OK, what the hell is going on?



Valis: The Fantasm Soldier

( You know, I originally had plans for this blog, and they didn't involve this game.) No, I intended to play JESUS: Kyoufu no Bio Monster, an obscure NES adventure game. It was meant to be a form of redemption for "raping" a girl in Custer's Revenge, and the music is pretty decent (as you can tell, I hope). However, my emulator couldn't run the game, probably because that title confused the shit out of it, much like it should for any sane entity. ( The English translation doesn't help.) So I said, "Fuck it.", and decided on a game I was somewhat surprised at not yet having beaten: Valis.
 
Given that this game is the first in a long-running line of Valises, I was expecting a decent story. How wrong I was. Our story is set in the Land of the Rising Sun, which probably explains why our protagonist, Yuko, is surprised that it's raining. Either that, or she's a fucking idiot. You know what, I'll go with the latter, since she's also surprised that her friend has her umbrella out, even though it stopped raining. I suspect it was at this point that the developers said, "Fuck this!", and decided to throw a few monsters into the mix. After a boss fight in the subway, Yuko is warped away to a magical land, where the forces of good are waging a grand-scale war against the evil Rogles, who apparently isn't a very cute dog, but some evil magician guy. However, Yuko still can't shut her damn mouth, so the game shoves her in a skirt and metal bra before calling her a warrior. Already, we've established how Japanese this game is: annoying characters, needless sexuality, Zero translation wing put to shame, and (OK, I haven't mentioned this yet) really, really long cutscenes. Take note of the time on that video: about eleven minutes. Seven of those minutes are cutscene. You can't speed it up, either, possibly because the game wants you to be as slow as Yuko is. To be fair, there aren't a lot of cutscenes in the game (they're mainly near the beginning and end), but when you run into one, I'd suggest faking your own death just so you'll have enough free time to deal with these things.
 
 One of the monsters, backing away from Yuko in disgust.
Not like you'll need to do that for the actual game parts, though; gameplay consists mostly of walking right and whacking your sword at anything that isn't you. Later levels will add things like non-linearity (once) and two paths that make walking right slightly different, but at the end of the day , you're still holding one button while hitting one or two more at the most opportune moments. There's also a third button for sliding, but unless you want to defy gravity or time it right so that Yuko looks like she's getting ready to piss into her own mouth, you're mostly going to run & gun. I can see that you're confused, given that I had previously said that you whack your sword at enemies. First, this. Second, the game doesn't become truly tolerable until you realize that you can power up your sword (although you won't, because there are much better swords lying around), mainly because trying to hit things directly is a bit iffy. Why stab something that can only be stabbed in one place when you can kill everything much faster by shooting it? Or, better yet, why not just shove lightning up everybody's asses?
 
Several reasons. First, that lightning eventually has to come out, and you don't want to mess with somebody WHO SHITS THUNDER. Second, none of the magic is really good, at least when you're using it. Yuko gains her magic from bosses Mega Man style, but unlike Mega Man, Yuko has tits. Also, magic isn't really that fun (or practical) to use. You pause for a brief second, watch an animation of her summoning the wrath of the gods, and then watch it not do much. A few spells will destroy everything on screen, but most of the time, launching homing missiles from your sword gets the job done more efficiently than ice balls which never hit their target, only serving to waste MP that doesn't refill from level to level. The worst part, though, is that the bosses apparently got a much better version of magic than you, since there's about a 90% chance you'll get hit by their spells. Definitely not good when you realize that the final boss to give magic is using the Instant Death spell. Not even using that pause for invincibility will help you; unless you can beat her faster than you can blink, you're dead. Just for that, Seven Thunder Rodders Award for Extremely Unfair Boss Fights.
 

Review Synopsis

  • SHUT UP, YUKO!!!
  • Walk right and kill things.
  • You've a slight variety of ways to kill things, but none of them are particularly enjoyable.
 
 
 
 
The creepiest part of this video? HE'S NOT WEARING SHOES.
 
 

Mario Party 2

( Holy shit, just how long has it been since I beat an N64 game!?) I think the last one I beat was either Rocket: Robot on Wheels or the original Mario Party. Hold on....yea, it was Rocket: Robot on Wheels, an oddly decent Mario 64 clone that I'm sure none of you have heard of. In fact, I know none of you have heard of it, mainly because nobody read the damn thing. So to make sure you read this, I decided to play a game that you may have actually heard of. What game is that, you ask? *slaps you several times* Stop being such a moron!
 
