By Video_Game_King 34 Comments
Cowboy Bebop( Hold on, let me try to make sense of things before this blog begins.) Why didn't I do this for my anime blog that I wrote very long ago? It certainly would've been a better candidate than either of the games I used. Just look at them: one that's more based on a manga, apparently, and one that just uses the anime art style. This one's not only based on an anime, but one that people have actually watched.
In case you have yet to catch on, Cowboy Bebop is a game based on an anime. Which one? Cowboy Bebop. I don't have much an idea what it's about, and the game doesn't entirely help. Something about a ship that's named the Swordfish II, and another ship that's either called the Cowboy or the Bebop. Or both. Also, there's a character named Edward who seems to appear a lot in avatars on the Internet. I have no idea why, especially since he (wait, she. I now understand all those anime complaints) definitely has the most annoying voice of the cast. I probably should have prefaced that by saying that I'm playing a Japanese game with Japanese voice acting and no subtitles and a ton of story to get across. That probably explains why I have no idea what's going on. It probably didn't help that I tried to get all of my story through the character portraits (hint: this is a bad idea. Do not do it.). but even if I did understand it, I still wouldn't know what's going on, since I've never watched Cowboy Bebop. I probably should, though, because judging by the atmosphere (what else am I gonna judge?), it's actually pretty cool. You get to fly through an awesome high tech city in the second level, a Panzer Dragoon-esque town in the third (hell, that's mostly the reason why I'm making this point), a kickass space dogfight in the fourth or fifth level, and...no, wait, that's pretty much it. But still, those are some pretty decent moments. I'd say that they're the best aspects of the game, but keep in mind that they need graphics to succeed, and the graphics suck. Just look at this background. A blue piece of construction paper would have been more convincing. Keep in mind that several Cowboy Bebop backgrounds are like this.
Wait, I just realized something: I said that you fly through the levels in this game, but I never bothered explaining it. It's a rail shooter, much like Star Fox. A lot like Star Fox. I could probably sum it up as "the poor man's Star Fox 64" (ignoring the fact that importing isn't cheap) and end this blog. Look at the final level and tell me what part doesn't rip off the final level of Star Fox 64. Granted, they swapped out Andross for Robo-Volvagia, but given that the entering-Andross'-base part was used in the level before it, I think that makes things even. But remember that part about it being the poor man's Star Fox? I mean it. You only get two weapons throughout the game: a laser and a gun. I've heard things about missiles, but I've never seen them in action. And once you realize that it's very possible to get through the game without the laser, you're only left with the gun. There's not a lot of strategy to it, since your shots lock onto just about anything you even so much as hint at pointing toward, so Cowboy Bebop's really about two things: shooting things and dodging things. You can also upgrade your weapons, if you want to do less shooting (I still haven't heard back from them on my "less dodging" request). What could they possibly do to fuck any of this up?
Not a lot, actually. I can't think of a lot that the game gets wrong. I can't think of a lot the game gets right, either (all I have is that you buy shit with points, forcing you to be good at the game), but let's pretend that there's a lot that the game gets wrong. Why? Two reasons: everybody loves a troll and I have some crap left to say, like barrel rolling. Don't worry, I'm not the type of person who'd sink so low as to rely solely on a meme for laughs; I'm just using it to make a point. You can barrel roll in Cowboy Bebop, if your definition of "barrel roll" is "slowly rotate." I have no idea why you can slowly rotate, because it doesn't really do much. OK, it helps you reorient when you get a weird camera angle in the free roaming boss battles, but you can just beat the boss without rotating your damn ship. Either that, or you can just keep turning around until the angle figures out which angle's the best. Unfortunately, this only applies to the free roaming parts, which make up about 0.00000000000000......00000000000000....1% of the game. For the rest of the game, prepare to deal with a camera that swings with the drunken hatred of...you know, I can't complete that joke, so pick a name from this list and pretends that it's funny. Anyway, I wasn't prepared to deal with that, so I died a few times, and found that death sends you all the way to the beginning of a level. The hell? No checkpoints? Not even at bosses? I should also mention that should you beat a boss, you're not guaranteed to get full health back in the next level. No idea why. I was determined to make it through this paragraph by writing all of these off as minor flaws and saying that the game still works as a basic rail shooter, but this is kinda pushing the limits. I have no choice but to give it the Anime Steel Battalion Award, which, now that I think about it, should just be called the Steel Battalion Award.
