By Video_Game_King 30 Comments
RayStorm(Although this one is not as overrated as other shooters I've played.) Hell, I'd barely classify it as overrated. But I still classify it as such, even if it is barely. Although the game is incredibly obscure, it somehow managed to get good reviews. I don't blame th-I'm rambling, aren't I? Let me get to the review.
The first thing I noticed about this game was really obvious: it's in 3D, but limited to 2D. Almost every shooter from the era (Einhander, Star Soldier, etc.), it was limited to the second dimension in gameplay, but used the 3D aspect for some cool cinematic effects. And again, like all those other shooters, this was a feature I liked. It gives the game a nice cinematic feel that improves the whole experience. Not that it needs improving, at least in the graphics department; the game generally looks good for a middling PS1 game.
However, a lot of games back then looked good; the ones people still remember had gameplay to back up the graphical 1024x1024 textured ass. RayStorm, however, doesn't. From the beginning, you get a choice between two ships and two control types, but anybody knows that the obvious choice is Ship 2, Automatic. I tried it the other way, but it just meant having to mash the fire button as opposed to just holding it down for the entire game. I know this because I chose Ship 1/Manual as my second player. Yes, you can have a second ship on screen WITHOUT ANOTHER PLAYER, but selecting him is incredibly finicky, since you have to do it while dodging/shooting. And they both use the same controls.
However, this is not the problem I have with the game. The problem I have is that Raystorm is too fucking easy. The laser weapon that comes with ship 2 has a lock-on feature, and with automatic, you just have to watch all the enemies in front of you die a quick death. You also get power-ups that allow to lock onto more enemies (or more likely, the same enemy more times), but they don't change the difficulty of the game much. Or anything at all, really; that's all they do. Yet when I figured out that you could play with two ships at once, which was around the 4th or so level, something weird happened: the game started getting hard. Enemies were getting more difficult to shoot, bullets were traveling in larger packs, and the game just got much better.
It never reached what I like to call "turbo-pause" difficulty, but there's a good reason for that (aside from the fact that it'd be a stupid decision): it's too short! It seems that the game started ramping up the difficulty on level 4 of 6, giving me very little time to appreciate it. There isn't much replay value to make me come back, either. Besides the aforementioned ship variations, there's also an "extra" mode, which to my knowledge, is RayStorm's version of a hard mode, the only greater reward being a few different cutscenes in the ending. The ending with great credits music. The ending to a game that learns its lesson far too late. Hmm, that gives me an idea. How about I give it the Capcom Award for Learning the Lesson Long After it was Asked of Them. Long award name, I know, but keep in mind that the blog is short....That's something to look forward to....I'm confused.
I'm sure a lot of you have watched TV at one time or another, and given that you spend most of your time on a gaming forum, I also assume that you are filled with incurable amounts of crippling shame. This commercial features both in a hilarious combination.
Super Thunder Blade(Oh great, here comes the REAL crapfest.) Seems to be happening to me a bit often, even though it isn't. Yea, that's poorly worded, but I think you can relate. Back to the game, Super Thunder Blade was released early in the Genesis life cycle, and it was most likely used in the "Genesis does what Nintendon't" campaign. However, Sega quickly realized that Nintendo also has crap games, and decided to let it die in the annals of obscurity.
You play as a helicopter. That's it. That's all the story you get with this game. However, that's not the reason I hate this game. After all, tons of games back then had barely any story (if at all) but still managed to rock my balls. Super Thunder Blade (which I will now start calling STB (because it's as much fun as having an STD)) leaves my balls unrocked.
There are two parts to each level, but the majority of the game takes place in a behind-the-shoulders view, a la Space Harrier. Yet where Space Harrier was a fun game for a little bit, STB isn't ever. The big thing it tries to do is 3D, and since this is on the Genesis (aka not a SNES), that means a LOT of problems. Firstly, the scaling in this game is screwed up beyond all repair. As objects get closer to you, they also spread out from each other, and the change can be drastic; two objects can look close together at first, but when you get close to them, the gap widens to 900 feet. Aside from making the second level a hellish nigthmare, it isn't even realistic. Trust me, I tried this out in a crowded area, and people far away did not separate by 3 miles when I started approaching them
Of course, this means that the graphics are severely flawed in several ways. The ground is striped for whatever reason (can't see why they couldn't just make it all one color), and objects look flat when you approach them, like they're just cardboard cut-outs of what they're supposed to be. It has this tech demo-y feel, like it shouldn't have been released as an actual game, just like HyperZone (gotta be fair). But unlike HyperZone, this game isn't all crap 3D portions; there are overhead shooter sections which are...boring, to say the least.
The goal of these levels is to shoot enemies (or not, the game's very lenient on this) until whatever is beneath you explodes. The problem here (aside from a lack of urgency) is the controls: simply put, moving backwards is not straightforward. I didn't figure it out until the end of the game, but you can only move backwards with the B button (rather than the simplicity of DOWN), and it only comes up once in the entire game: during the final boss battle. Again, as I said, awkward to use, even with a boss that is this easy.
Well, that's enough rambling, I think you guys get the point by now: this game sucks. Nothing good can come from you playing this game. Yet it isn't the worst game ever (that honor goes to Cyborg Justice) or the second worst (Pac-Man), so I can't even give it the Worst Game Ever Award. I'm going to have to be original with this one. Black Hawk Down Award? No, not original. Makes Superman Cry Award for Dishonoring its Own Superness? Yea, that one sounds good. Let's go with that. Now I'm off to inevitably repeat these mistakes again. I have that kind of feeling, y'know?