Race Roulette - Mini Feature: Digimon Battle Spirit 2

 Two Digimen Duking it Out.
This was a very short game, taking less than an hour to complete the final boss in a single run; so it shall be treated with a Mini Feature. The game was a 2D-fighter that utilized platforming and the collecting of orbs to determine the winner. Much like a minigame in the first Kingdom Hearts game, the player must attack the opponent and collect the bulbs that fly off of them. Starting up the game, you get dropped into a player select screen and go straight into fighting with no instruction whatsoever. You must quickly learn who your favorite Digimon is and figure out how to use different moves on your own. I would presume that the game's manual would have this information,  but neither Dan nor I had access to one.
 
The game was difficult until you understood the basic mechanics, and then it was of a balanced difficulty. However, neither Dan nor I really got too into the game. It was alright, sure, but nothing beyond that. I don't see a huge replay value in it, but the sprite-work was pretty good and the gameplay was fairly smooth. I do also own the first Digimon Battle Spirit, which I personally find a lot more fun - mostly due to the characters. Maybe it was due to my experience in the first game, but I ended up winning this challenge too.
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Race Roulette - Monster Rancher Explorer


 Title Screen
Another game has rolled by, this time being yet another GameBoy game. I find it surprising that the last three games have been for the same system, but I'll just accept the coincidence. This game ranks up in difficulty with Metal Gear Solid in our playthrough so far. Starting up the game, neither of us knew much about it. We haven't been much into the Monster Rancher series, so the character wasn't one that we really knew. However, this game was more of a Solomon's Key sequel w ith a bit of Monster Rancher flair from what I've seen. I immediately recognized the box mechanic that the popular NES game, Solomon's Key, utilized.  I was pretty excited to play this as I like puzzle games. Unfortunately, the difficulty was immense.
 
Starting up, everything seemed confusing. You couldn't kill enemies with your hands and you had no weapons. We both soon realized that each enemy had their own perk and you could kill some by removing the box under them. There were around 6 different types of enemies that kept appearing in different ways around the varied stages. The difficulty came in when the game took a turn for some levels, where instead of being a straight up puzzle-platformer, speed was key and there were enemies everywhere. 
 
One of the earlier levels.
The worst levels were the ones with monsters continually spawning or the "rhinos" as we dubbed them. The rhinos looked more like birds to me, but it didn't matter. These enemies would follow a path set by boxes and would usually be incredibly fast. They could climb up walls, on ceilings, and on the ground. The only way to get by them was to avoid them, which wasn't easy. There were also "charizards" that took on the form of orange-looking octopi. These monsters broke boxes and could only be trapped, killed by bombs, or they would eventually die after a set amount of time. Usually, when they died after this amount of time, they respawned immediately from the monster spawners in the more annoying levels.
 
Even so, some of the most fun parts of the game were the bosses. The bosses required a strategy that you would form after playing through the boss a few times. Each boss had a completely different style and were fun to defeat. Although little instruction was given throughout the game, everything was easy enough to figure out after time. Many levels seemed luck-based rather than thought-based, which is unfortunate for a puzzle game such as this. Even so, the experience was mostly fun. As with Final Fantasy Adventure, there were some minor translation problems, but nothing to hinder the story, which is admittedly only alright; not one that is very well developed. There were many enraging moments throughout, but not enough to make either of us stop playing.  Monster Rancher Explorer is definitely worth a try if you are looking for a good Gameboy Color game. Even though I gave the game quite a bit of flak, it is still a lot of fun and the action-based stages may only be frustrating to us. 
 
This game again did result in my winning. However, Dan wasn't as far back this time. I believe he was about 9 stages behind me by the time I finished. I hope everyone who read this enjoyed it, and I hope to see you on the next one. Thanks.
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Race Roulette - Game & Watch Gallery


 The 'Manhole' minigame
I don't know a whole lot about this game, most of my knowledge of Game & Watch being from the Smash Bros. series. That being said, both Dan (Hyperzypherian) and I decided to play some of his earlier games. This was the second game that came out of our little Roulette game and by far will be the quickest. The game consisted of four minigames; Manhole, Octopus, Fire, and Oil Panic. All four games had both a modern and a classic mode; where modern had some of the more popular characters today paired with new backgrounds; classic consisting of the original Game & Watch. The best objective we could really think of for this game, as we hadn't thought it out before, was to just play each game in modern and classic mode once and the person with the highest score won.
 
By far, our favorite game from this collection was the Octopus games. Most games required you going as fast as you possibly could and everything getting faster as you went. That is, except Octopus. Although the fast-paced games can be fun for some audiences - and don't get me wrong, they were fun - we just both liked the Octopus minigame the best. You had to avoid the tentacles of the underwater menace, watching for the beginning movements of them, then grab the treasure and hightail it back to your boat. The fun part was you got to decide how much treasure you wanted, more making you slow down, and you got to keep going until you got hit by tentacles three times. 
 
Somehow, it ended up as a tie, with both of us getting 4 wins total. However, neither of us were competitive enough to want to create a tie breaker. This being the case, this game resulted in a tie.
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Race Roulette - Final Fantasy Adventure


Recently I started up a small competition with a friend of mine, Hyperzypherian, where we select a game that we both have and we add it to our little 'Race Roulette' board. Now that we've selected almost 30 games that we would be fine with playing, I start up random.org and let it do the deciding for us; as to not rule out any games that we may not pick up otherwise. The game is then played by both of us at the same time until completion. This week, and the first week of us having a machine do the picking for us, we got Final Fantasy Adventure.

Unlike what the title might lead you to believe, there is not much relation to the actual Final Fantasy series in this game. Other than a spell that turns you into a Moogle and that yellow bird that everyone seems to love, this is actually the first in the 'Secret of' or 'Seiken Denetsu' series; consisting of the ever-popular Secret of Mana. You play as the cliched 'hero' character and often find yourself having to save the 'girl.' Even so, there is an interesting story that can be picked out of the horrid translation. This series does also have a point where magic is hard to come by and you find yourself running out as there is hardly any weapon that can defeat some monsters. After that point, though, you will honestly find yourself with an inventory full of Ethers that won't be used. Everything gets a bit easier after about three-quarters through the game to where you can continue using cure and you won't have to worry about running out of magic.

Now, I feel like I'm giving the game a lot of criticism. In its roots, the game is decent. In fact, it was one of my favorite experiences for the original Gameboy. Although there are some weak points, yes, you will find yourself having fun with the original Zelda-style RPG. All enemies and bosses are in real time and there is a wide variety of weapons for you to use. Later on, some weapons also assist in puzzles that are found in- and outside of dungeons. Many elements of great Nintendo series can be found in this game. For what it was, this is a great experience to behold and a game worth buying for sure. I enjoyed almost every minute of the game, minus a few times where it was easy to be frustrated by the spells some of the enemies could cast. To put it bluntly, it's the type of game you want to save often in. If you die, you must return to where you last saved.

Throughout the entire game, I found myself being a few bosses ahead of Dan, my opponent. This being the case, I ended up beating him to the finish with 17 bosses between us. That's pretty substantial. So, this game ended with me winning.

Thank you to everyone who read up to this point and I hope to see you in future posts.

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