This just in: S is the most used letter in all game titles.

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Super Adventure Island

( I'd say that was quick, but it seems to be happening a lot, lately.) First Umihara Kawase Shun, then the next game in that blog, and then Super Smash TV, and now this. Why am I beating games so quickly recently? And it's not like I'm choosing these just so I can end the countdown more quickly, either; I had no idea that Super Adventure Island would end in a couple of hours. Or that it'd suck.
Normally, I begin with the story, but I skipped it since the story's only exposed through the attract mode. Lemme take a guess at it, however: Higgins is hanging out with his girlfriend, when she suddenly gets captured. Now he must rescue her from the forces of evil, who want...something from her. I don't know, that part's never been explained in the series. Maybe none of them can talk to women, and Higgins owns the only blow-up doll in the world? OK, was I right? Kind of; turns out a wizard turns her to stone before capturing Higgins' blow-up girlfriend. Other than that, completely the same as other games in every way. For example, remember how many platformers back in the 90s were about walking right? Adventure Island has mastered that shit. All you do in the game is walk right, and the only power-up in the game just allows you to walk right faster, and without stopping. I can see that some of you are confused over why I said "only" in that last sentence. Let me explain. In another paragraph in the most awkward way possible.
  Hey, Lobster! What are you doing here?
 Hey, Lobster! What are you doing here?
*gets naked* There we are, that's pretty awkward. Anyway, Super Adventure Island removes A LOT from the series. World map? Gone. Warps? None that I know of. Ability to choose what you carry into the next level? Gone. And on that note, apparently, a comet hit the Earth between Adventure Island III and Super Adventure Island, because every single dinosaur in the game is gone. All you have is your skateboard and a weapon, and you lose the skateboard at the end of each level. What the hell, guys? You took out pretty much every advance the series has made in the past two games, and you added...orbs. All you guys added were orbs. You can't finish a level without touching an orb at the end, and there's this one power-up that turns your weapons into groups of pink orbs. What does that do? Hell if I know. My first thought would be that they're more powerful with orbs, but since every non-boss enemy already dies in one hit, and the bosses still take a buttload of axes (fuck alliteration) to die, so my best guess is that somebody forgot to get rid of a placeholder sprite during development, or something.
Oh, and speaking of bosses, they're pretty much the only creative thing in the entire game, for a couple of levels. You face off against both a fire-spewing statue that I think Mega Man X5 eventually ripped off, and an octopus that looks like it'd be more at home in a Parodius-esque shmup than a platformer. Then the third level comes along, and you realize that Hudson ran out of creativity by the second level. None of the bosses are as original as the first two, and I can point out exactly what they rip off: Battletoads, Shinobi, Super Mario Bros 3. That's it. There are only five bosses in the game because there are only five levels in the game. How do you explain yourself, Super Adventure Island? If I remember correctly, the previous game had, like, nine levels; how do you call yourself Super if you almost cut that in half? It's not like the levels are longer than those of the previous game; remember when I said that I beat the game in a couple of hours? Hell, those are my exact words! No, no excuses. I'm revoking your status as a Super game. Wait, I don't have to; not even Giant Bomb thinks you're super. I'm giving you the Name Change Award, only so I can no call you Impotent Adventure Island.

Review Synopsis

  • Why does everybody want to capture Higgins' sex doll? At least Peach is a princess.
  • Impotent Adventure Island: We've destroyed almost every advance the series has made.
  • The only good thing about it is that it ends soon.
Wow, this destroys any chance of seeing me ever do video reviews. DAMN YOU JAPANESE GUY REVIEWING ALL THE OBSCURE GAMES I PLAY!!! *goes off to figure out video problems before writing soda review*

Steel Empire

( OK, now it's just getting ridiculous.) Another short-as-shit (well, certain shits) game AND another blog with two games beginning with the letter S? How many of the latter do I have by now? Way too many? And it's not like I planned any of this, either; I wasn't expecting Super Adventure Island to suck harder than my blow-up doll hack (I replaced the mouth with a vacuum), and I never noticed that Steel and Super begin with the same letter. But whatever; I'm sure this won't be the last time this exact same thing happens. So, Steel Empire!
It's a Sega Genesis shmup, and both of us are already imagining a spaceship flying through the void of space, shooting robots and collecting crap, right? Both of you are horribly wrong, as this is one of those shooters somebody put some thought into. I'm not saying that other shooters aren't good, but it takes a lot of creativity to make a shooter set near the turn of the century, and they pulled it off. The story's told through flickering news reels, and on that note, I couldn't understand much of it. Something about a guy named Motorhead, and a republic of some type. Whatever; it at least feels appropriate for the feel the game's going for. Just look at anything in this game, and you'll get an early 20th-century-ish vibe. Throughout your adventure, you'll fly over sepia tone cities, raid beaches (trust me, they did that a lot in the early 1900s), fly into underground bunkers, fly into space and...umm...uh....fight sci-fi robots? Sci-fi robots hate the kaiser, I guess? Like Super Adventure Island, Steel Empire loses its creative steam over time; unlike Super Adventure Island, it's much more gradual, only noticeable in the last level or two. The rest of the atmosphere would have been awesome had they not abandoned it at the end of the game.
  I liked Steel Empire, so please pretend I'm mad at Zero Wing. Because I am.
 I liked Steel Empire, so please pretend I'm mad at Zero Wing. Because I am.
I wish I could say the same about the actual game, but I can't. If I could, the blog would kinda end on this line, but we're still going aren't we? Anyway, the gameplay's a bit simple, by shooter standards. I realize it's hard to get simpler than "shoot and dodge", but most shooters have multiple power-ups and stuff; Steel Empire will have none of that. The gun you get is the one you finish the game with, especially if you suck at the game and have to restart constantly, and the only upgrade you're gonna get for it is a spread, and maybe a couple of options. To be fair, though, I did play the entire game as one ship, but you only get two ships: a plane and a zeppelin. The plane's faster, more fragile, and can shoot the ground, while the zeppelin is none of that. It doesn't matter, though, since there's a level system in place that gives you more HP and not much else. Your weapons may get more powerful, but I'm sure that's more due to collecting power-ups than levels, so that's about it. All it does is give you more HP, which helps me transition nicely into my next paragraph.
Dear shmup developers: when you implement a feature for our convenience that's actually a good idea, please make sure it doesn't make the game too easy. Don't get me wrong, I Oh, god, no, I fucking hate Phalanx, that game sucks. But the idea of health doesn't, even if it makes the game too easy, like Steel Empire. For some reason, health allows you to absorb a buttload of hits with little consequence, made worse by the fact that the only thing you lose when you die are your options. Oh, and speaking of butts, ass-shooting. As I've said in my Omega Factor blog (which I will now use as evidence against my critic(s)), nothing can stand up to butt bullets. NOTHING!!! Once you introduce sphincter suppressors into a game, you might as well make it a single Quick Time Event, because there's more challenge in that. Then again, Quick Time Events don't have the variety and effort that this game has, even if it is Dragon's Lair. Fuck it, I like the game, so ignore all the mean things I've been saying about it. Hooray, Negating Blog Award!

Review Synopsis

  • The 20th century motif would've been awesome if the game actually stuck to it.
  • The game's simple, and while it does try to remedy the situation, it doesn't, somehow.
  • Despite all the variety and some challenging moments, the game's just a bit too easy.