OK, this blog concerns mascot-based platformers.

Sonic Advance

( Quick, what do you think is the easiest type of game to review?) I'm guessing a lot of you probably said music games, and maybe one or two answered Mega Man. No. The correct answer seems to be Sonic games. If it's 3D, just talk about the series' steady decline, the crap controls/camera, high amount of characters, and base your score on your memories of the good old days; if the game you're reviewing is 2D, however, praise it for the sense of speed, simple controls, and base your score on how big your Sonic boner is. However, seeing as how I don't believe in the PSS (Phallic Scoring System) or all of Sonic's decline, I decided I'd play a random Sonic game and see what develops. That game was Sonic Advance, and I'm somewhat surprised to say that it's not as good as people claim it to be.
 I would tell you not to choose her, but you have to if you ever want to see the ending. She is ultimate evil.
 
I'd go into detail on the story, but what the hell am I to say? "Eggman steals the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic must give him titty twisters until he gives them back"? Yea, that's gonna fill up an entire paragraph. OK, in all seriousness, I have an actual plan: discuss the characters. You have the exact same cast as you did in Sonic 3, each with the exact same purposes: Sonic if you want to have some f'ing fun, Tails to get the Chaos Emeralds (more on that later), and Knuckles because he was in Sonic 3. They all work just as well as ever, the only difference being the addition of a useless ability mapped to the B button. Speaking of useless, Amy is now a playable character. *sigh* Dear God, why is Amy even here? She can't roll into a ball or spin dash or do anything of use, so it feels like playing Sonic without any of the things that make Sonic fun. The only bonus is that bosses are slightly easier because of her wider range of attack, but I suspect the bosses were easy because I sent her headfirst into them, watching her almost die again and again.
 
Oh, I almost forgot the gameplay. Just like the story, what can I say that you guys don't already know? Christ, this is turning into a Mega Man review already. Anyway, the major theme of this game is moving really, really fast for some reason. Throughout the levels are tons of objects to help you maintain a high speed, and I know it's gonna sound weird whne I say this, but they're actually one of the game's strong points. They're quite varied and well-implemented, ranging from spinning bowl things to little wheels you run on and bouncy pole things. Each of them give the levels a memorable, unique feel, which I find quite necessary, as the level themes themselves aren't that original. I know platformers tend to repeat the same level themes over and over, but I didn't expect this game to rip things like a casino level and gravity flipping space stations completely
 
 Does this look familiar? Hmmm?
Then again, the game does come off as old school, so I can forgive it a little. After all, it's classic, fast-paced Sonic, featuring our old Genesis buddies. A few bosses directly reference Sonic 1 and 2, but I didn't find much referencing 3. That was the degree. As I've said time and time again, I consider Sonic 3 & Knuckles to be the best Sonic game ever, so any regression from that game is usually gonna be for the worse. Case in point: the special stages, which kicked off some bad trends in the GBA Sonics. As in previous Sonic games, you have to find a certain object that allows entry to the special stages, but unlike the other games, there's only one for each Emerald, usually in a hard to find area. They're better than the methods in the games to follow, but they're still not that good, since they're flow-breaking time wasters.
 
However, finding them is still better than playing the special stages, which, as I've said before, started a weird trend: stupidly high difficulty. I can almost never complete the GBA special stages, and here's a reason why, at least for this one: the perspective. Everything is accelerating towards you from an overhead view, which means you'll often find yourself colliding into objects you thought you werne't touching and missing coins you thought you were aligned wtih. See why I couldn't complete them, now? Oh, nevermind, I completed this one. So what was my reward? A new character, a Super form of a current one, an extra level? The disappointing reality is that it's just an extra boss you fight as Super Sonic. That's it, just Sonic, just that one boss. You can collect all the Emeralds with any character, but apparently, only Sonic feels the benefits, and even then, barely. He controls like crap, mainly because he's always floating to the ground. Yes, I get it, he's fighting Eggman on a planet, but SUPER SONIC CAN FLY! WHY SHOULD GRAVITY BE A FACTOR!?
 
