Tail Concerto( Remember how my last blog was long enough to make Leo Tolstoy rise from the dead and register a Giant Bomb account just so he could tell me to tone it down?) And remember how that first sentence ate up an entire line? Well, I don't think this blog is going to change that trend. Just look at how much I have for this game: about 50 notes (but no review) and 22 images (I know that I'm not going to be able to use them all). That's so many images that Giant Bomb clogged up several times when I decided to add them to the wiki. I don't even have that much material for Granstream Saga, an action RPG I've been playing since August. I'm going to try to keep it relatively short (there's no way I can keep this actually short), but I honestly have no idea what will become of this.
I guess it'd be a good idea to start where the game starts. In that case, holy shit, this game looks fucking amazing. It begins with an anime intro that looks like Disney, but anime, complete with Tinker Bell farting out enough gas to fill a zeppelin. What ensues is a couple of minutes of pure wonder and fulfillment. It's kinda hard to believe that the PS1 can pull off this shit, even when you've seen it again and again and again (like when you realize that there are tons of anime cutscenes in the game). The best way I can describe it is to make you remember certain Sega CD games. Take all that joy and awe and apply it to the PS1, and you have Tail Concerto. Oh, and in the case of Lunar: Eternal Blue, also take the relative quality of the voice acting, because much like this blog, it can be all over the place. Most of it is good, but then you have voice work like that of the blue cat girl (I don't know what her name is, because two of the cats have rhyming names). Just listen to her; she could not give less of a shit. She didn't even bother playing a significant role in any of her anime cutscenes, because that would require her to give shits that she does not have. Compare this to again #3, or even Blue Cat Girl's sister, Yellow Cat Girl. I only bring up the second example because Blue and Yellow Cat Girl are voiced by the same person. Did you shove all your shits into that one cat-girl, or did the director ask you to imagine this as a high school project? There are just so many unanswered questions about this game! What are Droopy Dog and Butters Stotch doing here? Why do the characters treat their mechas like literal extensions of their own beings? Why are there Japanese subtitles, but it switches between X and O as confirmation buttons, but never really addresses that at all? Why do robots skip?
Most importantly, how are almost none of these questions related to the story? Here, let me start with one: is this a cat or a dog who's merging a bunch of terrible fetishes? Trust me, it's bigger than you think, because the entire game revolves around the conflict between the dogs and cats (called Dog-People and Cat-People, for whatever reason). Long ago, they decided to go to war, for reasons that will be explained later. Who won this war? Nobody, because cats and dogs suck that much at war. What follows is the 19th century discovering the ancient technology, which some people apparently interpret as being made of meth. Obviously, in a world filled with meth-fueled coke hounds, you need a competent police force. In enters our double amputee, Waffle the Dog, who apparently didn't get the memo that if there's music in the title, then you need a music-themed name. He is tasked with bringing down the Black Cats Gang, an evil terrorist organization made up of exactly three members: the Blue and Yellow Cat Girls, and Alicia. She also missed the name-theme memo, so she's a perfect match for Waffle, right? Well, yes and no. Exactly half the story is about the Waffle/Alicia romance, but she's not willing to admit that they love each other. Why? Because she's a cat Nazi. Or cat Jewish. It's really hard to tell. She wants to build a new land exclusively for cat people, but she also sees it as her mission in life to kill all dogs. At least All Dogs Go to Heaven was clear on the whole "cats are bad" thing; this is the only time in your life that you'll find yourself saying, "Wait, is this cat Jewish or a Nazi?" Oh, and the confusion doesn't stop there, because about every other level introduces a new character. You have Waffle, the Black Cats Gang, their leader whose voice actor is trying too hard, the Princess and Droopy Dog, her " I'm totally sexy" guard Cyan (disappointingly, you can't play as him), Waffle's grandpa, Waffle's grandpa's friend, and enough characters to make Suikoden back away in fear.
