Gonna have to step things up after last time.

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Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow & the Flame

( But not right now.) No, I save the thing that will get me a huge amount of replies for later; now is the portion of the blog you have to read through if you want admission to the next part. Instead of talking about a game you may care about (because I know that it's a post deterrent, oddly enough), I'll ramble on and on about some obscure game that I really don't like (that way, you can complain about the irrelevance AND my opinion). Only this obscure game has a famous name attached to it, making for the perfect strategy!....Or the worst. My brain hurts.
  Also, this.
 Also, this.
It feels exactly like I'm playing this game again! Going in, I expected it to be the sequel to the original Prince of Persia, where our good Prince buys a copy of Shadow the Hedgehog and, angry that Sega would make such a crap game, burned it at the stake. But then I remembered that there was about a 14 year gap between the release of the games, meaning the plot couldn't be that convenient. Instead, it goes like this: the Prince is about to marry the Princess, but what the shit is this? Why is the Prince behind her AND in front of h-oh, wait, it's the Vizier. I guess stab wounds and falling 12 stories won't kill you if you know what card I'm holding. Anyway, the Prince has to run away from his kingdom and....wait, what does he have to do after that? It's kinda hard to tell, since the game never comes out and says it. I'm guessing it's "rescue the Princess from an ambiguous threat", but that fails to explain why I'm fighting creatures from Ugly Americans, or coming full circle by riding a magic carpet straight into Aladdin territory.
What's especially weird is that this doesn't really fit into...anything, really. Prince of Persia didn't push the realistic envelope beyond "3.5 by 6 inches." By which I mean "skeletons." Here, realism is pushed off a huge clip as soon as you find yourself stabbing flying heads so you can jump onto a magical horse. Why? Well, actually, it's supposed to add variety to the game, which is kinda the only thing this game has going for it. More levels than "dungeons, dungeons in lava, and more dungeons", (slightly) more to do when fighting characters, and a bit more to the levels than spikes, switches, and switches that summon spikes. It's not much, it's not necessary, and it's not exactly noticeable unless you're told about it (like right here), but damn it, it improves the core gameplay! Speaking of which, I don't think I've mentioned how exactly you play the game, and there's a very good reason for that: it's exactly the same as last time. You run, climb, jump, and (even more) awkwardly fight off foes. How can you fuck that up?
Here's a good hint: never ask that question, since somebody will inevitably fuck up after you ask them if they can. Case in point: this game is fast. Really fast. This game came out about a week after Sonic the Hedgehog, so I'm guessing the Prince thought he could prevent this crap from happening again if he used some blast processing. ( He couldn't.) Unfortunately, it did the exact opposite, since you now have less time to react, leading to a bunch of deaths in what is ultimately a shorter game because of said speed. I should end the blog here, but no, I'll tempt fate and push onward with something that several GB users were familiar with as of late: glitches. Oh, you'll find a bunch of them in this game. Even in the beginning, it's possible to jump onto an invisible ledge, quite literally tea-bagging physics in the process. As if that wasn't enough, later in the game, during the horse level, I somehow convinced the Prince to walk through walls and over gaps. It completely destroyed the game, since there are portions where gravity can be your friend. Had to reset, deal with an odd password system, and hoped that the Prince realized that Newton may have been onto something.

Review Synopsis

  • Here's all the story you need: The Prince now looks like Thighbrush Deepwood. So I'll give this the Best Way to Lose a Woman Award.
  • How can you fuck up running and jumping? Glitches out the ass you use to tea-bag the physics you glitched yourself away from, duh!
  • Rather short, mainly because the game moves at Sonic level speeds.
Hmmmm....where have I seen this before.... hmmm.....

Classic NES Series: Super Mario Bros.

( There's no stopping it, now!) That's right, I'm gonna blog about Super Mario Bros! I can already hear some of you not giving a shit, and to that I say, "You give me shit all the time, so why stop now?"......OK, I'm blowing this thing entirely out of proportion, but can you blame me? It's not like you'd do any better, right? You would? That's it. *fireballs you* Anyway, Super Mario Bros: still an OK game. OK, now I can hear you giving me shit, and to that I ask you what your problem is. It's not like I'm insulting the plot or anything.
  All hail the Mushroom Kingdom, O mighty land of strippers!
 All hail the Mushroom Kingdom, O mighty land of strippers!
After all, this game is one of the beloved Lunar legends. (Not that one.)(Yes, the Mushroom Kingdom is on the Moon. Deal with it.) Shortly after civil war in the Mushroom Kingdom, the tyrant-king Bowser captures the Princess and militarizes the country for conquest. In comes Mario, a humble plumber, to rescue the princess from said tyranny. His journey will take him across the war-torn Kingdom, a barren land where great fissures litter the land, money is so worthless that paupers lose nothing by throwing it in wells and upon the ground, a perpetual rain of cannon fire kills those who made the quest before Mario, and the lords and ladies have been ousted from their former-castles/now-labyrinth/death-traps. It's a moving tale full of vivid imagery and characters to whom you can relate. Except for Toad, he's a dick. Look, I'm trying to rescue your princess, Diaper Man; be grateful about it. Hell, I can't even name the capital of the Mushroom Kingdom, and I'm 2 minutes away from the damn thing! So don't blame me when I have to explore all 8 castles to find out where the Tyrant-King has hidden her.
Yes, that's right, I explored all the castles this time. It's not like in high school, where I just warped to world 8 and then wrote my thesis on "The Evolution of the Hadouken as a Storytelling Device." I did this so I could write a more thorough blog, making sure you guys couldn't insult me when I say that this epic classic has aged as well as my computer, for those who read my earlier diatribe. First, the levels. I've been to the Mushroom Kingdom, and it is nowhere near this generic. The lands I have explored contain much personality and will stay in my mind for many years, something I can't say for a lot of the levels in this game. Then again, if there is one thing they get right (it's more than one, by the way), it's variety, one thing I never see in people's opinions of this game. You explore the verdant fields of the Mushroom Kingdom, along with its darkest caves, deepest oceans, and, of course, the castles that the Tyrant-King has turned into his perverse playthings, deathtraps to its very inhabitants.
And to those who dare explore their darkest depths. Those like Mario, since he apparently bought his shoes at the Shadow Temple. He slips when you stop, and refuses to budge when you so much as apply 3000 tons of force to the d-pad. You'd think this would lead to the death of our hero time and time again, and while it does, I can't really complain about it, for several reasons. First, it's an excellent way of reiterating the theme of life's frailty. Second, the game's difficulty is so perfectly balanced that I can't even make a joke about it. The levels progress in such a way that you never find yourself overwhelmed or calling "cheap" before launching the controller into the TV with a crossbow. Yes, I complained about Mario wearing banana peel socks, but that's the only complaint I have against the controls. Other than that, they're Fire Emblem 4. How can you fuck up "move with the d-pad, jump with A, fireballs with B?" Well, unlike The Shadow & The Flame, you don't; the closest it comes to doing so is how the flaming stamen behaves, but that has nothing to do with the controls, does it? No, it doesn't. It still detracts from the game, granted, but that doesn't change the fact that flaming stamen sounds cool. Therefore, I give this game the Inspiring Band Names Award, a tradition carried on by the likes of Street Fighter and Final Fantasy.

Review Synopsis

  • One of the most memorable tales in all of gaming.
  • Rough around the edges (in the case of the graphics, literally.)
  • Still, it's easy to see why people loved this game in 85: Flaming Stamen.