I could ask that for a lot of the things in this game, but I believe I've already found the answer to them all: this was after Sonic went 3D. We all know that Sonic's career went downhill after he hit the Dreamcast, and that includes 2D games. OK, they're still better than crap like Sonic & The Black Knight and Sonic the Hedgehog, but they're still not as good as people think they are. So I give Sonic Advance the Final Fantasy VII Award for Being a Good but Overrated Game.
 

Review Synopsis

  • It's essentially old school Sonic with some unnessecary frills.
  • I should have known there would be nothing easy to the special stages.
  • Amy sucks. She is just horrible.
 
 
 
Let me combine something I love with something you probably love: Billy & Mandy with Michael Jackson. It's oddly great.
 
 
 

Crash Bandicoot: Warped

( When will games stop making me 100% them for an ending?) Oh, they stopped a long time ago? Screw that, just act like it's 1998 and the first half of the blog is heresy/prophecy. Anyway, I'm tired of games forcing me into 100% completion for any sort of ending; it just destroys otherwise good games. Blast Corps, Jet Force Gemini, Rocket: Robot on Wheels , and now Crash Bandicoot: Warped. When will it end? And, possibly more relevantly, when will this begin?
 
 Some levels feel like they weren't even trying...
Right here, to be precise. Like the last Crash, Warped begins where the previous one ends: with Cortex having his ass blown halfway across the universe, only to stumble into another world domination plan. This time, it's Uka Uka, the evil twin brother of Aku Aku. Wait, who's Aku Aku? That floating mask that gives me an extra hit? That thing was a character? I thought it was just a mask Crash couldn't shove onto his face. Whatever, so a previously unknown characters gets a bit more of the limelight. Fortunately, this is something you get a lot of in Warped; from time to time, the villain du jour will appear on screen and command that you bring him the crystals for some reason. It seems weird that they're asking this, but aside from that, these little asides are a good way to promote these guys from insane cartoon mascots to something you'd find on The Simpsons.
 
Yet for all the work they put into making the bosses more three dimensional, they're still the same scenarios you've faced in previous games: wait for a chance to hit them, hit them, repeat until dead. This is a big theme in the game: not that formula thing, the fact that they were creative in theme, but not in actual gameplay. Perhaps the best (OK, just good) example is the levels. You have to time travel to each one, which you think would mean an incredibly varied amount of levels, or at least some consistency between worlds. Neither come true, as you visit the same time periods again and again, and only the last two worlds or so demonstrate consistency between the levels. I guess this was to show off the level variety, but the problem is that the levels feel the same as ever. Why couldn't Naughty Dog come up with original levels instead of recycling the same ones they've already used?
 
Huh? What's that? They actually made some original portions in Warped? Well, I look like an idiot. *executes the messenger who told me this* That guy was right. As I recall, there were some original portions of the game, and while they're where the game shines, they still need a bit of work. Some of the levels are 1950s races that control poorly, some are airplane shooter stages that control poorly, there are a couple of jet ski things that control poorly.....I think you get the idea: the controls need some work.
...while some of the levels actually feel new and unique.
 
Other than that, it's the s-no, wait, I forgot one thing: new moves. Every time you beat up a boss, he gives up a special move that would have been EXTREMELY helpful during the fight. They range from a run button to double jumps to....a bazooka? OK, that one's a bit weird, and it only gets weirder the deeper we go. You shoot fruit (preferably exploding), but your ammo is unlimited, even though the game already has something resembling an ammo system lying in plain sight; you can aim it manually, but again, the controls are a bit wonky. Not by much, but it becomes noticeable when aiming at small objects in that one level. That's the final flaw with the fruitzooka: it's not used that much. I can only recall a few instances where I pulled the damn thing out, and most of them were forced. It would have been cool to see it more often, but because you see it so rarely, Warped feels mostly like any previous Crash game.
 
Wait, why am I complaining about this being like the previous games? It was old school platforming fun at its finest. Sure, it wasn't in true 3D, so what? 2D games can still be good, just look at a lot of the games I review and probably will review. Now why was I com-oh, right. The collecting thing. As always, this Crash Bandicoot expects you to collect things like an obsessive-compulsive playing through the entire Metroidvania genre, and will withold the ending until you collect EVERYTHING. Why do game developers do this? It's a cheap way to lengthen the game, it breaks flow, and it rarely feels natural or part of anything related to the game. I'm glad this game feature died, so I give this game the Rightful Death Award.
 