That reminds me: I could say that to just about any character in this game. Here's the set-up: there's this new land that everybody in the Mushroom Kingdom has discovered, and they're all bickering over what to call the damn place. While Toad, our helpful narrator, subtly reveals his alliances, Bowser has the better idea of just taking shit over. Everybody else, apparently having the intelligence of a Mario Party 2 character (you'll understand that soon enough), decides that the best way to combat this great threat is to run around game boards, collecting stars and destroying friendships. Of course, this is assuming that you have friends to play with. I've done this before, actually owning the game, but given that I wanted to beat this game, I decided to isolate myself with but three computers. OK, it was partially because the computers are major morons with somewhat predictable patterns. They'll buy items and fuck up using them, choose the path that leads them into Bowser's Communist Theft Den, and, if you're super really lucky, refuse a star.
 
 Even Yoshi is surprised at how screwed the other players were.
But as I played, I found a dark side to this idiocy: being paired up in mini-games. Great if you have an idiot friend, because then they're next to you for proper beating. But should you find yourself paired with a computer character, you're destined for failure. That's it, there's no chance of winning when the other player constantly has to raise their hand and ask which button does what. Next mini-game rolls around and....wait, Crane Game? Again? Fair enough, it was fun in the original, and besides, Mario Party 2 finds a decent balance between new and old, so I shouldn't be too pissed, right? What's that? The computer's the one? Fuck! Not only does it destroy the entire Matrix franchise, but the computer NEVER LOSES AT THIS GAME. Struggle all you want, but you're going down that hole, and on their first try. In fact, now that I think about it, maybe the computers aren't such idiots.....some of the time. If you have so many coins that you can swim in them Scrooge McDuck style, Boo will be happy to steal half of them, no matter how much you bash the A button; if you're obviously in first by the last few turns, Toad will somehow predict that the computer who's actually in debt to the game will end up winning.
 
Of course, these are only issues if you're like me: a pathetic asshole who's playing the game by himself. If you're playing this with actual people and you want to win, here's what you do: set the number of turns to 20, snatch up a few stars, and just wait, since they'll never have any time to catch up. The only drawback is that you'll lose a few teeth from your friends punching your face in, but that's when you hope that the mini-games will distract them from their horrible rage. They should, because the mini-game selection here is pretty damn solid, even if balance is an issue for a lot of them. Who doesn't love feeding penguins, or using math to turn your friends into Nicolas Cage from Wicker Man? You? *slaps you several more times* Shut up, this is a good game! Just look at that title: Mario Party, and then Mario Party again! They stuffed a bunch of new shit in this game to make sure you're having fun playing this game with only one arm, the other having been broken several minutes prior! For that reason, I give it the Spin the Bottle Award for Fun Ways to Destroy Friendships.
 

Review Synopsis

  • Proof that a game doesn't need to be balanced to be fun.
  • Proof that Nintendo designed the N64 controller to look like the end of a pitchfork on purpose.
  • Proof against any notion of a computer uprising of any kind.

18 Comments
18 Comments
Posted by Video_Game_King


Valis: The Fantasm Soldier

( You know, I originally had plans for this blog, and they didn't involve this game.) No, I intended to play JESUS: Kyoufu no Bio Monster, an obscure NES adventure game. It was meant to be a form of redemption for "raping" a girl in Custer's Revenge, and the music is pretty decent (as you can tell, I hope). However, my emulator couldn't run the game, probably because that title confused the shit out of it, much like it should for any sane entity. ( The English translation doesn't help.) So I said, "Fuck it.", and decided on a game I was somewhat surprised at not yet having beaten: Valis.
 
Given that this game is the first in a long-running line of Valises, I was expecting a decent story. How wrong I was. Our story is set in the Land of the Rising Sun, which probably explains why our protagonist, Yuko, is surprised that it's raining. Either that, or she's a fucking idiot. You know what, I'll go with the latter, since she's also surprised that her friend has her umbrella out, even though it stopped raining. I suspect it was at this point that the developers said, "Fuck this!", and decided to throw a few monsters into the mix. After a boss fight in the subway, Yuko is warped away to a magical land, where the forces of good are waging a grand-scale war against the evil Rogles, who apparently isn't a very cute dog, but some evil magician guy. However, Yuko still can't shut her damn mouth, so the game shoves her in a skirt and metal bra before calling her a warrior. Already, we've established how Japanese this game is: annoying characters, needless sexuality, Zero translation wing put to shame, and (OK, I haven't mentioned this yet) really, really long cutscenes. Take note of the time on that video: about eleven minutes. Seven of those minutes are cutscene. You can't speed it up, either, possibly because the game wants you to be as slow as Yuko is. To be fair, there aren't a lot of cutscenes in the game (they're mainly near the beginning and end), but when you run into one, I'd suggest faking your own death just so you'll have enough free time to deal with these things.
 
