By Video_Game_King 13 Comments
Bahamut Lagoon( Hold on a second, for something seems off.) I beat this game previously, didn't I? Actually, yea, I did. I beat it long ago, back when I was making terrible blogs on GameSpot. However, there was one thing I apparently never thought to do while writing all those turds: score the games. Yea, like today, I gave them stupid awards whose only purpose is to tell me when a blog ends, but I think we can all agree that scores are much more useful. You know what that means, right? I get to replay all the scoreless games. If they're all as awesome as this, then I should just continue writing blogs which don't offer a lot of progress. I mean, it's not like I ever played terrible games back then. Oh fuck.
Anyway, Bahamut Lagoon. Despite the name, it has almost nothing to do with the Final Fantasy series, even though it could pass for one. But more on that in the next paragraph. Here's the set-up: it's a fantasy-heavy world with a few bits of technology, where apparently, there isn't any solid ground anywhere. So how do people live here? On lagoons, floating continents that act as independent nations. I know that this is sounding a lot like The Granstream Saga, and it doesn't help that there's a huge empire conquering the hell out of everything. In enters you, Byuu, leader of Kahna's dragon squad. It is your job to ensure that that the Grandbelos Empire does not conquer your home kingdom of Kahna. Unfortunately, you fuck this up at the beginning of the game. Thanks a lot, dick. (Speaking of which, why does my ship look like two dicks?) Now the Grandbelos Empire rules all the lagoons in the sky. Cut to one year later, and your friends are pestering you to rebel again. Completely forgetting your previous failures, you agree to stop them from...what are they doing, again? Nobody's really suffering that hard, and the people are free to do whatever the hell they want. The worst they've done is fuck up a few governments, but the governments taking their places aren't really that bad, for the most part. Oh, I should tell you right now that I'm not asking these questions, but telling you things that the game asks. Yes, it is that well thought out: it questions every crappy little motive you have along the way. Rescue the princess? Why? The bad guy just gave her up, so he can't be all that bad, right?
Wait, that reminds me: the characters. Holy hell, there are a lot, and all of them end up with some pretty good development. If you see a character on screen, then at some point, they're getting their own little slice of the story. Yes, even the extremely minor Dragonkeeper. Turns out that he's called that because he once jerked off your dragon. This is all true. There are only two games that I remember doing something like this: just about any Fire Emblem game, and Final Fantasy VI. Actually, now that I think about it, Bahamut Lagoon borrows A LOT from Final Fantasy VI, especially when Yoyo's around. Who's Yoyo? The blond princess of the fallen kingdom of Kahna, with the special ability to read the minds of great, magical beasts. You know, like Terra. In fact, Yoyo pretty much is Terra. You want a fade to black when she discovers the extent of her abilities? Got it. How about waking up in bed, surrounded by your friends after a mystical being explains her powers? Again, Yoyo's on it. How about being the rallying cry for the resistance movement? I don't even need a link for that one! What the hell doesn't she rip off? Well, thematically, she's different; instead of worrying about who she is or her very nature, she deals with the responsibility of harboring all these dragons in her mind. Terra never had to deal with that; she just had to destroy a god bent on annihilating the world. Yoyo has to sort out all the complex emotions of the Holy Dragons.
Of course, not all of the story is as awesome as that. For example, Yoyo's romance subplot: it doesn't end with you ending up in her pants, despite that being kinda set up from the beginning. OK, it's supposed to show that she's grown up and able to handle the responsibilities thrown in her face every half second, but I seriously thought that I was gonna get laid. Getting covered in dragon cum doesn't count! Speaking of which, what the fuck is this? This would have made more sense, even if none of my dragons looked like that. Actually, that joke feels more apt than I'm willing to admit. Compare that video with previous photo evidence and tell me why they couldn't be the same thing. After all, they're both extremely colorful and look better than anything at the time. Yes, Bahamut Lagoon is one of the best looking games on the SNES, and it flaunts the shit out of it. About every other cutscene's filled with enough filters to make you think that somebody let Photoshop out of its cage, sprites can be so ridiculously detailed that they cause slowdown (I thought that was an NES only thing), and all of the animations are far more detailed than they need to be. But that's how Bahamut Lagoon works: it goes way beyond what is necessary. For example: dog anus. I did not edit that in any way; there actually is a dog's ass sprite in the game. Why? Was this the work of some renegade sprite artist, or did one of the developers yell at a sprite artist for not giving dogs rectums?
