By Video_Game_King 24 Comments
Guilty Gear X Advance Edition( Surprisingly, this was supposed to be a Halloween blog.) First came Splatterhouse on the NES, which would have fulfilled the cute/scary requirement of the holiday had it ran properly. Unfortunately, it didn't, and I think it's been talking to my other games, since AAAHH Real Monsters froze whenever the hell it felt like. So I instead decided to go with a game that's kinda goth, metal, and really bad.....Oooooohhhhhhhhh......Yea, I know, poor substitute.
However, if I were to say one positive thing about the game, that would be that it's at least honest. You know how other fighting games have some semblance of a story? Guilty Gear X Advance throws that out the window and decides that the story's just a bunch of anime characters beating the shit out of each other to metal songs. So it's like the ending to any Metalocalypse episode, only more anime. So it's like this, only in reverse. You know how most Metalocalypse episodes spend a lot of their time with plot and end in some type of blood orgy out of nowhere? Guilty Gear X reverses that, starting with the fights and giving you an ending straight out of nowhere, explaining nothing. Why am I fighting a clone of myself? Why is this game ripping off Bleach? And what the hell does any of this mean? At least Guilty Gear 1 bothered to explain what was going on, even if it was equally confusing (time-traveling fighters stop Gears, which are like robots, only evil, somehow); X Advance (I'm gonna hate that abbreviation) just throws you in, never bothering to explain anything.
I'm guessing that's because there's not much to explain, but I'm still holding that against the game; I just don't like it. *realizes all the problems with that sentence, including lack of transition* Crap! OK, actual fighting mechanics. Can you play any other fighting game? No? Well, the one thing it does explain is moves, so now you can play fighting games, kinda. So now can you play any other fighting game? Good, because Guilty Gear X is just like that. It's just any other fighting game. You have Hadoukens, a meter that you're supposed to fill up to use special moves, another meter you keep from going down or else it's an automatic loss, and that's about it. If you want originality, go back to your Super Smash Bros. and your Evil Zones; Guilty Gear X is about stringing together moves into combos and stuff. Don't believe me? Play the game, and start mashing buttons. I know that that's a valid strategy in many fighting games, but Guilty Gear X takes it to new extremes, obviously signaling when you can combo, counting kicking somebody when they're down as part of a combo instead of a dick move, and making sure that the computer AI was programmed by Mahatma Gandhi. Beat them up all you want, they're not gonna fight back. They'll block a bit, but that doesn't help them much. Their only advantage is that special ultra whatever moves can't be used to kill them, for whatever dumb reason.
The only good thing I can say is that the cast is balanced...in that they all have about the same ability to beat the piss out of each other without resistance. Wait, that's two good things. I need to balance this out with a really bad thing! Oh, I know! Look at the game. LOOK AT IT! Holy hell, that sucks. OK, so the characters themselves look good enough (although they could be better), but the backgrounds are just awful. Do I need to say it? I do? God, you're stupid. Those backgrounds look like the crap that was too washed out for the Amiga. It gets especially bad when you look at the one background that's just red with some minor details; it gets especially especially bad if you have the sound on. I'd probably describe the music like I did the graphics, but it's too bad to permit me to do that, so I'll just leave it at "it sucks both by Guilty Gear and GBA standards." I'd say that about the game, since I have nothing left to say about it, either, but I can't just end there, can I? I haven't even given it an award. Speaking of which, Creepiest Fighting Character Award, because it has Faust. What's Faust, you ask? This seven-foot tall weirdo who travels onto the field with an umbrella, can shift dimensions, and is all around weird, even by video game standards. Now let's recap: doctor who flies from place to place with an umbrella, named after a German who made a deal with the devil. Who does that sound like? Damn, I'm glad they left the bag o-
Oh, it's you. I no longer need fear you, Aborted Chicken Freak. You see, I have found a greater power to end you. FAUST!
Finish him. * turns on music, realizes that Faust also has the voice of Psycho Mantis, waits for problem to finish itself*
- Looks/sounds like crap.
- Usually, fighting games try to avoid looking like button mashers; Guilty Gear X Advance dives headfirst into button mashing.
