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Old 03-14-2021, 10:56 AM   #41
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

how the fuck is the character the last fortress that doesn't make any sense at all
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:41 PM   #42
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

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Originally Posted by ElectricZap9 View Post
I'm pretty sure HAL reused the "fly inside to get to ze core" part from this for the later parts of 'Help & Kill Marx' in 'Kirby Games that don't Deserve Individual Releases', maybe the atmosphere too for the whole series, but it's "sugar-coated" in an attempt to possibly, just maybe make the game seem more "innocent" on a superficial level.
That's a hell of a take for very different games, not sure if I can see any of it

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people who say that haven't actually played Zelda 1

but if you would rather play the CDi games over wind waker I'm very concerned that you may have gotten a bootleg copy or something
I can confirm that everyone I know who says that has played Zelda 1, but honestly I think it's a little far fetched. You can counter each argument fairly simply, like the free roaming and little to no guidance, or so I feel.

And no. Obviously WW is a higher quality game, but it falls in the boring territory. Faces of Evil and Wand of Gamelon are hilarious and honestly both in the top 5 on the console unironically. They're not solid or anything, but with the proper setup, they're quite unique and interesting, and the painted backgrounds are beautiful, even if they are a bit confusing. They're also rare and some of my most expensive games too, so the collector's pride does factor in.

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how the fuck is the character the last fortress that doesn't make any sense at all
That's what I thought when I read that, but upon further examination, I do think that's complete BS. The wikipedia paragraph on the topic doesn't have any references, and I can't find one on my own.
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Old 03-14-2021, 10:18 PM   #43
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 14th

Today's challenge is: Bad Day Cure

If I'm having a bad day, and want to cure it with videogames, I know exactly what I want. I want an uplifting game with great controls and with moderate to intense difficulty. The idea is to have a game that can resist me, but that gives me a way to vent my frustration without adding to the reasons why I may feel down. At first, I thought of Super Punch Out since it does all of the above really well, but I thought of something much better.

That game is Dragonball Advanced Adventure, on the GBA. It's pretty interesting that, considering how many games there are about Dragonball Z, there are very, very few games about Dragonball. And this one might possibly be the best of them all! It's a 2D sidescrolling beat 'em up for most of the game, with some shmup stages as well, and it sometimes becomes a 2D fighter with a completely different control scheme. And, oh, by the way, I consider this game to be the best Game Boy Advance game ever made, but for very subjective reasons for the most part, as there are plenty of other great games on the system that people might feel more drawn to.



The platformer stages cover some of the most iconic adventures in the original Dragonball saga, but taking a lot of liberties to enhance the experience. There are also a lot of hidden items to find. You can use either Goku or Krillin in the main story (each having their own routes, and it pretty much plays by itself. Everything you can and want to do comes out so fucking fast, as you'd expect of a Dragonball game. It's really fun! And this nails the Kamehameha like no other Dragonball free roaming action game.

The fighter stages are a little more interesting, as the way they work is very unique. You usually have to find a way to jump on your opponent, and trade hits with them. It does no damage, and you don't receive or deal hitstun. There's a small stamina gauge, and the first one to empty the other player's stamina bar, gets to do a combo on them (which deals damage), aerial or ground based, which may then be followed up by a launch attack or a special move. This may sound weird, but honestly it makes you feel like you are playing the anime most of the time. And this is where I would get to vent most of my frustration. I also think this is one of the most underrated “fighting games” of all time. And, cherry on top, you can use a lot of characters in this mode.



There are also bonus modes, which are mostly unlocked by unlocking every collectible. In these modes, you can use ANYONE. Down to the shittiests grunt in the game. It's not that unique, but they've made them all play really well.

The music and art are sublime. The former is actually not taken from the anime, but mostly arrangements inspired by the show's OST, and it works super well. I wouldn't listen to it on its own, and honestly it's not the same without the sound effects, but it's incredibly satisfying. The artwork did take some liberties here and there, but it does a great effort of doing justice to the source material.



If I had any complaint about this game, it's that it didn't cover the 23rd world's martial arts tournament (at least, not by a whole lot, only cyborg tao is in there), but other than that, it's fucking amazing, and it can be quite hard too!

