Check out the manual's explanation of the story and character bios for Super Mario Bros. 2. If you thought the game itself was blasphemously non-canon, wait'll you read some of that stuff. I forget the details right now, I really need to brush up on my hard-Nintendo facts.
ShawnS's forum posts
So there was some browser-based, user generated 3D platformer that I know I looked into last year that had some weird connection to Disney. I can't find the details now but I could see that tech folding into Infinity at some point. It looked very easy to build and script 3D platforming levels it just didn't have as catchy a style as a Disney mash-up.
@Mento: Thanks! And congrats to you on Rayman, I could not bring myself to even finish it, let alone aim for a Platinum! I've been having problems with my wrists and gaming in particular so motion control stuff has been a tolerable way to keep playing games but not always with my hands wrapped around a controller. I definitely had the time on this one to keep hammering at S Ranks and hidden pickups. I go back and forth with Achievements, I had notifications turned off through Dust but then went right back in to clean up the ones I missed.
It could be a pretty neat way to give you non-combat stuff to work on between DLC and while working on some post-ending quest stuff. It'd be neat if it took days or weeks (or longer) for the house to get finished or if it required scavenging for "ingredients" and supplies to speed up the process. I like that kinda stuff.
I just got the game recently for about $3 and at that price it is definitely a good bit of fun. It really, really, really should've been a downloadable from the start. It would've helped the load times and the just-one-quick-run approachability. The controls are screwy and maybe not so natural but once you do get hold of things it can be pretty technical and rewarding to pull off a flawless run. Just throwing in my thoughts since I finally got around to finishing the game.
Even at the height of my Achievement hunting madness I was never terribly determined to “get them all” on any one game. It was cool if I could but usually there’s at least one multiplayer or time trial type Achievement that I know I’ll just never get. So it surprised even me that I’ve been so determined to “S Rank” Kung Fu Rider on PlayStation 3. There’s also something to be said about 100% completing a motion controlled game. More than quick witted thumb work, this took actual physical dexterity and endurance; it’s kind of a sloppy game to play and one that can quickly wear out your waggle arm. Looking at Raptr and Giant Bomb data it’s one that a lot of people have clearly given up on — so, yeah — I’m pretty proud of myself.
Mostly it was the CHAIRMASTER and MEDAL COLLECTOR trophies that I was afraid I’d never see. According to Raptr less than one half of one percent of players have ever gotten them to date. That’s the territory I usually never have the stamina, dedication or attention span to make it into. As flaky as the controls can be the game makes no consolations when it comes to scoring. Getting an S Rank on every stage requires a nearly flawless run and a high combo. The game is constantly throwing things at you to knock you off your seat but as I’ve played I’ve come to anticipate, improvise and overcome. After so many games that call it ‘close enough’ and let you pass it felt good to be challenged again, physically and mentally.
It also felt good (for the most part) to go easter egg hunting in a big open environment again. I haven’t seriously undertaken that task since Crackdown 2, only Kung Fu Rider doesn’t want you to find its hidden tchotchkes. There’s no rumbling tone when you get near one and there’s not much distinction between them and the hundreds of other colorful, spinning things around the city. Tracking down all 120 medals helped me get those S Rank scores, too, as I found new paths through the city I’d never taken the time to explore before. It was getting pretty maddening once I got down to the last two or three medals. Rounding a corner on a rooftop I swore I’d already explored and seeing the final medal felt glorious.
A few seconds later and I got my final *g’ling* and was done with the game but, wait, there are other people out there who can’t find all the medals. Surprisingly, there’s not a single walkthrough, map, or YouTube video on the entire internet with the answers. Hmmm, that’s a niche that’s right up my alley. Maybe I’m not quite done with Kung Fu Rider afterall…
Achieving: Tales of Pointless Self Reward in Games retold in brief posts whenever we feel like it.
The internet age doesn't need dead tree magazines, and the end of Nintendo Power is no loss to anybody but the nostalgic.
I was going to post this as an actual review but it seems you can't review a game without a domestic release so... to the blogs we go!
