By Video_Game_King 46 Comments
Game & Watch Collection( Yes, it is possible to beat this game.) You guys didn't point out all the Atari games I've listed on my list of beaten games (unless you're StarFoxA), so why start bitching now? Oh, these don't repeat much? Eh, whatever, I can work around that: wait until the difficulty plateaus. Done. Now just copy and paste however long it took me to think of that idea, and do it again, and you have the length of this game. Yes, only three games. Keep in mind that I had to save up 800 points to get it, and that my copy of Game & Watch Gallery 2 offers MUCH more than that for about $2 today (assuming that I'm not emulating it, and that I forgot that I own a copy). So at least buying it was much like The Matrix (lots of build-up for a shitty ending), and playing it is like Maniac Mansion (three perspectives you can completely breeze through, if you're skilled enough).
First is Oil Panic, a game that, surprisingly, does not relate in any way to the Ocean Ranger events from around the time the game was made. (Why couldn't BP m-er, contract people to make crappy rigs 28 years ago?) Instead, you're a gas station employee trying to stop an oil pipe from leaking onto all your flammable shit. Like Strider, this confuses me: how can this guy afford enough flammables to make the Earth one of those birthday cupcakes with only one candle in them, but somehow not buy a bucket that can hold more than three drops of napalm? Or is it that he loves dropping all that stuff to his friend on the floor below? I'd explain the gameplay, but I just did. The only thing lacking is that you have to drop the napalm/oil/flammable crap EXACTLY when your friend is below you; otherwise, you end up spilling oil on two people waiting for their gas to refill. Of course, he's usually not gonna be there when you have a full bucket, so the best strategy is usually to dump whenever he's nearby. Cut to me, about a septillion points later, kinda bored with the whole thing. Being the psychic that I am, I foresee a pattern: these are only good as mild distractions. Then again, I remember the same thing happening with Wii Sports Resort, so...
Next up is Donkey Kong, which, doubly surprisingly, I've played before. The double comes in when you realize that this is nothing like the arcade version you know. OK, so Mario still makes a poor choice when he decides to get a giant ape as a pet, but this version brings with it a bunch of new questions. Why does Donkey Kong have this huge, stupid grin (it's stupider than the arcade one, trust me)? Why does Paulina have an ass that looks like an overinflated tire? And what the hell is this? More importantly, though is what the hell does any of this have to do with the game? You just jump over barrels, climb to the top of the level, flip a switch, and jump onto a swinging chain thing. I realize how complex that sounds, but oddly enough, it's not as complicated as that Oil Panic thing. Usually, I could finish a cycle in less time than it takes to beat the game. That's right: it's so short, it breaks the laws of physics. I have evidence: jumping onto the chain. (That reminds me: JUMP on the chain. Pressing right will make Mario walk to the chain, only to remember that gravity's a thing.) Sometimes, there's a bit of a delay when jumping onto the stupid thing, probably because Mario's reaction time is measured in minutes. I've only noticed that a few times, though, so it's still a pretty nice distraction if you're taking a dump, or something. Of course, there's that stupid grin....
Finally, Greenhouse, an oddly accurate game title. The story follows thusly: you're protecting four plants in your greenhouse, and couldn't be bothered to buy motion sensors, or hire some random assholes to spray for you. No, Mr. Cheapo here decided that his time could be best used spraying the place himself. Why do I insult him so? The guy's apparently growing dead bird trees in this greenhouse, which is idiotic for two reasons: flesh tends to rot in the sun, and it attracts every spider and snake from here to the forbidden plane of being. While this may sound hard, Greenhouse is easily the easiest of the games featured. You can just spam the spray on both floors (on that note, I'm damn sure that he is using Spam Spray to kill these things) without consequence and rack up thousands of points easily. The difficulty doesn't plateau so much as flatline the entire game, meaning it's a game I can beat in less than a second. You know, sort of like the whole Collection. Oh, right, these are all part of a tiny collection of games that require you to amass a much larger collection of games! I wish I could think of some clever award for that, and while I think I could, I'm too lazy to do so. So it gets the Valis III Award for Completely Phoning it In. Wait, there's something familiar about that box art. Hmm....