Actually, I wouldn't put it past this game to do that. After all, we've already established that the protagonist eats shit and bathes in jizz, but there's also the fact that not only can you feed porno mags to your dragons, but you're encouraged to do it. Wait, I think I forgot to do something: explain the dragon raising system. Along with regular troops, you fight your enemies with unwieldy dragons. These guys are extremely important, as they dictate your abilities and strength and stuff. Feed them the right stuff (they can level up, but it doesn't seem to affect their stats, so feed it is), and you'll become a god; shove them full of potions and their own shit, and they'll literally become what they eat: impotent pieces of shit. Not that those are the only two options; there's a lot to see and do with these guys, so experiment all you want. Even if you take my approach and jam swords and grass down their throat while denying them any love whatsoever (that's how you end up with those turd dragons I linked before), you're still going to see a ton of cool intermediary forms on the way to the master form. Unfortunately, when you finally get to the master form, it's just the sprite for the basic form you were given at the start. There's no "but", because that's all there is. Seems kinda disappointing for all that work I put into my dragons.
Of course, this is just graphically; in terms of gameplay, they kick ass. Just set their rudimentary AI to "go" (you have three options, but that's pretty much the only one that lets them do anything, most of the time), and watch your foes falls before you. One at a time, because much of the time, your dragons are insistent on targeting a character directly. It doesn't matter if four enemies are surrounding one square, for no particular reason; they'll just go after the one guy. Of course, the enemies work like this, too, so it balances out. Now that I think about it, I should probably explain how the actual battles work in this game. It's the classic Fire Emblem structure of "we all take our turns, then you do the same", only instead of just watching characters beat the hell out of each other, you get to lash out the beatings yourself with a Final Fantasy-esque battle system. It's like Devil Survivor, only far better than Devil Survivor could ever hope to be. In fact, when I first heard about Devil Survivor, I thought it would be Bahamut Lagoon with Shin Megami Tensei, instead of a hateful game covered in multiple layers of stupid. At least in this game, you can use items. And cool special abilities. Plus your party structure is much more flexible, and with more pay-off. Actually, I can sum it up as "you have a shitload of options."
Hell, you don't even have to use that Final Fantasy battle system; you can just play it traditionally, and attack your foes from afar with area-of-effect spells. Sure, you don't get as much experience, nor can you see the pained look on an enemy's face as they die, but it's satisfying in its own way, especially when combined with environmental effects. Here's a classic: trap an enemy in the middle of a bridge, destroy it with a thunder spell, and watch them drown to a prolonged death. I'd prefer watching them burn within a forest, but it's hard to trap them in those things. Instead, I'll settle for shit like destroying buildings so they can't recover health, or surprising them by using my Leviathan summon to create an ice bridge, shortening the battle by five years. That's a lot to manage, especially when you consider all the things I didn't tell you (how item drops work, killing enemies with porno mags, etc.), so this game must be really effing hard, right? Actually, no, not at all. This game is pretty damn easy. You always have a few sidequests available, meaning you can grind your way to awesome earlier than you probably should. Once that's taken care of, you can just blast your way through levels; if you get close to death, your dragon's probably gonna spot you, when it's not busy destroying everything in sight. It doesn't help that bonus EXP is a thing, and that you level up quite a bit in the 30ish chapters the game offers. But you know what? I'd rather play a game that's too easy than one that's too hard, especially if it kicks as much ass as this game. Just look at all the cool shit I just told you about! It's hard to pick an award for this game, given that I have a lot to work with, so I'll just pick any one joke at random...Dog Anus Award. Do not question it.
- The story's a helluva lot like Final Fantasy VI. Given that that game rules, I'm fine with that.
- It's like an easier version of Devil Survivor with a lot of sadistic combat options.
- Dragon raising can be cool if you don't look at it as a bunch of numbers that equate into sprites.
Oh, hey, look at that: another old school, Japan-only strategy RPG with the word "Bahamut" in the title. And here's somebody very clearly fucking this up.
Mega Man X2( Only now do I realize that I need some type of special banner for this type of blog.) After all, I don't plan on doing this shit often (that Bible blog was somewhat of a one time thing), so I need something to mark the occasion. I could go for my old banner, but given that I've scored every game in season 1, that would be a bit disingenuous. Wait, I just remembered something: Mega Man X2 is a thing.
