By Video_Game_King 6 Comments
(But more about that at the end of this blog.) Like it says in the title. Warning: the results are shocking. Now then, onto the main event of the blog, and holy hell is it awesome! And by awesome, I mean big. First up is Einhander, a late 90's shooter made by Square. Square, the guys behind Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Adventure, Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, and Final Fantasy Tactics? Yep, the very same. And since it was on the PS1, they managed to sneak in a few CGI cutscenes. Honestly, did we really need them? There are only a few, and the graphics are already good as it is (lots of detail, decent animations, unique enemy design, etc.). Maybe for the story, but that's a big maybe. You play as Einhander, a ship caught in a war between the Moon and Earth. I liked the plot, given that you're a Moon shooter fighting the evil forces of the Earthicans, but the big plot twist that the moon men are evil pisses me off. I'd dismiss it as spreading horrible and untrue propaganda, but then I remembered something: NOBODY CARES ABOUT STORY IN SHOOTERS. All that really matters is the shooting, hence the title of the genre. So how is the shooting? Good, but the full potential is not realized. You can choose between three ships, each with their own distinct advantages. I chose the one that could hold a few weapons, but was stuck with a piece of crap peashooter. On the actual weapons, you can hold several at a time, depending on your ship. You have the vulcan, the wasp, the riot, and a bunch of other useless names (the only good one being cannon). None of them have any power-ups, but they do run out of ammo over time. Yea, you pick them up with more frequency than...something with high frequency, but keep in mind that you don't get any in boss battles, leaving you with a pea-shooter against Zog, Destroyer of Worlds. The only major change from other shooters is your arm, with very conspicuous Fruedian undertones. However, this doesn't really add much to the game; in theory you're supposed to shoot things above, behind, in front, below, slightly to your side, slightly not to your side, but only about two weapons actually change their behavior when you flip them with the arm. All others are EXACTLY THE SAME. If you think I hate the game, you're wrong. I like it, but it could've been sooooo much more. There was potential for a much better shooter, but the lack of power-ups really, really hurts the game. Sure, the graphics rock, but you only see it all within a few hours, and there's not much reason to go back. All that in mind, I give it the Mein Kampf Schadenfreude Herzog Zwei Award for Excellence in Randomly Choosing German Words for Your Own Purposes. That's what I do, I give games awards and things.
But very rarely do they actually deserve the awards, given that none of my awards ever make sense ever. However, the next game actually deserves an award because of how good it is (I'll devote a section to that later). The game is, of course, Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals. Now we all have best games ever and worst games ever, but not really most average games ever. I have one, and it is called Lufia & the Fortress of Doom. Absolutely nothing about this game stood out other than how amazingly average it was. Natsume discovered this, and decided to create a sequel that fixed everythiing. Thus was born Lufia Syndrome, a disorder that would later strike series such as Killzone and Breath of Fire. However, it also had a twin called Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, as I have already told you. The game starts off with the hero, Maxim, fighting monsters for pay. Lucky for him, there's an utter shitload of them swarming throughout the world of Estopolis. Rather than make enough money to earn the envy of local pimps, Maxim wants to figure out why there are so many of them, roping the hero into a world saving quest. The story itself is good, but not great; I feel like it could've gone into greater detail with all the events and locations and such. However, it does have many extremely memorable moments, like the big mid-game plot twist. I could spoil it, but I'll use an analogy. Imagine the ending to FF9. Now imagine the scene where Zidane is in the play and he casts off his robe. Now imagine him calling out Freya's name, running to her and embracing her in his arms instead of the Princess (now Queen). That's pretty much the huge Lufia II plot twist. Only with Lyn instead of Freya. Plus there's a fantastic ending, giving you reason to play past what you can tolerate (I don't know that, because I don't know you). Wow, look at all the space without mentioning gameplay. The battle system is more than the turn based exterior would lead you to believe. First, you have capsule monsters, little Pokemon-esque beings that evolve to higher levels when fed weapons and the lint in your pocket. Fine, they don't add much, given how they have the bravery of dogs, but the gesture is nice. There's also an IP system, and this works much better than the capsule monsters. They're like Limit