Dinosaur Hunting has been something of a passion project for me. I was enamored with it as soon as the preview coverage started in 2002 and only grew more excited as it was announced for a U.S. release and subsequently delayed out of existence alongside Western publisher Metro 3D. By 2006 I had found a copy of it but was stumped by the Japanese text and distracted by the shiny new Xbox 360. It’s not as impenetrably Japanese as a dating sim but the text is important enough that it took creating a full-on Youtube playthrough series for me to finally understand the game and finish it.
The story is so loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’ that one of the hunters is an author named... Sir Arthur. Locked away from the world on the cliffs of the French Guiana, it’s discovered that the area has become unstable and a pair of European Lords are determined to keep the dinosaurs from going extinct again. Their first attempt results in hundreds of dead scientists but puts a lot of convenient gear and tips in place for the B team; a group of four international hunters who are tasked with tranquilizing as many animals as possible in eight days. The story spins off into wonderful anime-meets-Scooby-Doo territory from there, told through several cutscenes which contain practically the only English in the game.
Somewhere between Cabela’s and Turok, the game wants you to methodically scour the environment for clues to take down each animal in a single shot but it isn’t afraid of making raptors jump out of the foliage at you. You’ve got a pistol, shotgun and rifle that all fire tranquilizer rounds (yes, a tranquilizing shotgun!) and have their specific uses but the rifle is the key. By examining footprints, broken trees, dead bodies and gargantuan piles of poo you’ll piece together each creature's color-coded formula. Red, Green, and Blue ingredients can be manually mixed at any time and sometimes you’ll only have part of the formula to work with. It’s a well designed system that puts a lot of importance on each shot and makes you feel like you’re doing a little bit of science. Nailing each of the bigger animals in a single, 100% shot is what gets you the most money which is then used to buy ammo, health items, flashbangs and to reinvest in more RGB ingredients.
What initially stopped me is that I was playing the game like the third-person shooter it appears to be. You can run up on a Stegosaur and unload your shotgun in its face until it falls asleep but you’ll soon run out of cash to buy more ammo. I eventually wound up without enough ammo, ingredients or understanding to finish the game after a hard save. The voice plate recordings you find and the constant radio chatter from the other hunters provide enough tips to play efficiently if you can read Japanese. For me, it took plotting out each stage’s events and replaying several times. Despite that repetition and a few quibbles with the early-2000’s control I was still thrilled to explore each stage and see what was coming next.
The developers wanted to put their own creative spin on the debate over what dinosaurs looked like and it shows. There are three classes of raptor-sized dinos each brighter, more feather-covered and more vicious than the last. The gargantuan Ankylosaurus defend themselves by somersaulting towards you and the Ouranosaurus’ unique hump apparently housed its Predator-style active camo. There are also a number of secret extinct animals to find like the dodo, moa, saber-toothed tiger, and the questionably-extinct Barbary lion. While the visuals are obviously lacking the detail and fidelity of modern games the animation and scale of its inhabitants mostly keep it as thrilling to look at as the first time I saw it.
This is where I’d tell you that ‘if you’re a fan of dinosaurs or peculiar Japanese games you owe it to yourself to track down this lost gem on closeout at GameStop or Amazon’. But in a tragic turn for localized releases it is now infinitely harder to find, way more expensive than you’d like to pay and tougher to play than it should be. To save you all that hassle you can get most of the experience -- the dinosaurs, the hunting, the cultural stereotypes and epic guitar rock -- thanks to the years I’ve spent with the game. Not to sound too much like a self indulgent ad but since I can’t really recommend you play it for yourself it’s the next best chance anyone has to experience yet another of my quirky, oddball favorites.
Turns out that really bizarre, highly Ouendan-inspired iOS game from E3, Demons' Score, is actually from iNiS! So they're finally back to story-based, oddball, music-matching gameplay! It doesn't look to have the heart of GitarooMan or Ouendan (from the very little I've seen so far) but it still looks like fun and WAY better than karaoke stuff.
Just added Demons' Score as Demon's Score, totally forgetting the current popular naming convention. I'd feel 100% less stupid if that could be changed to Demons' Score. Thanks!