It's only available on the GBA, and it's a must have title, Dragonball fan or not. And fun fact, I personally own a PAL copy, which features different artwork on the cover of the box. I prefer the NTSC goku look, but the one I have doesn't have a DBZ Goku in the back, so I like it a bit more.

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something something nate lever
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

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Old 03-14-2021, 11:37 PM   #44
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

honestly looks fucking incredible
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Old 03-15-2021, 04:53 AM   #45
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honestly looks fucking incredible
It is, pls try it
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something something nate lever
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Originally Posted by Dark Humor, pls keep away if easily triggered
I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

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Old 03-15-2021, 10:26 AM   #46
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It is, pls try it
no
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Old 03-15-2021, 09:35 PM   #47
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no
wow ok
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something something nate lever
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

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Det är okej om djuret är större än du.
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Old 03-15-2021, 11:02 PM   #48
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 15th

Today's challenge is: Favorite Protagonist

I was dreading this one ever since I looked at Trevor's meme template for the challenge. It's also been a topic of discussion with fellow gamers, since for years I couldn't really think of a protagonist I was that much a fan of. Deuteragonists are another story entirely, but protagonists, I can think of some pretty good ones, but none truly satisfying, considering I can only pick one.

On top of that, I threw myself 3 dumbass rules for today's theme, and it made it quite a bit harder. The main character had to originate from the game and not from another medium, the game also had to have been released physically, and most of all, it had to be a girl. So, why the last one? Because while I can actually think of some great male characters, I've also picked the girl first in any game I could choose to (unless she was lame or if there was a ninja guy instead), and thus, picking a guy would feel like betraying myself. I didn't want to make this a waifu pick however, so this has nothing to do with it.

Before I get down with the main topic, here are some of the characters I was considering (this post is gonna be really long I'm afraid). First, there was my safety option, Aya Brea from the Parasite Eve franchise. She's not the best character ever, but I got into her world a whole lot and absolutely enjoyed her perspective of being thrown into the fray alone simply because she was naturally the only one with the means to survive the challenge. Whether or not she was the protagonist of The 3rd Birthday (fantastic game that is grossly overrated, by the way) is debatable, but despite her acute gasp syndrome, she was still awesome for the same reason.

Next, there's Ashley Mizuki Robbins, from Trace Memory. She had a fun sense of humor, and displayed a wide range of emotions that you could always relate to. You could make a similar case for Max Caulfield from Life is Strange, which was fantastic (and the cel shaded graphics probably made me appreciate her a lot more, as they really eased my way in my immersion).

As far as retro games, Ellinor Waizen from the Aleste series (specifically, from MUSHA) left a great impression on me. I thought her circumstances were quite epic, and as weird as it sounds, I loved how fucked up she got through the game. It's not that I enjoy girls getting hurt, but pushing through the pain and stuff like that is just a great heroic trait regardless of the gender, and it's not something you'd often see in games like this. For example, I think Samus Aran would be multiple times more badass if she finished the game bloodied and beaten up.

Then for some left field options, I think Neptune from the Hyperdimension franchise is incredible in her own right. She's mostly a quirky parody character, and how much she (and the other characters) make fun of other gaming related companies, games or events was a guilty pleasure for me.



These are a but a few examples of protags I had in mind, but none of them felt right for today. So how did I make up my mind? Well, I asked Thesunfan for a fresh perspective on the topic, and while we both didn't know how well it would turn out, it definitely did clear up my thoughts. Therefore, I will talk about Faith Connors' debut game, Mirror's Edge.

Faith is not really the greatest main character ever, and nowhere close to that if you ask me. However, a lot of things were done right with her design. She wasn't the kind of character you're supposed to project into, but a character that tries to tell you her story, which is something I MUCH prefer over the former option. There aren't that many flaws I can point out otherwise, other that she's a little too much of an edgelord sometimes, but she's interesting enough, and her looks are appropriate for the kind of game she stars in.



About Mirror's Edge itself. Well, that's another game that completely changed my life. I had the chance to play the pre release demo on launch and on a few occasions afterwards on my friend's PS3, and I knew I had to buy the console just to play that one game. It took a little while for that to happen however, and sure, it did come out on PC and Xbox 360, and at the time, it might not have bothered me a whole lot to pick either of those systems, but I was slowly getting interested in the trophy system.

