By Video_Game_King 17 Comments
Darkstalkers( First, by insulting this random fighting game.) OK, so you younger folks may not have heard of this, but trust me, gamers who were around in 1995 will be p-wait, they won't? What do you mean they don't give a crap about a semi-obscure Capcom fighter? Whatever, I still don't like the game that much.
The first reason is the character roster; any good fighter lives or dies by how well balanced and varied the cast is, and Darkstalkers dies a horrible death at the hands of the "well balanced." Or not, given that it's a vampire-themed game. All the characters and locales have this B-movie horror feel, making Darkstalkers unique in theme, at least. The actual fighters seem to have been ripped directly from Street Fighter Alpha with a few minor changes, like different super-move mechanics and destroyable background objects. OK, so Darkstalkers actually improves a bit on the Street Fighter formula while keeping some of what people enjoy about the series. Namely, the moves. At first, I found them quite easy to pull off. You know, half-circle forward, quarter-circle forward, that Shoryuken move I really don't like.
But as I blasted through character after character, something strange started happening: the moves were becoming harder to use. Soon, I had to pull off moves like quarter-circle downs, alternating up and down in confusing patterns, and......seriously? An f'ing circle? OK, it makes sense on an arcade joystick, but with a D-pad, things quickly feel a bit crowded. (And no, I don't have fat fingers, so don't bother pointing that out. Probably with your chubby fingers, lardass.) So I just abandoned all the special moves and focused on punching/kicking my enemies to death like a little girl in a slap fight. That may explain why I got my ass kicked so often, so keep that in mind when I insult the crap out of the computer and character roster.
Oh, you remember near the beginning, when I said the game wasn't balanced? I could go into great detail about how Capcom is apparently run by furries, but I think I can summarize it in one statement: a character's usefulness is inversely proportional to how much they weigh. The only exception to this rule seems to be when the computer uses the bigfoot guy, since he can usually beat even the nakedest of furries with a kick that takes up half the screen. Try this shit yourself, and you'll find it near impossible. That's what I don't like about the matches: it seems the computer never has to do any of the moves, just summon them. I've never seen a computer duck for twelve seconds or back themselves into a corner to use the ultra kickass moves.
OK, I've spent a lot of time bitching about the game being cheap or unintuitive, so I feel it's only fair that I at least compliment the game enough to raise it to a 6.0: the fighting system itself is smooth, as are the graphics. Even though both of those are due to it being Street Fighter with vampires, Street Fighter was good to begin with, so I'm willing to excuse that. Hell, as I said in the second paragraph, there are some things this game does on its own, giving it enough reason to be its own game. If you ever thought Street Fighter was in dire need of half-naked furries....what the hell's wrong with you!? Seriously, what happened in your life to cause such a screwed up psyche!? Get the hell out of here! *you leave* That's better. Now then, as I intended to do before Furry Fucker Ferguson burst in, I give this game the Smiley Face Murder Award for Dark Optimism. That's the feeling I got from the endings in this game, if that helps you understand.
- Darkstalkers, like Fox News, is incredibly fair and bal-*bursts out in laughter* I'm sorry, I just can't finish that sentence with a straight face.
- I guess to make up for that, Capcom gave the game a unique feel and style to it.
- If you've always wanted Blanka to be covered in white hair, here's your opportunity.
Come on, don't act like you've never pirated a damn thing. We were all in that thread.
Kid Icarus( Given the negative reception this game has seen in recent years, I was expecting not to like Kid Icarus.) Odd thing is, I actually liked the game quite a bit. Why do you think I named the title the way I did? Because I was being sarcastic? Well, your sarcasmeter isn't broken, you just don't know how to read the damn thing. Anyway, who would have thought that the reviews for this game would be wrong? OK, me, but who would have thought this meant the Nintendo fanboys were right?
And yes, they were right on almost everything. This game does indeed deserve a sequel (I guess Of Myths & Monsters didn't count), since I couldn't understand what the crap was going on in the original. That's probably due to it being entirely in Japanese, but shut up, I need some sort of base! Anyway, something happens in the world of Greek mythology, and you, a scrappy little angel boy named Pit must do something about it. You'll have to travel through Hades and up into the heavens to face off with Medusa. OK, I'm making it sound more complex than it actually is, but for an early NES game, Kid Icarus is actually pretty smooth and well-rounded.
While it gives off a cutesy platformer vibe (because that's exactly what it is), there are also a few RPG elements thrown into the mess. Your almost never visible score also counts as EXP, you rip out the hearts of your foes and trade them for new weapons/items, and you can train with the gods if you feel your enemies aren't on fire enough when you tear out their still-beating hearts. It's all good and pulled off competently, but for an NES platformer, this all seems like a lot to learn and juggle. If you're gonna play Kid Icarus, it's gonna take at least a couple of levels before you fully grasp everything this game offers.
And that's not even including the confusing labyrinths. Every 4th level, instead of walking up or right, you have to find your way around a giant dungeon filled with angel helper statues, snake pots, and eggplant wizards. Weird, right? Well, things get weirder: it seems the levels were designed with an overhead view in mind, but still take place in side scrolling, leading to...absolutely nowhere, these dungeons are HARD! The bosses guarding them, however, are slightly easier than they should be. They're not pushovers, but you can usually just fire away at them over the course of an entire day without losing too much health. The final boss is especially guilty of this, since you can fly up to her eye and shoot at her between her shots. Which is weird, because medusas are especially known for gazes that turn men to stone.
Speaking of large gaping holes, this game has a bit of a scrolling hole problem. About half the game scrolls upward, which unfortunately means what was once solid ground has now become nothingness, leading you to a horrible death. I wouldn't mind this much if ducking didn't make you fall through some of the platforms, but you already know that it does. Pit has wings, but for some reason, they only work when he buys a feater. So you'll die quite a bit, but doesn't that already happen in half the NES library anyway? Let's ignore the high mortality rate and focus on what makes the game good: unique gameplay, a charming feel, and that cool shooter level at the end. That's enough to give it a good score, right? If it isn't, I imagine the Grapefruit Award would be enough to bring it up to there.
- Compared to other games of the time, this was the Steel Battalion of 1985.
- But unlike Steel Battalion, Kid Icarus is actually pretty decent.
- Truly great music.