Review Synopsis

  • Some new levels that need some work.
  • Some new moves that need some work.
  • Same old Crash Bandicoot....that needs some work.
24 Comments
25 Comments
Posted by Video_Game_King

Sonic Advance

( Quick, what do you think is the easiest type of game to review?) I'm guessing a lot of you probably said music games, and maybe one or two answered Mega Man. No. The correct answer seems to be Sonic games. If it's 3D, just talk about the series' steady decline, the crap controls/camera, high amount of characters, and base your score on your memories of the good old days; if the game you're reviewing is 2D, however, praise it for the sense of speed, simple controls, and base your score on how big your Sonic boner is. However, seeing as how I don't believe in the PSS (Phallic Scoring System) or all of Sonic's decline, I decided I'd play a random Sonic game and see what develops. That game was Sonic Advance, and I'm somewhat surprised to say that it's not as good as people claim it to be.
 I would tell you not to choose her, but you have to if you ever want to see the ending. She is ultimate evil.
 
I'd go into detail on the story, but what the hell am I to say? "Eggman steals the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic must give him titty twisters until he gives them back"? Yea, that's gonna fill up an entire paragraph. OK, in all seriousness, I have an actual plan: discuss the characters. You have the exact same cast as you did in Sonic 3, each with the exact same purposes: Sonic if you want to have some f'ing fun, Tails to get the Chaos Emeralds (more on that later), and Knuckles because he was in Sonic 3. They all work just as well as ever, the only difference being the addition of a useless ability mapped to the B button. Speaking of useless, Amy is now a playable character. *sigh* Dear God, why is Amy even here? She can't roll into a ball or spin dash or do anything of use, so it feels like playing Sonic without any of the things that make Sonic fun. The only bonus is that bosses are slightly easier because of her wider range of attack, but I suspect the bosses were easy because I sent her headfirst into them, watching her almost die again and again.
 
Oh, I almost forgot the gameplay. Just like the story, what can I say that you guys don't already know? Christ, this is turning into a Mega Man review already. Anyway, the major theme of this game is moving really, really fast for some reason. Throughout the levels are tons of objects to help you maintain a high speed, and I know it's gonna sound weird whne I say this, but they're actually one of the game's strong points. They're quite varied and well-implemented, ranging from spinning bowl things to little wheels you run on and bouncy pole things. Each of them give the levels a memorable, unique feel, which I find quite necessary, as the level themes themselves aren't that original. I know platformers tend to repeat the same level themes over and over, but I didn't expect this game to rip things like a casino level and gravity flipping space stations completely
 
 Does this look familiar? Hmmm?
Then again, the game does come off as old school, so I can forgive it a little. After all, it's classic, fast-paced Sonic, featuring our old Genesis buddies. A few bosses directly reference Sonic 1 and 2, but I didn't find much referencing 3. That was the degree. As I've said time and time again, I consider Sonic 3 & Knuckles to be the best Sonic game ever, so any regression from that game is usually gonna be for the worse. Case in point: the special stages, which kicked off some bad trends in the GBA Sonics. As in previous Sonic games, you have to find a certain object that allows entry to the special stages, but unlike the other games, there's only one for each Emerald, usually in a hard to find area. They're better than the methods in the games to follow, but they're still not that good, since they're flow-breaking time wasters.
 
However, finding them is still better than playing the special stages, which, as I've said before, started a weird trend: stupidly high difficulty. I can almost never complete the GBA special stages, and here's a reason why, at least for this one: the perspective. Everything is accelerating towards you from an overhead view, which means you'll often find yourself colliding into objects you thought you werne't touching and missing coins you thought you were aligned wtih. See why I couldn't complete them, now? Oh, nevermind, I completed this one. So what was my reward? A new character, a Super form of a current one, an extra level? The disappointing reality is that it's just an extra boss you fight as Super Sonic. That's it, just Sonic, just that one boss. You can collect all the Emeralds with any character, but apparently, only Sonic feels the benefits, and even then, barely. He controls like crap, mainly because he's always floating to the ground. Yes, I get it, he's fighting Eggman on a planet, but SUPER SONIC CAN FLY! WHY SHOULD GRAVITY BE A FACTOR!?
 
