Games that drive people to insanity.

Takeshi's Challenge

(This game has driven me inSAAAANNNNEEEE!!!!) *lets out an insane chortle* Did you hear that, electric coconut giraffes!? *dementedly giggles* INSAAAANNNNEEEE!!!!!! *laughs self into perceived alternate dimension*...............OK, he's out. Looks like it won't go away soon, like that Romancing SaGa 2 thing. *sigh* I' guess I'll have to type up the review for him. Oh, wait, I haven't even introduced myself. I'm the Queen, married to my currently-insane husband since 1844. That said, this is seriously the weirdest thing I've seen him do.

Moving on, I'm going to have to write his review based on the notes he wrote and the Wikipedia articles on it. According to Wikipedia, this game was made by a Japanese comic Takeshi Kitano. It says he hated video games, but unlike Jack Thompson, who spent his entire life (and afterlife (very long story)) trying to destroy video games, Kitano put his ire to good use. Somewhat. What he did was make a video game that satirized 1980s video games and, from what I've seen, make hard games of the time (Metroid, Zelda, Dragon Quest) look like your last acts before your sex change.

In his challenge, you play as...well, actually, I don't know. I assume Takeshi, but none of the Wikis on it ever said much. I guess the objective is to collect treasure, since the King won't stop muttering the word "treasure." How exactly you achieve this goal seems to be a mystery to both of us. According to what he has written down, progressing through the game is random and very hard to decipher. I'm looking at the Wiki, and even if you understand Japanese, some of these steps need a walkthrough. Then again, that's probably what he meant by "challenge", and to his credit, he was rather creative with some of these challenges. Reading off both this site's Wiki and the only walkthrough I could find, you apparently have to yell into a controller, leave a controller alone for an hour, and taping down the turbo B button on a controller.

I know what you're thinking, because I can read minds. You are thinking that this next paragraph will talk about the controls of the game. I'm not a professional video game reviewer, so the best I can do is follow your suggestions. Anyway, one of his notes says, "controls like cat anus." Underneath that, it goes into more detail, like how you can only jump straight up or straight forward. It also says something about not being able to attack while jumping, but I remember seeing him shoot monkeys while jumping. There's also something here about doors and entrances requiring incredibly specific placement in order to enter, yet unlike the jumping/attacking thing I mentioned earlier, there's no way for me to soften this. Nothing I can think of or find disproves this or lessens it severity.

So does any of the following make the game bad? Well, the King would probably just end the review here with an award that highlights
The ending screen, accompanied by a translation. This is not a joke, but at the same time, it is.
The ending screen, accompanied by a translation. This is not a joke, but at the same time, it is.
what he perceives to be the poo r quality of the game, but I'd like to give it more thought. After all, can I call a game bad when it was designed to be bad on purpose? Sure, the music is grating and the ability to beat up anybody is made less fun by the lack of satisfaction, but all that was probably intentional. Something my husband probably didn't consider was that this game was satirical of video games of the time, making fun of their illogical nature and obscure advancement methods. No, wait, I was wrong; he did, and it seems another one of his notes is "one of first arts." Oh, Christ, this must be where he lost his mind. He even wrote a sentence for this review. "Yes, that's right, before games like Ico and Panzer Dragoon were doing the whole art thing, Takeshi was making an ironic game that can be viewed as an artistic endeavor." Wow, he wrote that? Usually, he spends his time writing up superfluous awards...which I should probably end this review with, if I want to stay true to the rest of his works. My first thought is Hardest Game Award, but I think he has already done that. I'll have to be more creative. Let's see what else he has in his notes....*rummages through notes*...hmmm, this looks good. I'll end this with the Heath Ledger Award for Jocular Attitude.

Review Synopsis

  • The game isn't translated, but even if it was, you'd have a hard time figuring out what to do.
  • Seeing that our TV now looks like it angered a Famicom controller cannon, I think the controls aren't that good.
  • The game is difficult, but I don't need to tell you that. It's in the title and it drove my husband to insanity...that he's still suffering from.

Oh boy, he's still trying to eat his tongue. He should probably return to sanity when this video is done. I'd include the second part, but that would risk making him even more insane.

Run Saber

(Well, I am no longer insane.) More accurately, I'm not as insane as I was twelve minutes ago. I am now in perfect condition to review video games. However, because the Queen just wrote my entire Takeshi's Challenge review and Saints Row 2 has yet to be beaten, I'm stuck with an obscure SNES game. Yea, I'm not that excited either, even though this isn't anything new to me.

The game in question is Run Saber, an action game for the SNES. In it, demons have taken over the Earth, and it is up to you to save it. Who you are is up to you, since you can be either a boy or girl ninja-cyborg. I picked the girl cyborg.......because I was still insane at the time! *nervous chuckle* (That should do it. Wait...they can hear me, can't they? Damnit!) If you're hoping for more story, prepare for disappointment, because that's all you get. Then again, you probably shouldn't be looking towards action games for deep storylines.

Yep, it's an Atlus game.
Yep, it's an Atlus game.
Then again AGAIN, I can understand why you'd be looking towards this game for story. After all, it was made by Atlus, something that remains incredibly obvious throughout the experience. The Atlus feel here is so strong that after playing the first two levels, I developed the urge to release demons into the nearest high school just so I could see teenagers beat them up. I've heard that this game also feels a lot like Strider, and I can see where people get that. Like Strider, gameplay consists of walking/climbing in some direction and slashing the shit out of whatever crosses your path (and then slashing that shit into smaller shits). However, there is a bit more to it than that in Run Saber. You have a wider variety of attacks, but they're mostly one-time moves; the only ones I actually did use multiple times were "shit slashing sword slash" and "Sonic-esque spike ball of obliteration."

Oh, you also get a special attack, as pictured in that...picture....I'm not sure if it's the same for both characters, but the girl unleashed a swirling ice attack that eviscerated any poor fool on screen at the time. There's nothing wrong with that, as many games should (and do) have special attacks like this. However, Run Saber gives you too much of a good thing. I never really encountered a shortage of special attacks, so quite a few boss battles became well timed special attack blitzes. I have anything else to say about this game?

No, I don't think I do. I guess I owe that to its shallow-yet-fun nature and the short (it's only 5 stages long) length of it all. In fact, the only other thing I have to say about the game is that the bosses are easy and consist of the same strategy. You usually just wave your sword at them like you're swatting giant flies, the background music taunting you as you do so. Other than that, though, there's not much I can say about this game. Seriously, I'm at a loss for opinions. Whatever, I'll just give it the Atlusliest Game I've Beaten Award and call it a day.

Review Synopsis

  • As I've already said twice, this is an Atlus game.
  • Kinda short with little replay value.
  • Gameplay is shallow, Strider-esque, and decent.