it's a very specific sci-fi game: Half-Life. This game is Half-Life. Don't believe me? Tell me which game I'm describing: it's the future, and scientists are doing their science rituals. One day, the scientists use the wrong capra aegagrus hemoglobin, thus summoning an evil alien army bent on their destruction. (Though that's most likely because the aliens are none too pleased that this is how they're always depicted in human media. Assholes.) It's now your job to run through the facilities, shooting anything that isn't a scientist, eventually culminating in you invading an alternate dimensino to kill the alien leader. Now, I ask you again: what did I just describe?....Exactly. Hell, the games even put the same amount of emphasis on the story...albeit in different ways. You see, every now and then, you'll stumble upon a piece of wall that divulges some story. Unfortunately, none of the cutscenes have any words, so it can be somewhat confusing in areas, but I still like it. There's some room for interpretation as to what the hell's going on, lending it a unique and totally-not-lazy charm.

Look at all the science in this picture. Power of the SNES, baby.

Actually, that last clause actually does a really good job of describing the entire game. What other shooter can you name that puts a large emphasis on exploration...besides Alcahest, of course? Hell, there aren't even levels in this game, because it's all one huge world. A stupidly linear world that can be obtuse to navigate, but a neat little world nonetheless. But what do you do in those confusing situations? Simple: shoot. SPRAY YOUR ENVIRONMENT WITH BULLETS UNTIL ONE OF THEM HITS SOMETHING THAT MOVES THE GAME FORWARD....And that's pretty much the entire basis for the game. That's all you're gonna get, along with four weapons and five enemies. So this is shaping up to be like the prev-SHUT IT. No, it's not. Why? First, because the only difference between Operation Logic Bomb and that video from before is, ironically, that the former actually makes more sense. Second, it actually manages to get a lot out of these simple concepts. Yea, you'll definitely notice the game repeating enemies, but I don't think I ever noticed it repeating scenarios, so it really knows how to keep the action going. Although part of all that may be due to the weapons in question. There's actually some strategy as to when you should use each weapon, like spread in tight situations or the laser in bouncy situations. (It's the future; bouncy situations are now a thing because everything's been invented.) I'd say that this adds a decent level of challenge, but...uh...

*breaks into a fit of laughter* Oh shit. I realize I should have been clear about that. I'm not saying that the game's a "push start to view credits" type of game. After all, you're still gonna get hit and have to dodge enemies if you want to see those credits. I'm just saying that it's a tad easier than it should be. Later weapons allow you to cheese half the enemies pretty easy, like by heating up a nearby wall until nearby things die, or using right angles to stab things in the distance. It feels really guilty doing this, too, because it's almost like Operation Logic Bomb doesn't even know about these techniques. It never caught on to my doing this, allowing me to blast through the levels relatively unscathed quite a bit of the time. But as I said before, the game can still deliver some challenge. The only exception seems to be the bosses, who happen to be really goddamn easy. I'd say that part of that is because of the whole "five enemies" thing, and to be fair, once you've seen one flying bug thing, you've literally seen them all. Then again, there are some unique boss battles in this game, and they can be pretty cool...and pretty effing easy, as I've already described. Hell, I was able to beat the final boss in a couple of minutes through liberal use of the "Gears of War" style of armed combat: hop behind cover and throw explosives at the enemy until you've saved the day. That aside, I still found this to be a pretty cool game. Play it, I guess. (Look, not every obscure game makes me angry about it not being played, OK?)

Review Synopsis

  • I'd ask you to imagine if Half-Life was a 2D game, but I'm certain that this idea has already been realized in some shitty Flash production somewhere. Still, this game's like Half-Life.
  • Shooting done semi-intelligently.
  • A bit on the easy side, but whatever.
#2 Posted by LordAndrew (14001 posts) -
#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@LordAndrew:

Does that mean there's a version of Half Life that's just a single line?

#4 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

What race is Pac Man and how many of his kind are there? Why is he constantly ignoring reality and fucking around with ghosts and pills?

#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@Ravenlight:

Those are things I shall elaborate on in a Pac Man-ass Pac Man blog. (Should I get around to writing it, of course.)

#6 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

Is Pac-man related to Kirby in any way? They are both balls that eat everything so...

#7 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@Jay444111:

That sounds pretty racist.

#8 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Jay444111:

That sounds pretty racist.

...Actually that does sound racist doesn't it... I apologize but are they related though?

#9 Edited by believer258 (11063 posts) -

@Jay444111 said:

Is Pac-man related to Kirby in any way? They are both balls that eat everything so...

They are the male version of vagina dentata.