I could ask that for a lot of the things in this game, but I believe I've already found the answer to them all: this was after Sonic went 3D. We all know that Sonic's career went downhill after he hit the Dreamcast, and that includes 2D games. OK, they're still better than crap like Sonic & The Black Knight and Sonic the Hedgehog, but they're still not as good as people think they are. So I give Sonic Advance the Final Fantasy VII Award for Being a Good but Overrated Game.
 

Review Synopsis

  • It's essentially old school Sonic with some unnessecary frills.
  • I should have known there would be nothing easy to the special stages.
  • Amy sucks. She is just horrible.
 
 
 
Let me combine something I love with something you probably love: Billy & Mandy with Michael Jackson. It's oddly great.
 
 
 

Crash Bandicoot: Warped

( When will games stop making me 100% them for an ending?) Oh, they stopped a long time ago? Screw that, just act like it's 1998 and the first half of the blog is heresy/prophecy. Anyway, I'm tired of games forcing me into 100% completion for any sort of ending; it just destroys otherwise good games. Blast Corps, Jet Force Gemini, Rocket: Robot on Wheels , and now Crash Bandicoot: Warped. When will it end? And, possibly more relevantly, when will this begin?
 
 Some levels feel like they weren't even trying...
Right here, to be precise. Like the last Crash, Warped begins where the previous one ends: with Cortex having his ass blown halfway across the universe, only to stumble into another world domination plan. This time, it's Uka Uka, the evil twin brother of Aku Aku. Wait, who's Aku Aku? That floating mask that gives me an extra hit? That thing was a character? I thought it was just a mask Crash couldn't shove onto his face. Whatever, so a previously unknown characters gets a bit more of the limelight. Fortunately, this is something you get a lot of in Warped; from time to time, the villain du jour will appear on screen and command that you bring him the crystals for some reason. It seems weird that they're asking this, but aside from that, these little asides are a good way to promote these guys from insane cartoon mascots to something you'd find on The Simpsons.
 
Yet for all the work they put into making the bosses more three dimensional, they're still the same scenarios you've faced in previous games: wait for a chance to hit them, hit them, repeat until dead. This is a big theme in the game: not that formula thing, the fact that they were creative in theme, but not in actual gameplay. Perhaps the best (OK, just good) example is the levels. You have to time travel to each one, which you think would mean an incredibly varied amount of levels, or at least some consistency between worlds. Neither come true, as you visit the same time periods again and again, and only the last two worlds or so demonstrate consistency between the levels. I guess this was to show off the level variety, but the problem is that the levels feel the same as ever. Why couldn't Naughty Dog come up with original levels instead of recycling the same ones they've already used?
 
Huh? What's that? They actually made some original portions in Warped? Well, I look like an idiot. *executes the messenger who told me this* That guy was right. As I recall, there were some original portions of the game, and while they're where the game shines, they still need a bit of work. Some of the levels are 1950s races that control poorly, some are airplane shooter stages that control poorly, there are a couple of jet ski things that control poorly.....I think you get the idea: the controls need some work.
...while some of the levels actually feel new and unique.
 
Other than that, it's the s-no, wait, I forgot one thing: new moves. Every time you beat up a boss, he gives up a special move that would have been EXTREMELY helpful during the fight. They range from a run button to double jumps to....a bazooka? OK, that one's a bit weird, and it only gets weirder the deeper we go. You shoot fruit (preferably exploding), but your ammo is unlimited, even though the game already has something resembling an ammo system lying in plain sight; you can aim it manually, but again, the controls are a bit wonky. Not by much, but it becomes noticeable when aiming at small objects in that one level. That's the final flaw with the fruitzooka: it's not used that much. I can only recall a few instances where I pulled the damn thing out, and most of them were forced. It would have been cool to see it more often, but because you see it so rarely, Warped feels mostly like any previous Crash game.
 
Wait, why am I complaining about this being like the previous games? It was old school platforming fun at its finest. Sure, it wasn't in true 3D, so what? 2D games can still be good, just look at a lot of the games I review and probably will review. Now why was I com-oh, right. The collecting thing. As always, this Crash Bandicoot expects you to collect things like an obsessive-compulsive playing through the entire Metroidvania genre, and will withold the ending until you collect EVERYTHING. Why do game developers do this? It's a cheap way to lengthen the game, it breaks flow, and it rarely feels natural or part of anything related to the game. I'm glad this game feature died, so I give this game the Rightful Death Award.
 