So yes, I ended up buying a brand new PS3 on a random whim while at Best Buy simply because I was craving this game too much. Also bought my first flatscreen the next day. And yes, this is THE game that got me into trophy hunting, which is the one activity I ended up dedicating myself to the most in my entire life. I'm currently sitting at 151 platinums, and I'd have exactly zero if this game didn't come into my life.



Anyway, what is Mirror's Edge, exactly? And why did it speak to me this much? Well, the sum of my gaming experience led me to imagine something like this, and when I saw it, if felt like getting my dreams served on a silver plate in the form of a Blu Ray disc. It's a first person, high speed parkour game, with minor combat mechanics and extremely stimulating yet minimalistic graphics. The controls are a little janky, but they work perfectly when it comes to making the player feel fully immersed into the action.



The story isn't all that great, and the characters are all kind of lame, but the universe is the best representation of a dystopian future I had ever seen until its reboot came out (sorry Cyberpunk, but you can't touch this thing). The way sound effects are used is unbeatable by any game ever. The cutscenes are animated in a different style entirely, but it was a nice artistic choice. And honestly, if it wasn't for the impact this game had on my life, I might have actually leaned towards Mirror's Edge: Catalyst instead. Sure, you couldn't use a gun in that one, but the free roaming was a major upgrade, and HOLY SHIT that last mission. The sense of vertigo was always a fantastic aspect of the game, but it outdid itself there.



Now, if this franchise gave me full VR support, and did it well, it might jump dangerously close to being my favorite franchise ever, but regardless, I will forever cherish this title, and I'm 200% sure it will forever be my favorite game of the 7th generation for video game, as well as having a solid spot in my top 5 games of all time. It's this fucking good.

As mentionned before, it's available on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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something something nate lever
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Humor, pls keep away if easily triggered
I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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Originally Posted by the sun fan View Post
SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-16-2021, 09:01 PM   #49
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 16th

Today's challenge is: After Work Relaxation.

Halfway done!

I didn't think today through a whole lot, mainly because I'd honestly play anything to get my mind off work, even games I don't like, so I consider this one to be kind of a freebie. I did try to pick a somewhat relaxing game, but that's the extent of my effort. Otherwise, I just picked whatever I feeled like talking about.



I decided to talk about Magical Chase. It's a shmup (yeah, a relaxing shmup) with 3 difficulty settings: breeze, bumpy and rough, but it's always an evenly smooth experience regardless of what you pick (the difficulty does increase or decrease significantly (depending on your pick), but no “spikes” are present). You control a cute witch on a broom named Ripple, and go through horizontally scrolling stages, where you usually have to fight a boss or two (shoutouts to Fat Metal).



She has two weapons in her arsenal. One is her main gun, which is upgraded by visiting the pumpkin man in a mid level shop (you see it floating up, then fly into it and you can buy custom parts, as well as health upgrades and stuff like that). The other one is her stars, which behave in an extremely counter intuitive way. They either move around the witch in reverse, like if you fall back, they'll get in front of you, and if you push forward, they'll cover your back, or they lock themselves in a specific position, which is weird to set up and I honestly don't really understand how the hell it works. The stars can also block certain incoming attacks, and it is necessary to make use of that in some levels.



The artstyle is fantastic for the era, the level design is flawless in my opinion, and the music is great. As I've already mentionned twice, I have a soft spot for cute 'em ups, and even though I first heard of this game because of its value, that's not really why I wanted to play it. There are a lot of wacky enemies and stage mechanics, and after playing through the game with my buddy for the first time, I stayed up all night to complete it a second time on the higher difficulty setting. I found it to be quite nice and relaxing still, which is basically the only reason it's the game I picked today, as I've never played this after work. I also never even booted my own copy or played my own PC Engine console (more on that in the next paragraph).



You can't talk about Magical Chase without talking about how it is the most expensive game to ever see a regular release, with copies fetching well over 10k dollars everytime nowadays. I personally own a custom made reproduction cart, which is even rarer than the real deal. Contrary to the PC Engine (the Turbografx-16 in Europe and Japan), the TG-16 has some weird protection in its HU-cards (there exist the PC Henshin, which is the third version of the region converter which allows you to play North American copies on the Japanese PC Engine, which was actually developped by a Quebec dude, and which I own). You really have to know the right people in order to get your hands on that, and even then that's not the most likely thing to happen.