Also, I definitely played that Pac-Man game as a kid and I definitely got quite far in it. I don't remember actually beating it, but I had fun with it then. Remember, though, I was a kid and this was like 2002. Besides, back then I was eating up competent platformers like Pac-Man was prescription painkillers yellow dots.

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@believer258 said:

They are the male version of vagina dentata.

Are you saying that you have Kirby and Pac Man in your pants? Or that your testicles are different colors, neither of which are even close to being natural?

#11 Posted by believer258 (11063 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@believer258 said:

They are the male version of vagina dentata.

Are you saying that you have Kirby and Pac Man in your pants? Or that your testicles are different colors, neither of which are even close to being natural?

Yes. I have a yellow ball and a pink nut, each of which has a mouth. I am a sufferer of testicle dentata. I plan to found a charity for other men who have this issue as soon as I get rich.

Care to donate?

#12 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Care to donate?

Not, not really. The human reproductive system confuses me enough as it is.

#13 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Not, not really. The human reproductive system confuses me enough as it is.

Hotdogs and donuts. Not terrible complicated. But not that donut, the other one. Okay, I can see how you'd be confused.

#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@Ravenlight:

Then where do the clams and bees come into this? And what's this about sex toys? Is it for children to practice or something?

#15 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Ravenlight:

Then where do the clams and bees come into this? And what's this about sex toys? Is it for children to practice or something?

Well, clam honey is an aphrodisiac. Since people are so ugly these days, they need a little help. The toys are like collectible action figures. Think Skylanders but anatomically correct.

#16 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@Ravenlight:

So Thighlanders? Speaking of thighs, what's that thing between a man's thighs? You know, the hairy, wrinkly thing under his penis?

#17 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

@Video_Game_King:

That's a proto-baby. When humans couple, it sneaks into the woman's uterus where it ferments for nine "months" or so then bursts forth, facehugger style and ruins everyone's shit for awhile.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@Ravenlight:

I can already tell that's full of shit. I've heard how human babies are made, and it's not like that. Here's what I've heard: a bunch of sperm are having a rave in their apartment, and the landlord has had enough. He tells them all to get the fuck out or he's calling the cop. So they all leave and find themselves in the deadly vagina. Of course, they're coming off their rave high, so a lot of them aren't fit to escape all the danger around them. However, some survive and make it to the Star Wars Land to meet Han Solo and Chewie. However, instead, one unlucky sperm bumps into Kirby disguised as an ostrich egg. The Kirby then eats the sperm and spits out the tail (because that's how you're supposed to eat shrimp). Somehow, a baby is made.

#19 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

@Video_Game_King:

Somehow, a baby is made.

Sounds about right. I wouldn't worry too much about the specifics.

#20 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@Ravenlight:

Screw it. I'll stick to what I know: Lunarian sex.

#21 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -

@Video_Game_King:

I'm pretty sure we just call that masturbation. It certainly sounds more impressive when you say it like that, though.

#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@Ravenlight:

It's not really masturbation. I use the term "Lunarian sex" because it's not entirely the same as human sex.

#23 Edited by Mento (2261 posts) -

should be happy that you decided to cover Operation Logic Bomb. It sounded like it was one of his favorites in a comment he left on a SNES list I made a while ago.

I've always been interested in the weird expanded universe of Pac-Man outside the usual pellet boards, especially after watching Arino play that weird point-and-click adventure (and one can't forget the Pac-Man Party QL either). I just can't imagine the games themselves are all that great though.

I also don't understand how that clip is related to Futurama. But I can think of another instance where someone randomly created a giraffe when they were supposed to be working on something else.

Moderator
#24 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@Mento:

Yea, I'm not sure Pac Man could ever work outside an arcade context. There wasn't a lot of story to the game in the first place, and any attempts at creating some type of Pac World just feel like a wrong fit.

#25 Edited by StarFoxA (5123 posts) -

I freaking love Operation Logic Bomb. Check out the two games that came out in the same series on the Game Boy (Fortified Zone and Ikari no Yousai 2), all part of the "Ikari no Yousai" series.

(Ikari no Yousai 2 is probably the best of the three. Has some sweet music, if I remember correctly).

#26 Posted by mordukai (7093 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Everytime someone says Logic Bomb I can't help but think about the one Capt. Picard wanted to use on the Borg Collective on Episode 23 of Season 5.

I'm such a nerd.

#27 Posted by Video_Game_King (34654 posts) -

@mordukai said:

I'm such a nerd.

You're in company; I may have no goddamn clue what the Borg are, but I think of Operation Logic Bomb when I hear Logic Bomb. Also, if it counts, I came off an hour long kanji studying binge.