- Oil Panic is a bit chaotic, and requires the type of thought you can't have when you're waiting for the bus.
- Donkey Kong is a nice, quick distraction for when you're taking a dump and really want to savor it.
- Greenhouse is actually a good game for gaming pussies too weak to man up and play a challenging game.
Ugh... Never start by giving them head! The victim gets all... fuzzy. He can't feel the next... (Oh, and the video's not showing up, so here's a link and a picture of Batman being gay:)
Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together ( That video was an oddly perfect transition.) Think about it: what else could bridge a completely black game with a completely gay one? I can already sense you trying to think of how this game sounds gay, so I'll give you a hint: don't focus on the non-gay Tactics Ogre part. Instead, Let Us Cling Together. I can only think of two scenarios where that could happen, and they're both kinda gay. Also, for those of you who feel the need to play devil's advocate (not a Shin Megami Tensei game), keep in mind that this game is named after a Queen song (released only in Japan, for some reason), and they're so gay that they called themselves Queen.
I realize that none of that is relevant to the game in any way whatsoever, but it still makes more sense than anything I've seen in it. Perfect example: story. I can already hear you SMT fans yelling at me for playing this before I beat Ogre Battle, but keep in mind that this game opens by calling itself Episode VII. Of what? I had to look it up, and it turns out that it's Episode VII of the Ogre Battle franchise....which still doesn't make sense, since it's the second game in the series. Anyway, you play as a pair of jeans in a rebel group trying to win freedom while this huge war is going on in the background. What this war is about is never explained well, but I think it's something about how racism sucks, like in Path of Radiance (I smell a theme coming up). Remember how abrupt and stupid that part of the game was? Now extend that over 40 hours, and you have the story for Tactics Ogre. Let's look at the crimes: it rips off Star Wars (you'll hear those jeans yell this so much that you'd think he was me reading a Devil Survivor review), He-Man, Captain America, and, of course, something that isn't stuck in the 80s: Final Fantasy Tactics. Everything about this game was in Final Fantasy Tactics: same major plot points, same gameplay, same features, same persuasion thing, even the same stupid dick joke! Oh, and in case you're curious, I am aware that this came out before FFT, but that only makes things worse. Think about it: if they were so lazy that they just painted over Tactics Ogre and called it FFT, then what's that say about when they were actually making the game?
OK, to be fair, it's not entirely like Final Fantasy Tactics; it's more like Final Fantasy Tactics: Ogre Battle Edition. Remember the branching storyline in Ogre Battle? Wait, did it have a branching storyline?....I can't tell. Whatever, this game has a branching storyline. Notice how I'm not calling it a morality system, mainly because it isn't. Yea, the two paths are so contrasted that you'd think somebody's been dicking around with the game in Photoshop, but it's not like one's completely good/evil. Instead, you have the lawful (IE Batman) and chaotic (IE V (read as one word, that sounds Russian as shit)). I decided to go V first before converting to the Batman, simply because I wanted to see them fight. ( WHY HAS NOBODY DONE THIS YET!?) Turns out the results are kinda disappointing: just some alternate missions for a chapter. No cool classes or items or anything you'll find in the other storylines; just an ending. I don't know how many there are, but apparently, the route I took gave me the crap ending where I get coronated and then shot (I guess that's part of the coronation). Spoiler alert: it's the only thing that makes any sense in the game, given that the parts of the story that aren't confusing are made confusing by a crap translation.
This is where it gets more confusing: it was a fan translation, but I'm not sure it's entirely their fault. I've seen a few FAQs referencing how none of the story maps actually show text, which means that the PS1 version had all of these same problems. It may sound a bit nitpicky, but that's only when I'm complaining about how stat screens corrupt if you do a specific-yet-very-common action; when you realize that this kinda extends into the maps, you'll realize why I knocked 3 points off the score. OK, it's not a glitch, but still annoying: you can't rotate the maps. I'm aware that I was playing the SNES version, which could've done it in theory, but again, there's a PS1 version. (There's also a PSP version coming up, whose sole purpose is to address this issue. You're twelve years late, guys.) You know what the PS1 could do? THIS! Don't think Quest wasn't aware of this, either; some of the computer's strategies rest entirely upon the fact that you can't see where their troops are. Wait, I'm seeing a pattern: shitty translation work, lack of a "rotate map" feature, unforgiving level design...this is Devil Survivor again! Wait, no it isn't.