I also seeked to buy two copies of this, which I did. A friend of mine bought one from a Canadian turbo enthusiasts' test run batch, and let me in on their little experience. They eventually sold a tiny batch of these carts, and I got there just in time to buy what I wanted. I gifted my friend Phil (who doesn't like cutesy girly games at all) one of the copies as a troll gift (he likes horizontal 2D shooters, however, so it wasn't entirely troll).



I've technically lied though, as I actually had heard of Magical Chase before (in a litteral sense). During FlashFlashRevolution's 6th Official Tournament, a chart for a song called “Ochitsukeruwakenaiwayo!” (by a guy going by “Yuuyu”) was used for Round 3 in my division. I later learned that the song was sort of a medley/arrangement of music from the Title Screen, the jingle that played after pressing “Run” on said title screen, and the first level of Magical Chase.

The game was initially released for the PC Engine, then got a slightly enhanced version 2 years later on the Turbografx-16. It was later made available on PC and on the Game Boy Color.

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Quote:
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something something nate lever
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Humor, pls keep away if easily triggered
I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
Quote:
Originally Posted by the sun fan View Post
SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-17-2021, 10:38 PM   #50
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 17th

Today's challenge is: Biggest Letdown.

Another easy one today, which I'll try to keep short since I'm getting a little burned out. The thing is, I rarely let myself get let down by games, because I rarely get hyped for games. When other people hype up games, I tend to approach them with extreme caution, which hinders my personal enjoyment and leads me to be cautious even more. When I do get hyped up, it usually does live up to my expectations, so I guess I'm fairly lucky. The only other scenario is if a game starts up pretty good but then quickly goes down the shitter. However, I'm gonna focus on the other one.

Examples of games that fall in that scenario for me are Pokemon Stadium, Hagane and Smash Brawl. But I'm not gonna talk about any of those. Instead, I'll talk about Dead or Alive 4, mostly because I wanna have at least one game from a Microsoft console. I don't know how many times I watched the first trailer from that game, I actually saved it to my computer when it was released. I thought it was sooooooo epic, and a great step up from Dead or Alive 3, which had been my favorite fighter ever since I got to play it for a few days straight the very week the original Xbox came out.



It took me forever to get to play it, since I was already fully into trophy hunting at the time and thus spent most of my “modern gaming” budget on the PS3. Hell, I already had over 500 hours of playtime on Dead or Alive 5 at that point. I actually accidentally bought a 360 while doing late night eBay auction sniping. How did that happen? Well, someone online was about to win a 360 with a 20$ bid. I was like “fuck that you aren't paying 20$ for a current gen console”, so I bid 40$ just to raise his bid (I can be a real asshole sometimes). However, 20$ was close to his max bid, so I ended up being the highest bidder with 30$ or something, and I won it myself for that price. Oh well, there was a handful of games I wanted on the console anyway, so that didn't really annoy me.



Dead or Alive 4 was the first game I bought on the console, and I played it as soon as the 360 arrived. And I felt let down, but why that happened is hard to put into words, but mostly, I thought it was a little stiff compared to DOA3 and DOA5, that the new cast and new costumes were lame, and it didn't have huge launching attacks like the one before (when Ayane would shitkick you across the arena). Plus, having played DOA5 a lot beforehand, I felt like this was a major downgrade. I could feel something similar when playing the first two games, but when comparing them to their contemporaries, mostly Virtua Fighter and Tekken, I felt like they were pure gold.



It's honestly a game I should revisit with a new mindset, as it's really bumming me out how that's the only game in the series that didn't blow my mind once I had actually played it. I played 3, 5 and 6 on their release day (or close to), and the only one of them I encountered any sort of issues with was the 6th one, although it still felt great. Maybe one day, I'll play it again and enjoy it like the rest.



