By Video_Game_King 16 Comments
Guilty Gear(Wow, it's been a long time since I've reviewed a fighting game.) I mean a REALLY long time. In fact....aside from half of Mazin Saga, I don't think I've reviewed a single fighting game on this site. It's not that I hate them, it's just that I suck at them (but am still capable of liking them). So then why the hell did I play Guilty Gear?......Yea, that's a good question. Why the fuck did I play this game? Can't be the story; despite their insistance, I've never really thought of story as an important thing to this genre (it should mostly be "let's beat each other up"). That said, Guilty Gear's story is similar to other fighters in that regard and more. For example, it contains the three elements required of any fighting game: a mysterious tournament, some evil threat somehow tied to the tournament, and a botched translation.
At least I assume the translation was screwed up; everything about the dialogue/cast is so random, it's hard to tell if any of it was intentional. Here are some non-fabricated character descriptions I found on the move list I was using: "Hobbies: Attempting to understand the language of the flowers." "Dislikes: Bald people." "Favorite Thing: Indestructible Pencil Cases." "Birthplace: Russia." I told you it was random. I'm guessing this amount of randomness was just Arc System's way of making us care about the characters, and if that was the case, then it's like a cherry on top of an already weird cake. The cast includes hair-whipping women, nine foot tall "doctors", and girls who can harness the dark and arcane powers of being Japanese. Despite their weirdness, I found it easy to classify them into two groups: use and don't use. What I'm saying is that the cast of characters isn't very balanced; often times, I found the only way to win a match with the "not use" characters was to mash buttons and hope my pathetic flailing would make my opponent WTF themselves to death.
Holy crap, this is actually coming out much harsher than I intended it to appear. The reality is that I actually liked the game. Despite my hiatus from the genre for at least a year, it was easy for me to kill my opponents with half-circle-forwards and quarter-circle-backs. The only thing I found hard about the controls were pulling off some of the super moves, but I blame that less on the game and more on my fingers being made of ham. Back to the combos, building up combos seems to be this game's twist on the traditional fighting game mold. As I said, it's easy to build up combos, it feels rewarding to do so, and it leads to some very interesting fights. It's not as combo-intesive as something like Killer Instinct, but it's definitely enough to distinguish tihs game from the other googolplex fighters out at the time.
"Wow, a unique atmosphere and easy controls," you might be thinking to yourself. "This is the perfect gift for my friend!" No, it isn't, for several reasons. I'll ignore all the obvious reasons why it isn't, and instead will lunge at the unmentioned reason: it's simply not for beginners. As I said, there are some balance issues with some of the characters, but there are also instant death moves. Do I need to say anything else? INSTANT. DEATH. MOVES. Not just moves that take off a lot of HP; moves that take off ALL your HP. There is a way to avoid it, but it requires button combos you'd only know if you played the game before/had access to GameFAQs. To make things worse, the computers use these instant death moves more often than they should (IE they use it), meaning friendless freaks like myself still have to deal with this crap.
I now realize that, having introduced the previous paragraph by debunking a hypothetical suggestion, I must now answer the following: would I recommend this? Despite the previous four paragraphs of ranting, I'd say yes. Buy this game. It is quirky, fun, and has a kickass metal soundtrack. I'd have gone into more depth about it, but I'm not really the type of person to review music. The most I can say is that one of the characters is actually named for a metal rocker (I think). This can only mean one of two things: either the soundtrack rocks, or this game is another reminder of the prolonged decline of a once-beloved icon of gaming. Given that Axl Low is a mark of the former, I give this game the Best Metal Soundtrack Award. Here to present this award is Metal Man. Excuse me while I search for a video that relates to this blog, somehow.
- The story makes my brain hurt.
- Very easy to control, fun to build up combos.
- Not for beginners.
A Shinkuu Shoryuken, brought to us by Homer Simpson.