Review Synopsis

  • Some new levels that need some work.
  • Some new moves that need some work.
  • Same old Crash Bandicoot....that needs some work.
Posted by ArbitraryWater

Ah yes. Crash Bandicoot. Him, along with Spyro the Dragon were Sony's half-assed attempts at mascots in the early PS1 era. Sure, the first two Crash games were actually fairly decent, but after both series went multiplatform everyone stopped caring (and for good reason). 

And yes, forced completionism is a bad thing and I am glad that it is not really used in modern games.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@ArbitraryWater: 
 
Instead, we have crap like cliffhanger endings and discouraging you from collecting weapons and other objects (by limiting your inventory).
Posted by Claude

Why don't you add these game reviews to the games on this site? I checked your reviews and you only have 27 reviews. You write well and your reviews deserve to be located in the review section of the games you review. What say you?

Posted by AgentJ

I suppose I'm not allowed to like Sonic Advance now :P 
 
Similar to first person shooters, 3D platformers aren't allowed within 100 feet of my "favorite genres" list, so Crash Bandicoot may as well be living in a halfway house as far as i'm concerned. 

Posted by Video_Game_King
@Claude: 
 
I consider these "blogs." If I feel I've enough material for a review, I'll rewrite it into a more official form. I haven't done it lately, though, unfortunately. I tried it with Panzer Dragoon Saga, but too much time has passed from when I played it.
 
@AgentJ:
 
Ah, you know how these blogs are law, like how Romans posted their laws in public forums. Only they didn't include Simpsons/Venture Bros/Aladdin references in them (the fools!). And my next law: try some FPSes and 3D platformers. There are good ones, you know, like Goldeneye and Conker's Bad Fur Day. Epsecially Conker.
Posted by AgentJ
@Video_Game_King said:
" @Claude: 
 
I consider these "blogs." If I feel I've enough material for a review, I'll rewrite it into a more official form. I haven't done it lately, though, unfortunately. I tried it with Panzer Dragoon Saga, but too much time has passed from when I played it.
 
@AgentJ:  Ah, you know how these blogs are law, like how Romans posted their laws in public forums. Only they didn't include Simpsons/Venture Bros/Aladdin references in them (the fools!). And my next law: try some FPSes and 3D platformers. There are good ones, you know, like Goldeneye and Conker's Bad Fur Day. Epsecially Conker. "
Maybe if they had referenced Venture Bros. they'd still be around? 
I do need to get to Conker (I have it for the 360) and Mario Galaxy. 
Posted by JJOR64

The Naughty Dog Crash games were good.  Everything after that.........sucked.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@AgentJ: 
 
Of course they would! Do you have any idea how powerful butterfly henchmen are? Wait.....Conker was never released for the 360!
Posted by AgentJ
@Video_Game_King said:
" @AgentJ:   Of course they would! Do you have any idea how powerful butterfly henchmen are? Wait.....Conker was never released for the 360! "
I have the XBOX remake, and I can play it on my 360. visa vi I have it for the 360.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@AgentJ: 
 
Kinda shaky logic.
Posted by AgentJ
@Video_Game_King said:
" @AgentJ:   Kinda shaky logic. "
Yeah, that's about right. My sanity is pretty shaky too. 
Posted by Video_Game_King
@AgentJ said:
" @Video_Game_King said:
" @AgentJ:   Kinda shaky logic. "
Yeah, that's about right. My sanity is pretty shaky too.  "
Mine's shakier. *references having beaten this guy*
Posted by Emandudeguyperson
@Video_Game_King said:

 

Review Synopsis


  • Amy sucks. She is just horrible.

This goes for every sonic game ever as well, fuck Amy, she is one the worst characters in video gaming history.