Oh, and juuuuust in case: I know everyone knows it as the “tits fighter” with the whole boob physics engine thing, but it's so, so much more than that. You shouldn't dismiss the franchise because of this, because you'd be missing out on what is, to me, the greatest fighting game franchise of all time, no less than that. At least among those with 3D models.

Only available on the Xbox 360.
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something something nate lever
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Humor, pls keep away if easily triggered
I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.
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Old 03-18-2021, 11:02 AM   #51
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 18th

Today's challenge is: “Back in the day” Game.

Let's go way back, to a console I've very rarely had the chance to play: The Atari 2600. I actually don't own any Atari console, but that will change in the future, I'm sure, as I've been looking up for 7800 offers here and there. Anyway, one of my friends (sup Jay) has a small Atari collection, and he once tried to impress me with one of the games he had. It worked, and I went and bought it afterwards, despite not owning the console to play it on.



The game he made me play was Solaris, a very late release for the console. I'll do my best to explain what the game is, because I don't really get it, and I just go into a crazed frenzy whenever I play it. It's an open world action game, and you're a lone spacecraft pilot travelling across the galaxy, fighting against alien squadrons, conquering planets (or blowing them the fuck up, more on that later), invading enemy bases, picking up people on planets, stuff like that. Like I said, I don't have a clue what's actually going on, but it's somewhere around those lines, and I'm not going to research it, I'll discover what it's about by myself in the future.

So, for a game I know so little about, why is it my pick for today? BECAUSE IT'S AMAZING, OH FUCK IT'S AMAZING. There is literally nothing on the console that looks and feel as advanced as this game, save for maybe some modern day tech demos if you wanna count those. The game graphics may be ahead of their time, and the whole concept might also be, but those sounds are pure Atari 2600 gold. You know the classic explosion noise on the console? Well, variations of it play non stop through the game. It's crazy.



Let's talk about the planet blowing thing. You can select a planet on the map if you wanna visit it, and you'll “jump” there afterwards. You'll fly close to the ground and do whatever it is you need to do near ground level. Eventually, you'll come across a small building that is basically a gas station, you can go there to refuel your airplane. What you can also do, however, is shooting it down. It doesn't blow up just the gas station, oh no, somehow I guess those are always connected to the planet's entire fuel supply. So after shooting it down, your spaceship will automatically speed up, as the whole planet starts to collapse, then after takeoff, debris from the planet will fly all over the place from behind you and the whole galaxy will try to hunt you down. That is so fucking crazy, I literally can't even. Oh and you better believe that the Atari's soundchip is having a fucking seizure while this happens.



Sadly the above gif runs at too few FPS, so you can't see the planet flashing and breaking down before the ship escapes.

Ah, just thinking about it makes me happy, and I wanna play it. Exclusive to the glorious Atari 2600.
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FMO AAAs (click on title for replays):
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayword45 View Post
something something nate lever
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Humor, pls keep away if easily triggered
I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
Quote:
Originally Posted by the sun fan View Post
SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-19-2021, 02:10 PM   #52
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 19th

Today's challenge is: “Not the best, but having fun.”

I thought I should play with the meaning of this theme a little. I'm pretty sure it should be “average game I enjoy”, but I decided to take it a little bit more literally. Therefore, today, I'm gonna talk about Psychic World (or Psycho World, if you're playing it on the MSX2), a great game that is mostly defined by not being “the best”, according to yours truly. I will cover all three versions of this rather obscure title in order to explain why I'm saying that.



First of all, all three versions of the game are the same at the core, but they're also all significantly different. It's essentially a Megaman clone (and even though I enjoy playing this more than playing Megaman, it is definitely not as good), where you play as a girl with latent psychokinesic powers unlocked with some cutting edge headband. As you play, you can unlock various powers and switch between them as you need to. You mainly have elemental powers (like fire, ice, sonic, etc) and some support powers (like levitation, teleportation and invincibility).

The girl in question is called Lucia, and she was the assistant of a certain Dr. Knavik along with her twin sister, Cecile. Cecile is kidnapped by some monsters, and Lucia sets out to rescue her. It turns out that this was all part of Dr. Knavik's plan, who mind controls Cecile to turn her against Lucia. After peacefully incapacitating her twin sister, Lucia is shocked to find out that Dr. Knavik actually is in alien (sounds familiar?) and unleashes all of her abilities in a furious rage, which is where the story concludes.



