By Video_Game_King 27 Comments
Sega Smash Pack( I guess this explains why it took so long for this blog to come.) Why I chose this game, however, requires explanation. Short answer: wiki points for that stupid quest. Long answer: I'm not giving you a long answer, so shut the hell up. I will, however, give you a long blog that should be twice the size of all my other blogs. I realize that I just lost about 200% of my readers with that last sentence, so I'll just get to the blog part before I-wait, there goes the last reader. Shit.
Ecco the Dolphin( Hey, anybody remember my Comix Zone blog?) You know, where I replayed an old Genesis game that I don't remember liking, just for the sake of regaining my opinion of the game? Turns out I did it again, because myself from the past never bothers telling me what the hell he thinks about games. Instead, the bastard bores me with philosophical debates, much like Ecco does, only without anything philosophical. (Atlantis doesn't count; it never counted.)
To be fair to the game (for the only time, because that's all it deserves), it at least tries to be exciting. Hell, jump high enough in the first level, and aliens will come out of nowhere and sucks up everything. The rest of the game is just Ecco traveling the world in search of something just as awesome, but he never gets close to that level of cool. All he finds are useless whales, pterodactyls with no anti-aliasing, a DNA helix (somehow), and a time machine that only works for dolphins, for some reason. If you're already calling out the plot as completely stupid, then congrats, because you figured it out faster than I did. It took me about three crystals explaining how aliens were hungry for some dolphin meat every 500 years (apparently, they can't wait 1000 years, like every other monster ever), but you were able to figure it out by the second paragraph. Since you're so smart, wanna tell me how it ends? Leprechaun rap battles? As random as that is, the ending's more disappointing than that: you navigate an apparently-water-filled UFO to a boss you have to fight twice because of how glitched the game is.
Again, being fair: only the end is glitched, and it oddly makes the game exciting. Besides the double-boss twist ending, you also get barriers that do the exact opposite of what barriers are supposed to do, and maps that look like they were actually designed by dolphins. Oh, I forgot to mention that there are maps in this game, something not everybody who plays the game knows. I imagine that if they did, everybody would still think that the game is a boring piece of crap. The point of every level (except the two final bosses) is to get from A to B, which usually means you either mindlessly wander around until you find out how to advance, or, if you're smart (you're not), open up a map online. It's not like the in-game maps are much help, since they were designed by dolphins. Oddly enough, the levels themselves weren't designed by dolphins; instead, they were designed by sociopaths. Not good at jumping? Let's make you leap about 200 feet into the air to pass this huge barrier. Oh, and once you get past it, slowly navigate this jellyfish-infested cavern, air being supplied about five minutes after you need it. Good thing the game has infinite continues (and somewhat weird checkpointing), because they're the one thing that keep this game boring.
Who the hell thought playing as a dolphin would be fun? Wait, you can kill things with your sonar? When? I only saw that ability near the end, when I was shooting at aliens and dying at the hands of screwed up screen scrolling. My only other defense was ramming my nose into enemies, at which point it was made abundantly clear who was going to die. Usually, it's you, because you're a dolphin, you idiot. So unless you like being the only dolphin that refuses to hump people, you're only going to use that nose-butt your foes in a manner more awkward than that damn picture. You can also use it to breach, but for whatever reason, the game never really wanted me doing it like that, since you can't line up jumps in barely enough water to fill up a kiddy pool. Usually, this is the point where I list at least ONE redeeming quality about the game, but it's kinda hard to think of one. Name me a redeeming quality of the game, and I will tell you about how every language in the world was specifically designed to prevent people from praising Ecco. So if you like this game, that makes you Cthulhu. Oddly, that makes perfect sense. I can't give an award to this game, so I'll give you the Lewis Carroll Award and hope that you and the other Great Old Ones can give this to Ecco, at some point.
- This is a boring game.
- This is a somewhat hard game.
- This is a game that knows a bit too much about dolphins.
Golden Axe( The title of this game reminds me of two things.) Notice how I didn't say that the game reminds me of two things (it's only one thing); first, I need to get on that Golden Sun thing before the 3DS comes out and people start yelling at me for not having played Golden Sun. Second, Golden Axe Warrior was a piece of shit. It was like somebody said "let's make The Legend of Zelda, only worse." That's the only way you can consider Golden Axe Warrior a success. OK, there's one other way: if, somehow, you confuse the crap Zelda clone for the actually decent beat-em-up that rips off Conan the Barbobrien.
Granted, I've never seen Conan the Barbarian, but I think it made itself pretty obvious when a huge skeleton gave me a choice between a walking advertisement for steroids, a character from The Lost Vikings, and a woman with an S&M fetish and very lucky timing. I decided to go with the one character who would make me horny (I like an added challenge), even though it has no bearing on how the game plays out. You'll still journey across the land to rescue the king (apparently, somebody knows how basic monarchies work) and princess from the evil Death Adder. On that subject, why's he called Death Adder? All adders are deadly, right? So why not just call the dude Adder? Granted, he's not a giant snake capable of mildly poisoning people, but that's even more reason the dude should've been called Adder! I realize that I've gone into too much detail on the name of a guy you only see once, but what else am I gonna make fun of? The giant eagle with a stone back? The lack of gold and axes? Those fucking gnomes? Wait, this a game? OK, I can make fun of the hell out of that.