It's also a sequel to the original Mega Man X, and not just part of some Mega Man quadratic equation. Of course, being a sequel to Mega Man X, the story takes place immediately after the original, and by "immediately", I mean "six months." Why do Mega Man X games have such oddly specific time frames? Mega Man X6 takes place three weeks after X5, and I'm sure that the other games have some weirdly specific times, too. Anyway, after watching the intro that steals music from F-Zero so blatantly that I'm surprised Mega Man isn't called Big Blue, I've learned a few things. First, Sigma's dead, but shit is still wrong with the world. How can that be? Well, there's a secret group of people who plan on reviving Sigma à la Zelda 2. Not a bad plan. However, they have all of Zero's parts, except for his memory chip or whatever, and they still insist on reviving Sigma. Why? You have a beter plan, and you're wasting it on Sigma? Just steal the damn chip, revive Zero, and you'll have all the secrets you'll want about Mega Man X. Hell, he was designed to kill him in the first place, so it's not gonna be hard to get him to do that. Wait, why the hell am I going on for so long about the story? It's not like this game has any strong focus on it or anything; it's just there to set up the actual game.
Wait, now that I think about it, that's not even necessary. After all, the title already sets up the game rather well, since we all know what you get with a Mega Man game: eight Mavericks, a few more bosses, then the Mavericks again, and a final boss. However, unlike other Mega Man games, I noticed something a bit off about all the Mavericks in this game: about half of them are bugs, two of them are kinda plants (does a sponge even count as a plant, or is it just something that can ejaculate eggs?), and one's a deer. I think I realized why this is: Mega Man obviously just wanted his story about how he cleaned up his garden to be more kickass than it actually was. Nobody wants to listen to your story about how you killed that moth, unless you lit that fucker on fire. Speaking of lighting moths on fire, it's a lot easier to spot the traditional weaknesses in Mega Man X2, since bosses get special animations if hit with the right weapon. They also get a helluva lot easier, too. Isn't Mega Man X supposed to be harder than Mega Man? Then why the hell do all these bosses go down so easily? Even with the weird controls (why is Y shoot?), I was able to get into the rhythm quite easily. The worst offender has to be Flame Stag: if you have the bubble gun (this time, it's actually rather useful), you can destroy him without taking any damage. If you ever play this game, do NOT go straight for the GameFAQs robot weakness chart (admit it: that's the first thing we all do when we play a Mega Man game), unless you like destroying a decent amount of joy this game could bring you.
If anything, get a FAQ for all the extra parts lying around each level, because there are a ton. Unlike other Mega Man games that aren't called X, you don't get all the health and cool upgrades from the beginning. If you want them, you're going to have to search through every level. If you don't have a map, you're going to have to search EVERYWHERE, because these are some really well hidden power-ups. One of them requires you to jump down a random hole in a level filled with one-hit kill pits. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the fact that a lot of them require you to have one or two other power-ups, which, unless you go through the levels in the most insane order possible, will require a shitload of backtracking. I guess it's supposed to add a Metroid hue to the affair, but if it does, it does so clumsily. It's still fun to discover the damn things, and the power-ups are pretty creative, like air dashing and a "fuck your shield" charge, but they should have been easier to find. Or get to. Now that I think about it, this game is just kinda hard in general. Not the bosses, as I spent an entire paragraph demonstrating, but the levels. Enemies respawn quicker than you'd think, there can be a lot to handle in some areas, and the final levels kinda expect you to get all those cool power ups that you probably thought you could skip over. The best part, though, is that the difficulty's pretty legitimate. Don't blame a stray bullet for not making that jump; it's all you, X, especially if you failed to collect all of Zero's parts (you probably will). For the most part, it's all doable. ( Here's why I said "for the most part.") I guess that's why I like the game more than I should: solid platforming surrounded by unrefined mechanics.
- Even if the story is dressing, why didn't they revive Zero? It's enough to earn the Final Fantasy VI DS Award for Awesome Plans that were Never Implemented, Even Though They Totally Should Have Been. Obviously, I want that damn remake.
- Shoot, dodge, shoot, dodge, he's dead. Repeat, like, fifteen times.
- The exploration could have been cooler if it wasn't so formulaic.