Now that this has been said, let's talk about all three versions, starting with the Game Gear as it was the first one I've played. This version probably has the best combo of storyline, sound and controls, however almost half of the levels are missing, and the game doesn't look super great. I don't know the reason behind this as the Game Gear is pretty much identical to the Master System in terms of hardware, except slightly better since it makes use of a better color palette. The psychic powers are lined up horizontally, which makes it easy to stop and pick which one you want. Plus, the game pauses while you switch powers, which seems obvious, but sadly the Master System version doesn't do that. The music and sound design are identical to the console version, and it's absolutely fantastic, which is rare by 8-bits SEGA standards. The whole storyboard cutscene set is there (but it's ugly). However, due to there being fewer levels, some of the game engine cutscenes are missing, which is a shame since those were more on the lighthearted side, which gave the game a lot of personality. The cover art also sucks dick, unless you get the Japanese version, which looks pretty cool. Another plus exclusive to this version is that it's dirt cheap.



The Master System version is probably the one with the best presentation and graphics overall, as all the cutscenes, be storyboard or game engine, are present. All the levels are there, with some being slightly different from the Game Gear version, mostly due to how that one would sometimes blend two levels together. This would be the best version of the game if it wasn't for the fact that the game doesn't pause while selecting your powers, which make some sections very frustrating design wise, such as when you're forced to switch back and forth on top of a conveyor belt that drops you to your death. Also, you really have to be a fan of the Tonka artwork, because that's what you'll get on the cover, but honestly it's one of the less kitsch ones they've done. You can get this one for several times the price of the Game Gear version, but still usually under 60 USD.



Lastly, you have the original version on the MSX2. I haven't played this one, and I sure as hell am never going to own it because like most of the games on the console, you have to expect paying over a grand to own it. The cover art is one of my favorite of all time, however, which is why I've used it on the grid above. In this version, the artwork and sound engineering are drastically different, and all the levels are designed differently, though I'd say the Game Gear and Master System versions were improvements on that end. There are no cutscenes made with the game's engine, but a few more with detailed pixel art. I still count this as a flaw, however. This version also has the best music of the bunch, and the final fight with the alien doctor is a lot better than it is in the other two versions. And thank god, you can pause while switching which powers you are using. I don't know how well the controls feel in this one as I've never even seen a MSX2 in real life, but I'd like to assume they at least function like the other versions, since they look to me like they would.

So, which one is the best? Honestly, you could go either way, there's no clear cut winner. They each have their own strenghts and issues, which is why I said this game was “defined” by never being the best. It's not the best when you compare it against Megaman, and it's not the best when you compare it to either other versions. If you want the best controls, you pick the Game Gear version. If you want the full experience, you go with the Master System version. And if you want the most advanced version, you go with the MSX2 version. If I'm picking myself, I'll give a tiny, TINY edge to the Master System version, because I'm able to ignore the power switching issues and because I'm a diehard fan of that console.



On a last note, the first I heard of this game was after skimming through my friend Phil's personal list of “Master System games to look out for” after he had looked through the console's library. I was pretty shocked when I checked it out, and I then made acquiring both the SEGA versions a top priority. As it stands, I rank it as the 2nd best Master System game, so it is really fucking good, and definitely not average. What is my #1 game on the console, you ask? I think you'll find out sooner than later...

As mentionned multiple times in today's post, the game is out on the MSX2, the SEGA Master System, and the SEGA Game Gear.

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Old 03-20-2021, 08:36 PM   #53
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March 20th

Today's challenge is: Criminally Underlooked.

As hinted yesterday, today will be about my favorite game on my favorite console (the SEGA Master System, to reiterate), which is itself criminally underlooked, unless you live in Europe or in Brazil. Let's get into it.

Most people have heard of Ninja Gaiden. People will usually think of the NES trilogy or maybe the more recent ones when hearing the name. If you're asking for old Ninja Gaiden games not on NES, you might hear about the arcade version, but no one ever mentions the Master System version while that one is easily and by far the best one in the series. THAT should be a retrogaming sin, and therefore I'm gonna talk about SEGA's take on Ninja Gaiden.