Oh, and may I say that the graphics are absolutely amazing, and that the music matches the h-you know what? Fuck it. Let's get to what you really want to hear about: what you do in the game. I mean, just look at that mecha. It must do cool things, right? Well, a good portion of the game is capturing kittens. There's not a lot more to that statement. You chase kittens, grab them, and shove them into your mecha-backpack. Sometimes, they'll come in ships, or maybe they're hiding in a box, or maybe they'll even drop a crystal so the plot can go on, but you're still capturing kittens. There's not much more I can say about it. You can shoot your bubble gun to stun them, if you want to turn the game into a fun, chaotic mix of Bust a Move and something else, but once you've captured your first batch of kittens, you've experienced all the game has to offer when it comes to kittens. Unfortunately, that's a theme that runs throughout the whole of the game: not a lot to it. For example, you explore towns, so this must be an RPG of some sort, right? No, not at all. You just walk around one or two towns, talk to people, return home a lot, and progress through the story. So then it must be...uh...*tries to put various pieces of paper into crown, but realizes that crown has no bottom to speak of* *watches piece of paper flutter to ground*...Fuck. So it's a...platformer, right? Well, you're closer with that guess. After all, you do jump around and stuff, grabbing onto ledges (in a robot? Huh?) and various other things. There's also a terrible jetpack sequence, and that's about it. You don't jump around as much as you move around. So what the hell is this game?
I honestly have no idea. It's not even that it steals things from a bunch of genres, like Actraiser or Borderlands; it never really decides on a genre, so I guess I have to make one up for it: the "fucking around" genre. For a game to qualify as a fucking around game, the main gameplay feature has to be fucking around without a lot of direction or focus. Wait, even on those merits that I just made up, the game falls short. How does that even work? That's meta-fucking up. Exactly how does it perform the meta-fuck up? First, because all levels have stars that become photos, at some point. Given how awesome the game looks, I have no complaints. Second, the boss battles. Or maybe I should say "boss battle", because they're all the same. Here's the strategy to beat them all: grab bombs, toss at cat, dodge attacks, maybe shoot your bubbles. The only exception to this rule is the final boss. Since he doesn't shoot bombs you can grab, you just have to shoot him. Then do it again. Then go grab a crystal, which makes him explode, for some reason. Then, after three to four hours of cats and dogs mixing up Nazis and Jews in incomprehensible ways, the game is over, and, oddly enough, in the exact same way as it began. Now I'm beginning to see why I like this game far more than I should. It's the graphics. I know that they don't make the game, but in this case, they do. I know, it's weird. You know what's weirder? Me giving Tail Concerto the Best Game to Let's Play Award. It's kind of easy, but it's also interesting enough that you'll always have something to say. The only downside is that this is not some type of subtle hint that I'm going to Let's Play it, in case you were wondering.
- How can a game look good, but still deter me from fucking it? Furries, duh!
- How can a cat be both a Nazi and Jewish? Seriously, I want to know. I'm having trouble comprehending this.
- The gameplay's pretty simple, much like this bullet point.
You know what's scarier than a guy who finds animal girls with 5 o'clock shadows sexy? An entire company that apparently agrees with him. Or that there we're getting the censored version, since I found an " uncut" version.
Metroid( Wait, what's this game doing here?) I specifically demanded a blog about furries and how I do not like them. Why Metroid? Why not something like Darkstalkers or Donkey Kong Country Returns, or something else that would preserve the theme of this blog? Anyway, Metroid. It's an action adventure game made by Gunpei Yokoi, the man who ended his career on the highest note possible. To keep the music analogy going, this was how his career ended. But this is not about the end of Gunpei Yokoi's career, but the beginning of it. Kinda. He was already making games before this. But let's pretend that this was the beginning of his career, even though a lot of people wouldn't like that. Why? They say it hasn't aged well. They're right, but it's still a cool game.