- Why does Faust have arm hair? And why am I trying to figure it out?
Joining my long-running competition for Weirdest Asian Country is an underdog: Britain. They're probably the underdog because they're not actually Asian, but man, are they trying. Weirdest part? It's weirder IN context.
Ecco: The Tides of Time( Wow, what an oddly perfect transition into this game.) Granted, Ecco the Dolphin never had any blood in it, but....wait, why doesn't Ecco have blood in it? Imagine how much more awesome the game would be if Ecco was a bloodthirsty dolphin. Hell, The Simpsons realized this, and that was so awesome that I couldn't find it anywhere; it's TOO GOOD for the Internet. Compare this to The Tides of Time: I could find it on the Internet, so it is not awesome. It tries to be, but it isn't. Try harder, Ecco.
Wait, lemme rethink that....Don't try harder, Ecco. You're already trying hard enough. Remember the first game, where you played as a dolphin who had to stop aliens from eating other dolphins, and there was also time travel and some DNA thing you fought? Remember how none of that made any sense? The writers sure as hell didn't, because Tides of Time is somehow more confusing than the original. The aliens are back via the oddities of alternate timelines, and they're not too happy that you fucked up their plans. They kill your DNA buddy, take away your powers (although I'm pretty sure that was just the designers not realizing people don't like coming up for air), and do stuff. It's up to you to stop that stuff by traveling to the future, for some reason, and putting that DNA thing back together. Nothing can be said to explain any of this, which probably explains the ending. Something I forgot to mention is that you're also supposed to destroy a time machine to prevent all this from happening, but you kinda forget to in the end. Even the game's story can't remember what it's about!
Then again, it kinda does. Notice, for example, that it isn't "Ecco the Dolphin: The Tides of Time", but just "Ecco: The Tides of Time." That's right: you no longer play as only a dolphin. OK, you're still gonna spend the majority of the game leaping out of the water to hump things (I am not making this up, you can actually hump things in this game), but the point is that you have more options, ranging from sharks and birds to jellyfish and schools of fish. As you can tell from that complete list, it's kinda hit or miss with the actual level of fun, but why am I complaining right now? You can play as a shark in this game! You know, like how it should've been in the first place. In fact, if you took out all the Ecco parts of Ecco the Dolphin, I could use that sentence to describe The Tides of Time, given the better graphics, music, and everything else. Hey, look at that: I referred to it only as "The Tides of Time." We're one step closer. Another step: make the puzzles make sense. If I'm gonna search for the solution to a puzzle, make it something like "get the oil company to drill RIGHT HERE", not "feed a dolphin dick a very specific fish." I'd tell them to get rid of puzzles altogether, but it's hard to imagine a fun game centered around dolphins, and you know how lazy I am. That's why I let them imagine such a game.
And to be fair, they came kinda close with it. Ignoring the ability to transform into other animals, because I thought we agreed to treat this as a dolphin-only game for the sake of argument, the game still has a lot of variety to distract you from the fact that you're playing Ecco the Dolphin. Granted, it never bothers explaining any of these new things, like that fish thing, but the point is that you won't think that you're playing an Ecco game. Trust me, you don't want to know that you're playing Ecco, because Ecco sucks. You're still gonna fight with the controls (why does your one attack have to be the one that's hardest to control?), and you'll still deal with bullshit like air regulation, even with the sharks, and fighting currents. What's that? You're OK with that, due to all the new stuff? And you say that the game's been refined to the point of being at least somewhat enjoyable? Counterpoint: hard mode. Where's your refinement now? Oh, wait, in the hard mode that introduces new levels and stuff. Wow, I am really bad at debates, aren't I? *reads through notes* Wait, it can pull some of the same dickish stuff that regular Tides of Time plays, so Ecco on hard mode is, oddly appropriately, dick squared. You were expecting a funny picture to accompany that, weren't you, you dirty, dirty pervert? You're not getting one. Instead, you get the Dolphin Humping Award. I know, obvious, but honestly, that's the best part of the game.
- Can somebody explain why the key to time travel is a dolphin of no real importance?
- Adds a lot of cool new stuff to the Ecco formula...
- ...but forgets to subtract Ecco from it.