 One of the monsters, backing away from Yuko in disgust.
Not like you'll need to do that for the actual game parts, though; gameplay consists mostly of walking right and whacking your sword at anything that isn't you. Later levels will add things like non-linearity (once) and two paths that make walking right slightly different, but at the end of the day , you're still holding one button while hitting one or two more at the most opportune moments. There's also a third button for sliding, but unless you want to defy gravity or time it right so that Yuko looks like she's getting ready to piss into her own mouth, you're mostly going to run & gun. I can see that you're confused, given that I had previously said that you whack your sword at enemies. First, this. Second, the game doesn't become truly tolerable until you realize that you can power up your sword (although you won't, because there are much better swords lying around), mainly because trying to hit things directly is a bit iffy. Why stab something that can only be stabbed in one place when you can kill everything much faster by shooting it? Or, better yet, why not just shove lightning up everybody's asses?
 
Several reasons. First, that lightning eventually has to come out, and you don't want to mess with somebody WHO SHITS THUNDER. Second, none of the magic is really good, at least when you're using it. Yuko gains her magic from bosses Mega Man style, but unlike Mega Man, Yuko has tits. Also, magic isn't really that fun (or practical) to use. You pause for a brief second, watch an animation of her summoning the wrath of the gods, and then watch it not do much. A few spells will destroy everything on screen, but most of the time, launching homing missiles from your sword gets the job done more efficiently than ice balls which never hit their target, only serving to waste MP that doesn't refill from level to level. The worst part, though, is that the bosses apparently got a much better version of magic than you, since there's about a 90% chance you'll get hit by their spells. Definitely not good when you realize that the final boss to give magic is using the Instant Death spell. Not even using that pause for invincibility will help you; unless you can beat her faster than you can blink, you're dead. Just for that, Seven Thunder Rodders Award for Extremely Unfair Boss Fights.
 

Review Synopsis

  • SHUT UP, YUKO!!!
  • Walk right and kill things.
  • You've a slight variety of ways to kill things, but none of them are particularly enjoyable.
 
 
 
 
The creepiest part of this video? HE'S NOT WEARING SHOES.
 
 

Mario Party 2

( Holy shit, just how long has it been since I beat an N64 game!?) I think the last one I beat was either Rocket: Robot on Wheels or the original Mario Party. Hold on....yea, it was Rocket: Robot on Wheels, an oddly decent Mario 64 clone that I'm sure none of you have heard of. In fact, I know none of you have heard of it, mainly because nobody read the damn thing. So to make sure you read this, I decided to play a game that you may have actually heard of. What game is that, you ask? *slaps you several times* Stop being such a moron!
 
That reminds me: I could say that to just about any character in this game. Here's the set-up: there's this new land that everybody in the Mushroom Kingdom has discovered, and they're all bickering over what to call the damn place. While Toad, our helpful narrator, subtly reveals his alliances, Bowser has the better idea of just taking shit over. Everybody else, apparently having the intelligence of a Mario Party 2 character (you'll understand that soon enough), decides that the best way to combat this great threat is to run around game boards, collecting stars and destroying friendships. Of course, this is assuming that you have friends to play with. I've done this before, actually owning the game, but given that I wanted to beat this game, I decided to isolate myself with but three computers. OK, it was partially because the computers are major morons with somewhat predictable patterns. They'll buy items and fuck up using them, choose the path that leads them into Bowser's Communist Theft Den, and, if you're super really lucky, refuse a star.
 
 Even Yoshi is surprised at how screwed the other players were.
But as I played, I found a dark side to this idiocy: being paired up in mini-games. Great if you have an idiot friend, because then they're next to you for proper beating. But should you find yourself paired with a computer character, you're destined for failure. That's it, there's no chance of winning when the other player constantly has to raise their hand and ask which button does what. Next mini-game rolls around and....wait, Crane Game? Again? Fair enough, it was fun in the original, and besides, Mario Party 2 finds a decent balance between new and old, so I shouldn't be too pissed, right? What's that? The computer's the one? Fuck! Not only does it destroy the entire Matrix franchise, but the computer NEVER LOSES AT THIS GAME. Struggle all you want, but you're going down that hole, and on their first try. In fact, now that I think about it, maybe the computers aren't such idiots.....some of the time. If you have so many coins that you can swim in them Scrooge McDuck style, Boo will be happy to steal half of them, no matter how much you bash the A button; if you're obviously in first by the last few turns, Toad will somehow predict that the computer who's actually in debt to the game will end up winning.
 