- I suspect that watching the anime would make this game make more sense. However, I also suspect that Edward's a character in Cowboy Bebop, so fuck that option.
- Poor man's Star Fox.
- It's definitely more unforgiving than it has any right to be, even if it isn't that unforgiving.
I think we all know how badly Capcom fucked up the localization of Mega Man X4. You may not know this, but "spill spill" is actually one of Zero's titles in the game, at least in the Japanese version.
Zapper: One Wicked Cricket ( Oh, god damn it.) This is the type of game I've dreaded blogging about, and I didn't realize it until I started playing the game. At first, I thought I could just add a score to a game I played long ago and be done with it; oh, how stupid I was a few days ago. It turns out that Zapper is a game that's so generic and forgettable that I'd honestly be surprised if I can squeeze a good blog out of it. With that out of the way, let's watch as I bullshit my way through this particularly wicked cricket.
I'm confused as to what makes him wicked, though. Is he supposed to be an evil protagonist, like Kratos from God of War? Or is he from Boston, like...shit, the only characters on the Boston page are athletes, so I'll just say Kratos. Massachusetts was a Greek city-state, right? But more importantly, does the game answer any of these questions? I'd ask you what you think, but knowing that you are incapable of thought, I'll just give you the answer: no. It never answers these questions. The story (by which I mean "the pre-rendered cutscenes (pictures) taken from the PS2 version of the game") only concerns itself with the titular Zapper, a dickish cricket (a dicket (no picture for that, for I have dignity)), trying to rescue his friend from a vulture who likes shiny things. Let me say that your friend, whose name I think is Zipper, is not shiny in any way. So why does that vulture capture him? Because Zapper held him outside the window...wait, that makes no sense on any level. And let me ask you this, guys who clearly gave less of a shit about this game than I did: if I'm trying to rescue Zipper, then why do I need to rescue six eggs per level? Shouldn't I blast through that shit? Or would that make the game far too easy? I've heard a lot of complaints about Japanese game design and how there's too wide a gap between gameplay and story, but after you play Zapper, even something like Final Fantasy XII will seem to be cohesive with those two things. (Somewhere in that sentence was a decent joke. I wish I could have found it.)
Hey, look at that: I very briefly explained the gameplay. You're supposed to hop around each level (no complaints there), collecting eggs (complaints there) and listening to them scream in agony as you collect them. Sounds OK, right? Keep in mind that it's kinda easy to miss an egg by the end of the level, something Zapper does not like. It's gonna send you back to hunt for that missing egg, even if it's impossible to do so. Perfect example: I came up to this box that needed zapping. This was no ordinary box, though. Normal zaps weren't going to kill it, just like they don't kill any of the enemies. For this, I would need a mega zap that required 50 tokens in this one area. Problem: I didn't have that many. So I decided to go back and...the hell? This enemy's blocking my way, and he won't move. Guess I'll just commit suicide, because you know you're going to do it at some point if you play this game. What's this? I start over at the last egg I picked up? OK, that's a decent system, but not when I collected an egg after that damn enemy. I can't even switch between checkpoints to warp around the level, in case I end up getting lost. I was gonna compliment you on some of the cool levels (a tree, a river, a laser show, etc.), but you can just forget about it.
Just like I forgot any points I could make about this game, because it is that generic and forgettable. At least the PS2 version I played so long ago had some shit to spice things up, like combat and bosses and more varied levels; try finding that here, and you'll only get a very crude approximation of it in that one boss battle. Of course, by "boss battle", I mean "you zap a couple of stations a few times." Is there anything in this game that doesn't suck?...I think I forgot how to use questions as transitions, since I'm having trouble thinking of one good thing about the game. I could tell you about these parts of the game where you collect orbs in a very specific order to unlock some extra levels on the world map stolen from Donkey Kong Country, but that sounds incredibly boring. There are also some cool laser puzzles and a neat sliding portion, but those only make up one or two levels in the game; the rest of it is just hopping about, collecting eggs. I probably should have said this long ago, but just get the PS2 version of this game. I don't remember everything about it, but it has to be better than this. I'd think of a clever award name, but I'll just give it the Send This to Seanbaby Award. Anybody who's read his work before Cracked will get that joke, and anybody who hasn't read his work before Cracked should stop leading such an empty and unfulfilling life.