By Video_Game_King 21 Comments
McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure( Fuck diabetes.) Stare in awe all you want, but I don't care about the controversy. (Trust me, I've endured greater controversies that I'm not going to link.) Somebody has to say it: fuck diabetes. After the indignities I suffered in the last blog due to diabetes, I decided to stick it to the bastard by playing a game that causes diabetes, maybe. I don't know, as neither game taught me anything about diabetes. This game, however, taught me a lot about McDonald's, and I kinda liked it. How do you like that, you bastard? This game tastes great, unlike you. You taste like diabetes, and nobody likes diabetes.
Everybody, however, likes Ronald McDonald. I think. To be honest, he's fucking horrifying. He's shaped like a pear, he's always smiling, he's a ruthless pimp, and the worst part: he's hot as hell. All of this becomes apparent in the intro, where we see Ronald McDonald walking through the forest, presumably because he was banished for being a witch. Not that it comes up or anything; immediately after avoiding burning at the stake, he finds a torn up treasure map. From this, he immediately concludes that there are three missing pieces, and that he must beat up some people to get them. And so Ronald McDonald sets off on his journey, kinda completely forgetting the entire story. Don't be fooled, he gets all the pieces of the map; in fact, it's at this point where the plot spins off into nothingness. After getting all pieces to the map, Ronald McDonald takes them to Colonel Sander's ugly brother, who decides that it must lead to the Moon. Fuck him and everything he stands for. Anyway, they land on the Moon, realize that they fucked up, and beat up an alien for no reason. Luckily, he has the treasure, which (spoiler alert) is the Mac loading cursor.
While you'd expect the actual game parts of the game to be just as insane as the idea of it sounds ("fast food clowns searching for treasure" is enough to be admitted to an insane asylum), the reality is surprisingly mundane. It's a typical platformer, where you jump through levels and blast enemies with your magic. At first, I thought the creativity would be in the magic, but the only creative things about it are kinda-homing abilities and upgrades that upgrade nothing. You can't even charge it, or anything; just press the button and watch it kill something nearby. Oh, and about the controls: they take a bit of adjusting, but otherwise work fine. Now where was I? Nothing? I think you mean bosses. No, not what little combat there is; bosses. There are only a few in the game, and they all share one of the weirdest gimmicks of any boss ever: you must sacrifice life to harm them. That's the only way you can harm them: let them chew on your life, and then beat the piss out of them while they think you're dead. Here's a hint: Ronald McDonald cannot die. He is immortal. That probably explains why most of the battles are so easy, or at least predictable. Dodge the attacks, let them swallow a bit of your life force, whack them with magic a bit, and repeat one or two times until they're dead. Unlike you. Because Ronald McDonald is immortal.
Go ahead, try to kill him; he'll just float back up on the balloons of Minos, ready to unleash his hellish fury upon you. Man, this game is weird. Wait, it was made by Treasure? I understand. Now that you mention it, it reminds me of another Treasure game: Dynamite Headdy. You know, the Rayman before Rayman game that I love so much? That explains why I actually kinda like the game: it's just a paint job over Dynamite Headdy, kinda! Same long-range attacks, same grabbing-onto-things gameplay mechanic, even the same graphical motif, somewhat! They didn't even bother shoving a lot of McDonald's into it; Treasure thought the Dynamite Headdy name would carry it all the way. And they were right, kinda. The best parts of the game are the levels inspired by Headdy; it's just a shame that they couldn't get gameplay to match. If it did, I would've given this game the McDonald's Isn't an "As Long as We're Here, We Might as Well Get Something to Eat" Restaurant Award; but alas, I am forced to give it the Who Would Win in a Fight: Chickenhead or Ronald McDonald Award. I think we all know who would win: Ronald McDonald. He cannot die.
- Ronald McDonald is a witch.
- Ronald McDonald is immortal.
- Ronald McDonald is Dynamite Headdy. And coked out of his mind.
OK, why do I have weird phantom memories of this? I didn't even watch Sailor Moon.
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky( That's it, I'm done with diabetes.) I know that it sounds kinda weird to say that, but I don't want to see anything else diabetes-related ever again, even if it is only tangentally related to diabetes, à la the last game. That in mind, let's go to the next word in the dictionary. *opens up dictionary, looks up diabetes, looks under it* Wait, Dragon Quest IX is right after diabetes? What kind of dictionary is this? You'd think that diabetes would be followed by diabolatry or diabolical; you know, something with at least the first few letters in common. OK, fuck it, let's go with this weird, extremely redacted dictionary. Dragon Quest IX!