For one, the difficulty's a lot like a yo-yo: it goes up and down wildly/randomly before plummeting to the ground in disappointment near the end. The final boss is kinda hard, assuming you haven't taken up a certain sidequest, but that's about it. You end the game with enough gold to make this a reality. Not that you'll need it, since weapons/armor/spells update every 120 years, and you'll never have any space for items to make use of them. You can only hold four of anything at a time, because armor apparently doesn't come with pockets. This problem ranges from nothing to "you need this thing." Not on the spectrum is the confusing Escape jewel, which lets one unit escape from battle. Why you'd want to diminish your numbers is never explained, nor why you can't use it to escape from battles in general. That's right, you can't escape from any battle whatsoever. This wouldn't be a problem if the game went the Fire Emblem/Shining Force/Warsong route of only including story battles, but instead, it chooses the Final Fantasy Tactics route of having random battles. The only problem is that it goes the Fire Emblem/Warsong route in terms of death, which proves to be a more awkward mix than hot dogs and my penis: it may not look like much at first, but I know for a fact that it never ends well.
You know what's weirder than that dick joke? The fact that I haven't mentioned the basic gameplay mechanics in any of the above five incredibly long paragraphs. Maybe that's because it's Final Fantasy Tactics, but again, key differences, like how magic works. Instead of waiting 38 turns for your spell to hit nobody because the enemy is always smart enough to walk away from a space that's about to catch fire, you just cast the magic. That's it. It definitely makes the game more satisfying, but it kinda becomes clear why you wait for spells in FFT: with the right ones, enemies become stupidly easy. Remember that dick joke from before? Repeat that for a lot of the end-game, since ninja magic is apparently laced with Nyquil. Then just beat the shit out of the leader, and you're done. That probably explains why I rarely changed my line-up...You know, now that I think about it, this game isn't as strategic as I thought. OK, so you have a variety of classes, each with their own purposes, and you can (in theory) shoot a bow outside its range, but that still doesn't change the fact that for a lot of battles, you can spam Incubus until victory ensues.
I'm surprised that the computer never figured this crap out, given that it managed to figure out that knights+magic warp shoes=FUCK!. The only reason I bring this up is because of the training mode, where you can either play multiplayer or let the AI masturbate for an hour. If it wasn't for the stupid (and I mean STUPID) incantations for spells, I'd probably walk out of the room and play a better game while my troops get stronger. Then I'd come back and do it again, because this game is grind heavy. That probably explains why it can claim to be over 40 hours :if you're not battling because of the story, it's gonna be so you can get to a high enough level to beat the next guy, or get a job. Not that levels are directly tied to jobs; nope, that's stats. It'd make sense if you could pick your stats à la the protagonist (only the protagonist, for some reason) of a Shin Megami Tensei game, but since stats are given out by an RNG, it was sheer luck that Boner landed a job as awesome as ninja (it's a perfect name for somebody in extremely tight clothing). Oh, and you can't train guests at all, for whatever dumb reason. You know, I could probably go on for another paragraph about all the random crap this game pulls, like how zombie battles turn into games of whack-a-mole (see: Robot Chicken) or how there's something called "Turbo File" (turns out that the SNES had memory cards, for about five games), but I think I've made my point. Final Fantasy Tactics is Better Award for the Fact that Final Fantasy Tactics is Better.
- It's Final Fantasy Tactics, but with a lot of things that make it not as good as Final Fantasy Tactics.
- The story seems confusing, but really, it's just stupid. Oh, and the translation's spotty, no matter how you look at it.
- If you really want the game to be fun, go into training mode and let it masturbate. Otherwise, things get weird. And mean.