Shit. Now I remembered why I limit myself to obscure games: all the good jokes are taken for crap like this. What can I honestly tell you that you don't already know? Well, it's the future, and people are doing future stuff. Some of the future stuff includes adding the word "space" to things that don't need it. In enter the Space Pirates. Why do they need "space" in their name? What about the black void alters how they torrent MP3s and download ROM sets? The Federation, perhaps wishing to figure this out for themselves, decides to send bounty hunter Samus to ask them. However, when she lands, she discovers that the Space Pirates are breeding Metroids, which are essentially toothy jellyfish filled with raspberries. She now decides that the best option is to blow up the entire planet. Straightforward story, right? Yea, pretty much. The only thing I can say about it is that the Space Pirate hierarchy is confusing. Who rules them? Is it Ridley? Or is it Mother Brain? Notice how I left out Kraid; that's because he dropped off the face of the oddly- optimistic Zebes pretty much after Super Metroid. So it's only Ridley and Mother Brain, and the game was never clear on who's ruling. On the one hand, Mother Brain's the final boss; on the other hand, Ridley's appeared in pretty much every Metroid game ever. This is more confusing than Alicia the Jewish Nazi Cat in Tail Concerto. Oh, and I should probably mention that Samus is a girl. It's made pretty damn clear in the ending to the game, where Samus dismisses allegations that Team Ninja brought sexism to Metroid; it was already there, fools.
Of course, that's assuming that you get some of the better endings. (You should; the game feels about five minutes long.) Fuck up too much, and Samus will turn away in shame, solemnly weeping at the sight of your hideous failure. Then again, I can see why you'd spend about ten hours with this game: there's a lot of shit to do in this world. Power ups are lying all over the place, hidden in so many rooms and blocks that you'd think that Nintendo ran out of ideas about where to stuff them. Of course, if you're the type of person who likes to make games harder than they need be, you're insane. Go get that fixed. Wait, where was I going with this? Oh, right: power-ups. There are tons of them, like the morph ball, the ice beam, the wave beam (although not both at once, because ice can't travel through walls, apparently), the high jump, the long beam, and I only now noticed that those last two only exist to give you powers that you should have had from the beginning. The crap? And the worst part is that to get the high jump, you need the Varia Suit, which you can only get with the high jump. Either that, or sequence breaking. Why do I get the feeling that much like E.T.. this game was too ambitious for its own platform? Could it be the "these totally aren't masking loading times" hallways ripped from Symphony of the Night? How about the fact that numerous rooms are repeated almost verbatim, especially the long vertical shafts, especially especially the ones with fake lava on the bottom? Or the malicious random number generator stolen directly from Devil Survivor?
Or maybe it's all the farming you do. A lot of people think this game is about exploring this huge, open world, and while I can't fault them (it is pretty fun to explore, even if it is trial-and-error), Metroid is really about farming. It might as well have been called Harvest Moontroid ( this is why I didn't make a future joke). About every other room or so, you'll encounter a vent that just spews enemies. Stand there, shoot enemies, and hope that the random number generator is in a good mood. Trust me, you will need to do this quite a bit. First, there are TONS of missile doors, and while there are also as many missile upgrades, you're still going to need to stock up, eventually. Second, the bosses all require you to be within fucking distance in order to hit them, and, sadly enough, they can also hit you from within that distance. But most importantly, you will die, at some point. Let me tell you how I died late in the game: every door in Tourian requires a billion missiles to open, and standing between you and Mother Brain are muscle barrier things that require even more missiles. Oh, and Mother Brain takes missiles as damage. Obviously, I ran out, so I decided to go back and grind for some missiles. However, between the numerous enemies assaulting me, and the Metroids that also require missiles, I died. I would've entered the password, but the game restarted me in Tourian. With 30 health, and no missiles. I could've killed some Metroids for health and missiles, but again, they require missiles to beat. Keep in mind that the game designers knew all of this when they were making the game. What the shit? This game could've been so much better, but as it is, it's merely OK. I'd still recommend it, as it's an interesting game and pretty big for gaming history, since it created an entire genre and everything, but be prepared to endure tons of hits and to follow a FAQ like it's the Bible. (On that note, I'm pretty sure that book would've been more interesting if the Book of Revelations was about Jesus sequence-breaking to Heaven and shooting missiles into God's face.) That in mind, I'll give it the Assassin's Creed Award: because it's just like the Crusades.
- Yes, we all know that Samus is a girl.
- Random power-ups hastily thrown about suggest that the level designer just didn't give a fuck.
- So does the fact that you can restart with 30 health and no missiles in Tourian.