By Video_Game_King 12 Comments
(Wait, this game is in the Humble Indie Bundle?) Do I even have to say "and so goes another game in the Humble Indie Bundle"? I mean, most of you didn't even know that this was in a Bundle of any type (given that I had to add the page to the site and everything), and if we're being honest (I certainly am), it should have stayed that way. Why? Because like this blog, Jasper's Journeys is utterly lacking in any form of personality or ambition.
Hell, just look at the set-up: a witch steals this (particularly awesome (at least according to the game) wizard's cat. Now the wizard must rescue his cat. That's really it. I think it's what happens when you mash together Banjo Kazooie and that one part of The Sword in the Stone, and then shove it in a vacuum so as to extract all the memorable personality. It doesn't get much better when you actually get into the game. The music (at least when it appears, because most of this game is bleak silence) tends to blurt itself out slowly whenever you hear it, like it's just as bored with the game as you are. I'm not sure if it's because of the limited instrument set or the slow tempo, but for whatever reason, it just doesn't work. I'd say the same for the graphics, but they don't fail as bad as the music. Then again, they don't succeed too much. They're just there, making it questionable why I'm even mentioning them. But mention them I shall! Remember what I said about the limited instrument set just two lines ago? Well, the colors are limited, too. This isn't nearly as bad, as it's still a colorful game, something it likes to show in its surreal art style. You'll be fighting all types of weird enemies, like baby faces and flying stingrays and that nose guy from Action 52 and...no, wait, that's pretty much it. The rest is boiler plate fantasy junk.
But what's the actual game like? Exactly the same. Here's the basic premise of each level: jump through, hit enemies, end level. Not a terribly complex premise (as denoted by the word "basic" just above this), but it does get more complex when you add all types of keys and mini-levels within levels and several other things that don't change my opinion of it. Given the mood it projects and the general design (more on that in a minute), it comes across less like a game and more like a chore. Granted, there are some cool ideas in here, but they never really pan out. Want some quick momentum? Well, it's only in short bursts, making it a lamer version of a cheetah. But there's still a cool weapon system, right? True, your projectiles are subjected to the same physics you are (if (IF) you play this, you'll know what I mean), but that never comes up. It's mostly just largely ignorable power-ups and far more ammo than you'll ever need. But there's still....no, not much after that. Just a dull platformer you really wouldn't want to play. Of course, part of the problem is that it's harder than it need be. Why can I only save at inns, where I have to pay to save (because that's what people loved so damn much about Lunar: Eternal Blue, right)? Why is the only checkpoint in the game in the one area where it could potentially harm you? Why do the last few bosses absolutely demand power-ups you'll almost certainly lack? I guess what I'm saying is "fuck this game".
- Like an old school SNES game, but without any of the charm.
- No, that oughta do it.
Not as good (read: horrifically dark) as my desired SpongeBob death, but still pretty awesome.
Metal Slug Advance
(Man, that last game sucked.) I'd be thankful that I have it out of the way, but I really don't. (Plus it's not Thanksgiving.) Oh, I've beaten it and everything, but I can still remem-hey, look at that! A totally different game. Let's talk about that, shall we? Turns out it's Metal Slug Advance, a game I can't really bullshit my way through. Wait, why would I bother bullshitting my way through this? This game's awesome.
At first, I was going to start this off by telling you how Metal Slug this particular Metal Slug is, but now that I think about it, there are quite a few un-Metal Slug moments. For example, this. May not seem like much, but it comes off as a bit generic, at least given what the series is known for. Where's my Garbage Pail Kids-esque portrait? Oh, right: in the actual game...sort of. That's my clumsy way of saying that the rest of the game is Metal Slug as all hell. It looks exactly like a Neo Geo game (impressive for a GBA game, I guess), and it even has as much story as the previous games: it's the Vietnam War (I think), and you have to make sure that it stops being the Vietnam War. This involves, among other things, reporting to base and collecting cards. Wait, what? Why are those in this game? They don't add anything. Who the hell wants to collect cards in a shooting game? There are plenty of other games that do that, some on this very system. The base gets off better, but only because it's essentially a save system.
But don't worry, because this game still has tons and tons of shooting. Remember what I said about this being exactly the same as previous Metal Slug games? (If you don't, it's because I probably just said it and it's physically impossible to remember the present.) Well, a hallmark of the series has always been firing many bullets, and this game is no exception. Oh, the things you will shoot. I'd turn that into a Seuss-esque rhyme, but I'm not sure how you make a list rhyme. All I know is that you shoot paratroops, siege towers, electric balls, and so much more. And so much of it, too, since there can be a ton going on at any one point. Granted, part of that is because enemies regenerate whenever you leave the screen (I guess the game keeps forgetting that I killed them), but so what? That just means you actually have some motivation to redeadify them: they deserve it..................uh, I mean "to test out your new weapons." Of course. That's what I meant to say. Nothing new in terms of the series, but that doesn't mean you still don't get all the awesome weapons from before, like the laser and the rocket-propelled bad joke I know that you're going to make. Hell, you even get some vehicles a couple of times (even though they put that shit front and center in the title). So I guess what I'm saying is that this game knows how to shoot shit. OK, blog's ov-wait, what's that next paragraph doing here?
Oh yea, I just remembered this at the last minute: the game's kinda easy, mostly because of the changes made to the Metal Slug formula. You know, like adding a turbo button. I'd look like an idiot if I were to say "they shouldn't have added it", but to be honest, it really does make the game really easy. How is anything supposed to pose a threat when you can populate the screen with more bullets than frames? Add in a health bar (which I've just found out was a new addition to the series with this game), and there's no chance you'll ever die. Although it's not all so ridiculously easy. Remember, there can be a ton of shit going on at any one time, so if you're not paying attention (like I wasn't), that whole health advantage I spoke of earlier can disappear stupidly fast. This can be especially true of boss battles, where the bosses can respond to your bullets with just as many bullets. Wait, why was I criticizing this game again? It's awesome, isn't it?
- Looks like Metal Slug.
- Plays like Metal Slug.
- Is easy, unlike Metal Slug. (But makes up for that by being awesome like Metal Slug.)