OK, I can't. All you do is walk right and mash the attack button until the Golden Finger of God (God's got sword fingers, because he's a fancier version of Wolverine) points you in the same direction you've been walking in for the past nine dead guys. OK, so there's this one moment where you walk down, but it changes nothing. Enemies still die (or sandwich you to death, if you weren't smart enough to take a corner), and the Golden Finger of God refuses to point in another direction or change the difficulty ever. You'd think that I'd bash the game for reasons you can clearly discern, but that's assuming that you think. I like the game, so you don't, somehow. I know that it's simple and repetitive, much like Beavis and Butthead, but there's something oddly satisfying about slashing through a bunch of bad guys, only to be rewarded with more bad guys. Also, the bonus levels consist solely of beating the shit out of those fucking gnomes (that is the only way I can refer to them). This needs no explanation. Hell, you can even bring a friend into the fucking gnome bashing, because 1 vs 1 is just plain unfair in fucking gnome fights. It's still unfair, though, since you can't bring dragons into these fights.
I forgot to mention that the game has dragon things you can ride, probably because this is the first thing everybody mentions whenever they talk about the game. I also forgot why people talk about it so much, since it doesn't really change the game at all. OK, so now I'm on top of an oddly creationist lizard, but I still have to get into an enemy's face to whack them. Even the best case scenario only allows me to shoot at my enemies, which I think is something you can achieve with magic. The only thing I know about magic is that you beat up those fucking gnomes for their magic potions. Collect enough of them, and a dragon will rain fiery wrath upon your foes for a few seconds. Sounds cool, but for whatever reason, dragon magic is about as powerful as kitten farts (I am not Photoshopping a picture of that), meaning you'll usually stick to the "more powerful than kitten farts" (this should be in every form of advertising) sword swipes. Hell, that's what I did, and the game didn't yell at me for it. Then again, it's not Altered Beast, so it can't exactly yell. And I can't yell at it, because it's one of the few games that made me use the phrase "more powerful than kitten farts", which is why I give it the More Powerful than Kitten Farts Award. Did you know that over 1000 people a year die from the horror of kitten farts? When will the madness end? WHEN!?
- Mash the attack button until you get an ending. Somehow, this is good.
- You can try other things, but it's not like you'll get anything out of it.
- The game, sadly, does not end with a fight against a huge snake.
Sonic Spinball( I assume that you can hear this music, so I'm not gonna ask if you can hear it.) I'm also going to assume that you've never played Sega Smash Pack, so let me explain that that song NEVER STOPS PLAYING. OK, it stops playing once: in the silent mini-game sections. Other than that, it's that same stupid song for the entire game. Hell, I'm getting tired of it right now. * changes music* There. Now I can talk about the game without being angry.
*notices Sonic going full Ouroboros on himself* Even before you play the game, its sole mission in life is to piss me off. Depending on your perspective, the game either is or isn't about Sonic sucking his own dick, but while he's doing that, maybe, he has to beat Eggman and retrieve the 16 Chaos Emeralds he's using to conquer the world, somehow. It's not like the other games, where you actually see him using the damn things; for all we know, he's trying to make a wedding ring for this girl he's known for 2 years, and Sonic is just an asshole (more on that later, though). Wait, did I say that there are 16 Chaos Emeralds? There are only 7 of the things, and even adding the Master Emerald and Super Emeralds, I get a number that doesn't make sense, since Sonic 3 was released two years after Spinball. The only other conclusion I can come to is that Sonic is an incompetent asshole who drops the Chaos Emeralds about five feet outside Eggman's fortress, and it takes him an entire mini-game to find out how stupid he is. Then again, this was made by Sega of America, so that probably explains all the problems with this game.
OK, not all the problems with the game, since the GBA covers that area nicely. Remember the screen scrolling issues from that dolphin game? Now put them in a pinball game. In case that doesn't suck enough, get rid of half the music, and make it sound like a robot being assaulted by another robot by Genesis standards. Congratulations! You've ruined a decent Genesis game! Hold on, how did I get this far without mentioning anything gameplay related? I know that it's a pinball game, but there's more to it than that! You have to activate certain crap in each level, collect too many Chaos Emeralds, and bash Eggman in his bald face. All of this requires either the precision of a robot sniper ninja or enough luck to win lotteries you didn't enter. I'm leaning more toward luck, since even if you match the timing exactly on each swing, momentum is there to guarantee that you'll never get where you want to go, at least intentionally. I know that pinball has this problem, too, but I'm able to tolerate it in pinball because I'm supposed to rack up points in pinball; in Spinball, I'm supposed to collect things and go places, not continually get the "Turned on all of Eggman's Lights" bonus I get for bumping into every other switch in sight.