Breaks, except you get more moves. One per piece of equipment, in fact. It's very interesting to screw around with new attacks and keep those that work. Besides, if you hate the move you're stuck with, just jam the weapon down a capsule monster's throat, they'll love it. However, the major part of this game is the dungeons. Each one contains about four or five puzzles to solve, and trust me when I tell you that they can be HARD. Don't be surprised if you run to an FAQ to find out how to solve that one puzzle you're stuck on. You'll have a few tools with you to solve each puzzle, and all of them (fire arrow excluded) are put to great and creative use. In addition, there's also a reset spell that costs nothing, meaning you can try over and over until you solve the puzzle. Add in the fact that you don't fight dungeon monsters until you touch them, and I think the game is in love with me, like that needy spouse who serves you breakfast in bed on your day off. This game is the very definition of a classic: it shows its age, but who gives a crap? That doesn't hinder it in any way, nor does it stop it from aging well. So I give it the Lower Top 20 Award. But wait, Dragon Quest IV is also there. Oh no, which gets the top spot? I know I haven't done this in a long time, but RPG BATTLE!!! First up, protagonists:
Maxim, a hardened combat badass
Noname, a silent cliche
OK, Lufia wins the first round. How about their most embarrassing moments, huh?
Ripping off FF5
Ouch. Again, gotta hand it to Lufia. This is getting a bit huge. How about one Dragon Quest can win, hm? Their biggest flaws:
EXTREME GRAPHICAL GLITCHINESS.
The incredibly hard final boss.
Lufia wins, 2-1! It gets the coveted #11 spot on my list. DW4, you go to 12. Now this is not the end of the blog! Oh, no, I have a bit more for you guys. You're probably wondering why I look different, don't you? Well, another makeover. Let's go into detail about each and every little change, shall we?
Well, there I am. Yep, that's me in the center, and the Chaos Emeralds surround me for no fucking reason. YAY, SWEARS! Moving on, what's with the crown? Go ahead, ask. *twiddles thumbs*
This one is a bit...random. I have transformed into Cloud Strife from Advent Children, and have been chased by dinosaurs. I was sent back in time, and must kill dinosaurs until I CREATE history. Oddly enough, it is very hard to find dinosaur sprites. I like the background, though. I did a good job with that.
Background....OK, I didn't do this one, but that's because I'm confused on what resolution to choose. If anybody can tell me the ideal resolution, then I'll do it.
Well, I ended this blog adbruptly. Might as well start something else. No, not THAT. I was thinking two more video game reviews. After all, I just beat two more games. The first is Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, because Konami thought they could make their previous N64 Castlevania better by adding werewolves. Thanks for missing the point, Konami! However, there are other changes, like being able to PLAY as a werewolf. You play as Cornell, who ties with Sephiroth for the most prominent homosexual game character in video game history. Why? Well, besides looking at him, the guy skips. I automatically win that argument. Another argument: this game is unoriginal. It rips off both Zelda and Resident Evil, taking place in a medieval mansion filled with horror movie cliches AND a stupid female character who needs to be save from an old fart who never dies. The game even goes so far as to rip off the hallway in the original RE where you saw your first Crimson Head. But this is kinda beside the point (which, as I alluded to earlier, Konami missed). How does it play? Well, there's a good game here, but it's buried under several problems. For example, the combat sucks. Unlike the Belmonts, Cornell throws energy...spikes at his foes. It works better than a whip, but perhaps a bit too well. He doesn't need his claw attack (yes, he has a claw attack) or the traditional sub-weapons, since everything dies with a few whacks of your energy spikes. And it's not even normal enemies who die that easily, as most of the bosses are pathetic. Jump around like an idiot and throw spikes at them until they die. Dracula has a bit more strategy, but he's the final boss, so why should I give a crap at this point? Speaking of enemies, why are there skeletons on motorcycles, the game is set in 1844! Back to the game, control is also a bit of an issue. In order to pick things up, you have to press a button, rather than just walk over it. Any game that commits this crime automatically gets 3 points knocked off its score, and things don't get better from there. The graphics aren't that good (as you've already seen) and the combat is imperfect (as I've already mentioned), but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Too bad you can never reach it. The point I'm trying to make is that there's a good game to be had underneath all the flaws. I can imagine having fun with this game's mechanics if not for the myriad of flaws. So I give it the Whatever the Hell the Opposite of a Polished Turd is Award.