Of course, these are only issues if you're like me: a pathetic asshole who's playing the game by himself. If you're playing this with actual people and you want to win, here's what you do: set the number of turns to 20, snatch up a few stars, and just wait, since they'll never have any time to catch up. The only drawback is that you'll lose a few teeth from your friends punching your face in, but that's when you hope that the mini-games will distract them from their horrible rage. They should, because the mini-game selection here is pretty damn solid, even if balance is an issue for a lot of them. Who doesn't love feeding penguins, or using math to turn your friends into Nicolas Cage from Wicker Man? You? *slaps you several more times* Shut up, this is a good game! Just look at that title: Mario Party, and then Mario Party again! They stuffed a bunch of new shit in this game to make sure you're having fun playing this game with only one arm, the other having been broken several minutes prior! For that reason, I give it the Spin the Bottle Award for Fun Ways to Destroy Friendships.
 

Review Synopsis

  • Proof that a game doesn't need to be balanced to be fun.
  • Proof that Nintendo designed the N64 controller to look like the end of a pitchfork on purpose.
  • Proof against any notion of a computer uprising of any kind.

Posted by SuperfluousMoniker

I was thinking that Jesus song sounded a bit like the overworld theme from Dragon Quest 2, and lo and behold it actually was made by Sugiyama (according to the Youtube uploader).

Posted by Video_Game_King
@SuperfluousMoniker: 
 
Definitely uses all the same NES sound parts that Dragon Quest 2 did. I'm wondering if the final boss of that JESUS game is NecroJudas :P.
Posted by Sweep

That animation is awesom!! Love it :D

Moderator
Posted by Tireyo

Mario Party 2 was my favorite out of all the Mario Party's.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@Tireyo643: 
 
Mine would have to go to 3, mainly because of that battle aspect. Also, it has a single player mode, if I remember correctly.
Posted by Tireyo
@Video_Game_King:  3 would come close to my least favorite.
 
2,1,5,4,8,6,3,7
Posted by TwoLines

What's with all the slapping? Man.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@Tireyo643: 
 
I'd rank mine, but there's this overpowering sense of pathetic in ranking Mario Party games.
 
@TwoLines said:
" What's with all the slapping? Man. "

*slaps you* That's what you get for asking questions!
Posted by TwoLines

Figures.

Posted by Tireyo
@Video_Game_King: I agree.
Posted by Claude

I played Mario Party 2 or 3 at my nephew's house only to lose over and over. Then he would laugh at me and tell me I'm doing it wrong. Little bastard, I should have physically kicked his ass when he was young. 

Posted by Video_Game_King
@Claude: 
 
Why did you say "physically?" Did you assume that I'd assume you would psychologically kick his ass? I'm not even sure how that works, at least in a way that doesn't result in you psychologically kicking your own ass. Or, preferably, without visiting Silent Hill.
Posted by Claude
@Video_Game_King said:
" @Claude:   Why did you say "physically?" Did you assume that I'd assume you would psychologically kick his ass? I'm not even sure how that works, at least in a way that doesn't result in you psychologically kicking your own ass. Or, preferably, without visiting Silent Hill. "
Well, I couldn't beat him at Mario Party or any other video game he had, so kicking his ass that way was out of the question. See, now he's all grown up and weighs about 260lbs. He could crush me in an instant. A couple of years ago I triumphed over him in Wii Sports and Tiger Woods, but he's got his own gaming agenda now. They grow up and leave you, that's what they do. I'm just a bitter old man.
Posted by AgentofChaos

I have played, beaten, and STILL own a copy of Rocket: Robot on Wheels.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@AgentofChaos: 
 
Good, because I was wondering if you'd played it. I had no doubt that you'd beaten it, but I wasn't so sure that you'd played it, you know?
Posted by ZanzibarBreeze

There's a game called "Valis"? As in that weird alien voice that Philip K. Dick heard in his head? From Wikipedia:

[VALIS] is an acronym for Vast Active Living Intelligence System, Dick's gnostic vision of one aspect of God. ... VALIS has been described as one node of an artificial satellite network originating from the star Sirius in the Canis Major constellation. According to Dick, the Earth satellite used "pink laser beams" to transfer information and project holograms on Earth and to facilitate communication between an extraterrestrial species and humanity. Dick claimed that VALIS used "disinhibiting stimuli" to communicate, using symbols to trigger recollection of intrinsic knowledge through the loss of amnesia, achieving gnosis. Drawing directly from Platonism and Gnosticism, Dick wrote in his Exegesis: "We appear to be memory coils (DNA carriers capable of experience) in a computer-like thinking system which, although we have correctly recorded and stored thousands of years of experiential information, and each of us possesses somewhat different deposits from all the other life forms, there is a malfunction - a failure - of memory retrieval."  

Word.
Posted by Video_Game_King
@ZanzibarBreeze: 
 
Yea, I browsed that Wikipedia article, too. Dick also wrote the stories that would later inspire Total Recall and Blade Runner, meaning this game would be much more interesting if it starred a triple tittied tortoise.