So to clarify, this game isn't a port or anything, but a brand new game with a similar design. Everything other than how it remains a ninja platformer has changed, so much so that you could call this Ninja Gaiden 4 or something. The special weapons are mostly different, you have a special move that hurts everything on the screen at the cost of 5 units off your lifebar, you can hang pretty much everything your hands come across, the wall jumping has been rethought into something that feels a whole lot more natural, and the knockback hitstun has been made a lot more fair.



In comparison to the NES games, It's definitely on the easy side, but while some people may complain about that, I don't think this is a bad thing. It's not too easy, you still have to put in the work in order to complete the game, but I'd rather have than than having an unfair experience, like the respawning enemies you'll find in the NES trilogy. Sure, they're not impossible, and difficulty is a good thing when the game gives you means of fighting back, but I still prefer the easier one because of its design.



While the SMS game is visually a LOT superior to the NES games, the same can't be said of the music. Even though it did do a pretty good job overall, the SMS can't compete with the NES there, but that's a console issue, and imo the only area the SMS falls short in the 8bits console war (unless you count the library, but that's not the console's fault). Even with a FM enabled console (and there aren't many compatible games), there's just no way you can compare them. Also, the NES trilogy's music is legendary.



Back to the game itself, it also features those storyboard cutscenes, and in my opinion the story is pretty fun, though the translation seems to have been botched. There are some fun and unique moments in the game too. In the second level, you can see “SEGA” written on some buildings, and the boss of that level is sitting down the whole time as his goons come after you, and he just gets more and more beaten up the more you slash him down. There's also this little bandana animation on your character, which wasn't a very common thing at the time. All the levels are very unique themselves. They're also nice and colorful, and their bosses all work in very unique way. The boss of the waterfall level might be a little disappointing, but at least he has two phases. Other than that, it's just a pleasure to go through them.



When I got this game, I went to visit my friend Phil (always the same people coming back in these stories, huh) so we'd go through it together, and I think it left a great impression on the both of us. About 2 years later, I showed it to his brother Jay (yup, same people), which led him to buy a Genesis SMS adapter which he had ignored up to this point, and which was pretty weird considering he was also a SEGA fan. I ended up gifting him a SMS myself recently, as Felix (oh god can't I stop talking about the same folks) was getting rid of his collection. I know full well that he's going to add this game to his collection eventually, and in the meantime, I'll try to spread the gospel of 8bits SEGA a bit more.

The game is exclusive to the obvious GOAT of retro consoles.

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Old 03-20-2021, 10:22 PM   #54
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

I really dig these write-ups, it gives surprising insight into your video gaming universe. It makes me want to try it out, see what games I'd end up talking about!

Also, I have never tried Mirror's Edge. I feel like this is something you should introduce me to...
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Old 03-21-2021, 07:12 AM   #55
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I really dig these write-ups, it gives surprising insight into your video gaming universe. It makes me want to try it out, see what games I'd end up talking about!

Also, I have never tried Mirror's Edge. I feel like this is something you should introduce me to...
Anytime you're over here then!
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Old 03-21-2021, 10:49 PM   #56
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March 21st

Today's challenge is: Depressing Game.

Today's challenge is a fun one, despite the theme. While it could be interpreted as a depressing gaming experience, in an unintended way, I prefer to think of it as a game that emphasizes a “lower” mood overall. And while I'm more of someone who likes high octane stimulation, I can definitely appreciate a game that tries to pull me into a state of vulnerability, if it's done right, and that's what I'll be focusing on today.



The game I picked for this theme is A Rose in the Twilight. It's a 2D puzzle platformer, and one of the games in a series of “cute horror games” that give similar vibes, courtesy of Nippon Ichi Software. The other games in that series that I'm familiar with are the two Yomawari games, htoL#NiQ and void tRrLM();. I however consider A Rose in the Twilight to be the greater one. You play as a little girl with a rose tied around her waist, which has the power to either draw or give the color red from and to various objects. Removing the red color from an object freezes it in place, even if it's falling mid air, and giving it back allows it to behave normally. There's also an egg shaped Giant that can help you progress, either by acting as a platform, tossing items or tossing the little girl herself. You have to progress by using those mechanics. There are also a few sections where the only way to progress is to commit suicide, and you'll usually find a device to help her do so (in the most brutal of ways, so that her spilling red blood can activate a mechanism). The little girl is immortal, but is not without fear or pain, so these segments do a great job of conveying strong emotions.