I'd probably say that confusion is the name of the game, but we all know that the name of the game is Sonic Spinball, a game more confusing than this sentence. Once you get out of the first level, the maps start getting ridiculously complex. Once you get to the final level, the game becomes a confusing mess, where just about anything can happen. And by anything, I mean ANYTHING. You'll bounce off invisible lava eruption rock things, or get windsocked straight into a lava pit of death. Speaking of which, prepare to become good friends with the Reaper, since Spinball loves killing you so much that it'll spit out extra lives at random, just so it has more opportunities to kill you. I wish that was a joke. Fuck up in a boss battle, and one of two things will happen: you'll fall back onto the board, or to your death. It's already hard enough to bash his brains in while random robo-chickens fuck up my carefully executed plans, and now you tell me to start all over again if I land in those death pipes to the side? I really want to like you, Spinball, but it's kinda hard when you're pulling crap like this. That's why I give it the Proctology Award: because it's pulling crap like this. If you feel bad for clicking, imagine how I feel for having to search for that pic. You can't.
- Like actual pinball, a lot of it is up to luck.
- The levels are more confusing than LSD should have been.
- The mini-games are pretty good, I guess.
Eh, Butt Plug Mustache Barbie still isn't as bad as the older "Texture Bumps on my Crotch and Ass Due to a Weird Combination of Shaving and Genital/Ass Warts" Barbie. I'd show you a picture, but I'm sure that Googling "Naked Barbie" is the only step necessary to complete your pedophile application.
Strider( Wait, this a new game for me?) But I've already beaten Strider. Oh, wait, this is the NES version. I'd say that it's not as good as the Genesis version, and even though it's true, I'm not gonna say it. Wait.....damn it. OK, so it isn't as good as the Genesis version, but there's more to it than that. Since it came out before the Genesis version (I think), that means that it's better than the NES version. Trust me, there is a difference, somehow.
I realize how confusing that sentence was: it's like Strider. Both versions. If you think that the Russian Congress transforming into a robot dragon makes sense, please point me to the pills you take that allow you to believe that Russia makes sense. Granted, you'll never see that in the game, but that's the only thing about the game that made any sense. ironically. All I understand is that some dude named Kain got captured, and you're supposed to kill him. Strider Man questions this, and so will you. Also, there's something about Yugadesiral, and tunnels linking Australia and Africa, or something. Plus there's some Engrish, as if it wasn't confusing enough. I don't have any jokes for any of that, it's just confusing. And not like FF12 or those two Russian cartoons, where I can kinda make something out from all of it; it's more like nothing, because there's nothing more confusing than the NES version of Strider. That's why I-not now. There's still a lot more to be done.
Like explaining how the game works. You start off in Scrooge McDuck's computer room, ready to choose a level. More often than not, it's gonna be Kazakhstan, since Strider Man apparently has this thing for watching ugly naked dudes wrestling over who gets Pamela Anderson. That's gotta be the only reason anybody would visit Kazakhstan. There's nothing else of value there, which probably explains why Capcom decided to make half the necessary items lead back to this one area. I'm being advised that right now would be a good time to explain how Metroid-y the game is. Personally, I thought that midway through the Spinball part would be better, but whatever. You choose a level, find places you can't access yet, find items that allow you to access those areas, and then proceed in one of two ways: use the item, or sequence break the hell out of the game as early as the first level. Unfortunately, sequence breaking (along with the game itself) usually requires you to wall jump a billion times, and wall jumping is a lot like Sonic Spinball. Do I have to explain it? It's right above you, you lazy bastard!
So unless you know how to slow down time to 1/60th regular speed, you're gonna need a walkthrough just to figure out where to go and when. I know that there are discs in the game to guide you in the right direction, and while they do tell you where to go, they don't exactly tell you what to do when you get there. Yes, it's nitpicky, but I'm holding it against the game that Strider Man (yes, I know his name is Hiryu, shut up) is water soluble. Jump into the water without your Jesus boots, and you'll be dead in half a second. The same thing seems to happen when you touch enemies, so I'm forced to assume that the enemies are made of water. How else can that explain the enemies dying so easily? A few slashes, maybe a jump, and they're dead. Even the Captain-Planet-friendly bosses die after about five hits from your blade. The only exception I found was this one guy near the end, where you have to hit him with your useless lightning rod weapon and then your sword. I'd mention that there's magic to use, but you're only going to use it when you remember that there are three healing spells, and only if you're the type of idiot who just walks through enemies and obstacles. Anything else to say? Oh, one more thing: if you've been playing along at home with your copy of Strider, chances are you've beaten it by now. How you can beat a game you're not looking at is kinda confusing. Award.
- There's a story, maybe. I don't know.
- Progressing through the game requires trained use of the Guess and Check Tactics.
- Combat's just slashy. That's it.