Unfortunately, the next game does not have the benefit of being good beneath the flaws. The next game? Final Fight 2. Set after the first game (obviously), you play as Haggar and two other characters you've never heard of, all three on a quest to save Guy's mother's aunt's cousin's nephew's doctor's regular pizza delivery guy. So is there any urgency to their quest? I guess there is, but I don't know. Anyway, the first (and only) improvement over the last game is the setting: rather than being limited to a very crime ridden California beachside city, you travel all over the world, by which I mean Eurasia. All the stages are based on then-national-stereotypes, like Hong Kong being set in a karate movie, or Holland being a war-torn hellhole. You go from Hong Kong to Holland and back, beating up baddies in exactly the same way as before. I mean that literally, as almost nothing has changed from the last game. Sure, you get to choose between three characters this time (Guy and Cody replaced by Maki and Navarre from Mystery of the Emblem), but that doesn't change much, does it? You still beat up thugs until a giant arrow tells you to go somewhere else, repeating the process when the screen refuses to move forward. And the actual beating-up is still very, very repetitive. You only get one move and not a lot of weapons, and almost all the enemies can be killed with turbo punches. Then again, what did you expect? This is Capcom, the same company that thought the remedy to rehashing Mega Man game after Mega Man game with no changes was to do the same thing on the SNES, but with an X slapped on the end. And don't think that I'm saying this just because it's Capcom. Besides the lack of change I mentioned earlier, Final Fight 2 also ends the same way its predecessor did, right down to the big bad guy being pushed out of a window to his deaht. The game's also short and the characters play the same, so I don't know if that's a blessing or a curse. Other than that, there isn't much to say about the game. Seriously, I have nothing to say! The graphics remind me a bit of Street Fighter II, but that's it! I can't remember much about it, so I-oh, wait, that's something! The game isn't that memorable! That's something, right?...Anyway, I give it the Unfortunately Short Review Award.
And now, the big surprise I promised you. It may come as shocking: I'm joining Giant Bomb. Like a lot of you, I am a refugee from the GameSpot Badlands. However, unlike the rest of you, I ran away with some running away music. Bitchin', no? Now I know that some of my former GameSpot friends will most likely convince me to move back, but I've made up my mind! Hell, I've already started unpacking, finding out that there are several improvements here, like custom lists (even if a few games are missing), a competent review system, and a trivia system that proves how kingly I am. For all my GameSpot friends who will try to persuade me otherwise, too late. I've already started moving in, covering all m-
Huh? What do you mean, "rest of us"? I thought it was just the moustache babies who were unpacking.
Writey Guy said:
AH! How the hell did you get in here?
Yea, but because their necks snap whenever they try to carry, well, anything, all the characters in this blog had no choice but to carry your crap in here. Including me.
Writey Guy said:
What, you mean the front door?
The door, obviously.
Writey Guy said:
No, the other door.
So is there anybody else unpacking my crap that I need to know about?
What, physical labor is beneath Don Freakin' Mario?
I guess you can count me.
Don Mario said:
Look, there's only one guy who can pass that rule off, and I don't obey that one, either!
And I would prefer that you not use my name in vain.
Don Mario said:
....Yea, I guess. *transforms into Ryu Hayabusa* Keep in mind the Ninja Jesus ancestry part. It's on a plaque over the fireplace. *gets into fight with Don Mario, gets shot in kneecap* Hey, no guns! *rubs first aid kit on wound until it heals* There we are. *gets back to fight, transforming all over the place frantically*
Is that a challenge?