Posted by Claude
@AgentJ said:
" @Video_Game_King said:
" @AgentJ:   Of course they would! Do you have any idea how powerful butterfly henchmen are? Wait.....Conker was never released for the 360! "
I have the XBOX remake, and I can play it on my 360. visa vi I have it for the 360. "
Did you ever play the original N64 version? I heard bad things about the remake. The original Conker was my last game on the N64 before I gave it up.
Posted by AgentJ
@Claude said:
" @AgentJ said:
" @Video_Game_King said:
" @AgentJ:   Of course they would! Do you have any idea how powerful butterfly henchmen are? Wait.....Conker was never released for the 360! "
I have the XBOX remake, and I can play it on my 360. visa vi I have it for the 360. "
Did you ever play the original N64 version? I heard bad things about the remake. The original Conker was my last game on the N64 before I gave it up. "
I didn't own an N64, so no. 
Posted by Video_Game_King
@AgentJ: 
 
You were a PS1 kid, the type whose house I would have come over to all the time and always ask, "When are we gonna play Wipeout?" Or a Saturn kid, who probably lived in the hospital for a clinical case of nonexistence? Or maybe the Dreamcast kid I would have beaten up out of jealousy :P?
Posted by AgentJ
@Video_Game_King said:
" @AgentJ:   You were a PS1 kid, the type whose house I would have come over to all the time and always ask, "When are we gonna play Wipeout?" Or a Saturn kid, who probably lived in the hospital for a clinical case of nonexistence? Or maybe the Dreamcast kid I would have beaten up out of jealousy :P? "
None of the above :P I was a game boy color kid
Posted by Video_Game_King
@AgentJ: 
 
We all were, but we also had consoles. I had an SNES because it was normal back then, a Genesis because Sonic was not yet shit, and the see-through purple Game Boy Color that every little kid wanted.
Posted by AgentJ
@Video_Game_King said:
" @AgentJ:   We all were, but we also had consoles. I had an SNES because it was normal back then, a Genesis because Sonic was not yet shit, and the see-through purple Game Boy Color that every little kid wanted. "
*shifty eyes* My first console was the gamecube... my first gaming platform coincided with pokemon red.  
 
I guess I'll just pack my things, sit on the hood of my car and watch my gaming cred fly away...
Posted by Video_Game_King
@AgentJ: 
 
Wow, that's actually kind of sad in terms of gamerdom. So I decree :P.
Edited by spectrevampire
I lol'ed when you lumped Crash: Warped! in with "forced creationism". When I realized you were serious, I stopped laughing. 
 

The game doesn't "force" anything on you. There's the standard ending & the 100% ending; that's all there is to it. If you're okay with watching the standard ending and then never playing the game again, power to you. As for me, I don't mind having all those extra side quests & unlockables, because I'm not one of those lazy-ass gamers who isn't committed enough to actually search for secrets or venture off the beaten path. I like to get as much out of a game as possible.

Posted by baconbits33

Billy and Mandy... ah the good ol' days...

Posted by Video_Game_King
@spectrevampire: 
 
"Forced creationism?" I think you're confusing words, or I forgot that Crash was a ridiculously avid Christian.
 
I don't even remember much about Warped (I hate when people bump up old blogs of mine (check the date)), but I think I remember it saying "You may have defeated me, but I'm still gonna endanger the world. Not even in, like, a sequel or anything; I'm still going for that whole laser thingy. Of course, if you were to collect all those crystals you ignored..." Same trick that Rare pulled a billion times on the N64. Oh, and nice way to make me out to be the dick for just playing through the levels at my own pace. That may work in Oblivion (DON'T THINK ABOUT IT, TOO MUCH TIME HAS PASSED), but not in Crash Bandicoot.
Posted by Thordain
@Video_Game_King said:
" @spectrevampire:   "Forced creationism?" I think you're confusing words, or I forgot that Crash was a ridiculously avid Christian.  I don't even remember much about Warped (I hate when people bump up old blogs of mine (check the date)), but I think I remember it saying "You may have defeated me, but I'm still gonna endanger the world. Not even in, like, a sequel or anything; I'm still going for that whole laser thingy. Of course, if you were to collect all those crystals you ignored..." Same trick that Rare pulled a billion times on the N64. Oh, and nice way to make me out to be the dick for just playing through the levels at my own pace. That may work in Oblivion (DON'T THINK ABOUT IT, TOO MUCH TIME HAS PASSED), but not in Crash Bandicoot. "
So tell me about Oblivion