Fighting Street (Also known as Street Fighter.) Yes, there's actualy a reason Street Fighter II has that 2 on the end (as opposed some other games): there was a game before it. Why hasn't anybody heard of it? Well, it isn't that good. Before I continue, let me say something that should be very obvious to a lot of old school gamers reading this: I was playing the TurboGrafx-CD version of the game. That should explain a few of the criticisms I will address to this game. OK, that's out of the way? Fine, let's get this out of the way so I can move onto other games that need my attention.
This being a Street Fighter game, you will square off against a wide cast of characters from several locales across the globe. Too bad you can only play as Ryu. To be fair, you also get to play as Ken in the multiplayer mode, but it's a palette swap for Ryu meant for the second player. I know this was a very early entry in the fighting game genre, but the least Capcom could have done was give players a (superficial) choice between the two characters. You do get a choice of starting stage, which is sort of weird. It's kinda like this game was trying to be the opposite of what fighters after it would do.
In fact, I could probably write a one phrase review using that line: the opposite of what fighters after it would do. In fact, let me use the aforementioned Guilty Gear as an example. Let's begin, class. In Guilty Gear, I claimed it was easy to control and pull off super-moves. What does this mean for poor old Fighting Street? Yes, it's hard to pull off your moves. I know I mentioned my pork fingers earlier, but even if I wasn't, I'd still have a hard time pulling off the moves. I'd often find myself doing the right maneuvers with no results whatsoever. It's not like I got them mixed up (like I did in Guilty Gear); each character has only 3 moves, and you only play as one character.
To be fair, though, the pay-off for actually using a move (and watching it connect (more on that later)) is really good. Too good, in fact; all three of the moves at your disposal are deadlier than the looks of Bushwald Sexyface. If you're extremely lucky, you can knock off about 90% of your enemy's life force with a well placed hurricane kick; if you're extremely unlucky (like me), Sagat will end the match in seven seconds without taking a single point of damage. Unlike Guilty Gear, where it was just the characters who were unbalanced, Fighting Street balances things by making the enemies much more powerful than you. Whereas your special moves are enough to destroy a large portion of their heatlh, their regular moves are enough to DESTROY YOU. I imagine this was meant to suck quarters out of you at the arcade (because Capcom is evil), but again, I was playing a home console version. Shouldn't they have used the conversion to fix any flaws that might have been in the original?
In this case, I guess they did, because the overpowered enemies are balanced by shoddy collision detection. I don't need to say much, it's self-explanatory: my kicks would go right through my foes, and my Shoryukens enveloped me in an invisible shield that made me immune to all attacks. *notices something* Is it just me, or is this game trying to balance flaws with other flaws? A weird design philosophy, but what does this mean for the game's strengths? Surprisingly, balance them with flaws. Back to the Guilty Gear lesson plan, I noted that it had a bitchin' metal soundtrack. What does Fighting Street do, class? If you said, "play monkey farts set to the tune of this", then you are wrong. Surprisingly, the music in this game is really good. So then how does it balance this, as I mentioned before? Well, the crap voiceovers. It's a CD game, you have no excuse to utilize Altered Beast talent. I'd blame the original arcade version for it, but weren't games like Star Wars and.....Star Wars giving us semi-clear voice acting YEARS before Fighting Street?
I've the feeling that people are going to type at me in Caps Lock. Before you do, though, keep in mind I'm not anti-Street Fighter. It took a while, but I eventually warmed up to Street Fighter II. I even loved Street Fighter Alpha on the Game Boy Color. Yes, in all its limited glory, I enjoyed that Street Fighter. Not this one, though. This one just isn't that good. Although it is good enough to win the Honorary Royal Moon Award for Honoring Our Glorious Moon Physics. (What I'm saying is that you jump like you're on the moon. I still get the last laugh.)
- All three of your moves are hard to pull off.
- Don't worry, though; they'll knock away 94% of your enemy's life once you use them.
- No, wait, worry; the collision detection can screw you over at times.