As I said in a previous blog about two months ago, this would be one of the few character customizable games where I didn't play as Bushwald Sexyface. Instead, I played myself this time (no elaborate picture of that), which made things really awkward when I found out that I, an atheist dick, was an angel. It got worse, as I was tasked with gathering the benevolessence (I cringed just typing that) from the prayers of the people I was watching so that all the angels could get fruit. I wasn't going to question that, since it'd at least get them talking about something besides how God is awesome and how we should all love him. Imagine my surprise that when we actually got the fruit, Heaven was completely destroyed for no reason. Take that, thinly veiled Christianity! After that...well, not much, really. A lot of the game is spent jumping from unrelated event to unrelated event, only getting a tidbit of story when you achieve whatever goal you're working toward. I could (and will) go into detail about it, but instead, I'll compare it to Family Guy: when it sticks to one thing, it can be kinda competent, but it spends a lot of time on unrelated bullshit, like Sneakers O'Toole. OK, that's way too harsh, as Dragon Quest IX never sucks as bad as Sneakers O'Fucking Toole.The non-plot moments actually strike the right Dragon Quest note (the tragedy note), and I can actually see how they fit into the bigger picture: you're still (oh, I forgot to mention that the explosion lands you on Earth and your memory somewhere that isn't Earth) a guardian angel, watching the people you love and helping them without them knowing a thing about it.
Despite this, I still don't like the way they set up the story. First, because the big plot twist is that you're collecting the cum of God. Second, there's no real order you have to do the events in, meaning the difficulty curve can be insane, especially when you get the ship. Perfect example: I was getting my ass handed to me by this giant spider boss in one sub-plot, so I started grinding a bit. (Remember that.) It was at this time that I stumbled upon another sub-plot that I didn't even know existed. Cut to me a few minutes later, having conquered the boss whom I suspect would've been challenging had I come at the right time. Also repeat this for another boss, this time for a boss guarding a major gameplay element: the job system. Up until this point, whatever job you chose for your character was the job they had, no exceptions. The only exception to this is you, who must be a minstrel, for some reason. Not even the cool minstrels, who use their centaur powers to warp reality; you're basically a fighter with this one cool ability. There are tons of other classes with cool abilities! I switched jobs as soon as possible, only to find that you get shoved down to level 1 when you take a new job. You don't even get to keep your stats or abilities, hanging a huge question mark over the whole thing. I suspect that it's supposed to fit the customization theme Seth Green shoved down our throats, but to that, I say, "What customization?" Most classes have access to the same non-magic abilities, character creation is bare, and the custom look thing is pointless.
By that, I mean that instead of dressing your characters as you want, you'll just give them the best equipment, making it an inverse of TWEWY (clothing had a point, but no look). How do you get the best equipment? Grinding, of course! What, you thought the theme of this game was religion? You goddamn moron; it's obviously grinding! You will be grinding constantly, whether it's to get the best equipment or-no, it's pretty much that. You'll get your ass kicked by the boss du jour, and then spend a lot of time trying to outfit your allies until they're identical enough to kick his ass. This is not something that goes away with time; if anything, it gets worse. The prices for equipment go up like it's the first half of 1929, but the money you get from monsters peaks earlier than you'd think, meaning you'll spend about 9 weeks trying to get the halberd or whatever. I don't even know why Square Enix made the game so grindy, since the game itself can stand on its own without it. You can talk to the oddly 2D people for MMORPG quests, create your own items through alchemy, not go to the treasure grottoes because they're repetitive/randomly generated/useless, and even get some friends together for some multiplayer. Granted, there's no online, for whatever reason (DEAR DEVELOPERS: THE DAYS OF POKEMON ARE OVER. NOBODY GETS TOGETHER FOR GAMES ANYMORE.), but it's still a nice addition to the game.
I just wish that the rest of the game had these "nice additions." Remember when I said that a lot of the game was spent grinding? This has given me a lot of time to figure out this major tidbit about the battle system: it's just turn-based. That's it. There is nothing else to say about it. It's the same shit you've seen for the past (I think) 5 games. OK, it's not exactly the same, but if the game was honest about it being exactly the same, I wouldn't be as harsh. For example, actually getting into random battles. Like Final Fantasy XIII, Earthbound, and any Romancing SaGa game, you walk up to enemies instead of waiting for the screen to zoom in, then out, then in again (think about it); but unlike those games, how you approach them doesn't have as big an affect as you'd think, so why not just give me random battles? It may lessen the grinding, maybe. But whatever, we're finally in battle. What's this thing in the corner? A combo system? Turns out that the more consecutive hits you get on a single enemy, the more damage each person does. Sounds like it could be a cool system if you could control when each ally attacks, like Treasure of the Rudras, or Mystic Ark. But since we're still following Dragon Quest rules, chances are that your main spellcaster will fuck things up a lot by Zamming your enemy in the middle of a combo. Somehow, this activates a coup-de-grace, which is like a limit break, only it activates whenever the fuck it feels like ( as proven by GameFAQs). Other than that, it's just the same Dragon Quest game you've played before, only not as good. I'm not saying it's bad (that belongs to Dragon Warrior 1), but there are definitely better options out there, leading me to give this game the Why Won't they Release Dragon Quest VI Stateside Yet Award. It's the game IX wants to be; just release it already.
- What happens when you combine Family Guy with Jesus? Actually, a really shit episode. Sorry, but Dragon Quest IX isn't THAT bad.
- In fact, it's pretty good, what with the customization and all the shit you can do in the world.
- Wait, that doesn't really mean much; you're just gonna spend most of your time grinding a repetitive battle system until Seth Green starts crying.