You might be wondering how horror and cuteness work together, and honestly I can't exactly explain it. So many opposing themes occur at the same time in these games, and it's really something you have to experience yourself to understand. All I can say is this formula needs to be explored a lot more. If you've played Undertale, you can kiiiiiinda get a similar vibe, although in my opinion it only conveys a tiny fraction of what it can feel like.



The story is told through blood memories that you collect through the game, and it's honestly very hard to make anything out of it until you've collected all of them. The soundtrack that plays through those is absolutely gorgeous, and has an organic feel that you don't find all that often in gaming anymore. I'll take the liberty of linking one of my favorite pieces from the game after this paragraph (really love how clearly you can hear the piano's hammer in this one). Style wise, since colors are so important to the main mechanics, the entire game is black, white, shades of grey and red, and it further supports the depressing mood this way. It doesn't look nearly as good as htoL#NiQ did, but I feel like it was intentional.



I played this one shortly after its release in 2017 (pretty much the best year in gaming in my opinion) since I had been very impressed with it's predecessor. I absolutely ate it up, and I give it a solid 9 out of 10 at the absolute lowest, despite how simple and short it is. Get yourself a nice blanket, and give this gem a shot if you're interested. Also, try to find all the small Easter eggs. I personally loved killing the friendly giant in the only way possible.



The game is out on PS Vita and PC. It's also one of the rare games in this list that I do not own a copy of, and instead only have the digital version. It did come out physically however, so you can be sure that I'll get it sooner than later.
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Old 03-22-2021, 10:49 PM   #57
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March 22nd

Today's challenge is: Favorite ACTIVE Franchise.

Alright, I'm starting this one late so I don't have a lot of time. Let's hurry up!

I went back and forth with this theme, and it was another problematic one since I had to add rules to avoid lying. Those rules are as follows: Even though I'm picking an active franchise, I have to consider every game in the series, including spinoffs, and if there is a sub par title in said franchise, I can't use it. That's because otherwise, I'd have to pick a game from a franchise I've already used or planned to use in this challenge, which was bound to happen since I'm mostly using titles I really, REALLY like. I had initially narrowed it down to Gal*Gun, which isn't all that great, but everygame is solid and pretty much the king of its near extinct genre in the modern era. But then, something happened this week, and I thought of something much, much better.



That franchise is the Aleste franchise, which I wasn't really considering because the last Aleste game was in the early 90s... Until Christmas of 2020, that is! Just a few months ago, Aleste collection was released on PS4. It features all of the Game Gear and Master System Aleste games, with a brand new Game Gear title made for the occasion, known as Aleste 3. On top of that, a new, modern era game is currently in development, codenamed Aleste Breach (sure, Compile no longer manages the franchise, but M2 is, so close enough). And since Aleste kicks way more ass than Gal*Gun ever did, it was a very satisfying epiphany.

While I used the collection for today's challenge, I'll mostly focus on Power Strike II, and I'll include a story about another title, which is the one that made me think of this franchise. But first, let's say what I have to say about Aleste Collection. I received my copy last week, and I haven't played it yet. However, I'm really disappointed that they only included the 8-bits games, and not the other 3, which are MUSHA, Space Megaforce and Robo Aleste. Also, I almost gave in and let myself buy the 400$ collector's edition, which came with a mini Game Gear that could play the new one they made. But I only got the regular one for one fourth of this figure. Oh well.



Anyway, about Power Strike II... Well, it's about as amazing an 8-bits shmup as you can get. In my book, nothing even comes CLOSE to packing as much of a punch as this one does. It has the best graphics, fantastic controls and weapon systems, a mindblowing and over the top soundtrack (might be the very best soundtrack on the Master System period). I had a copy made-to-order just for myself from some guy on the internets, and I carry it everywhere I go where I can introduce it to people. The only things I'd do different with this one is that I'd rather play as Ellinor instead of this pothunter mercenary asshole, which is a very minor complaint, and I'd make the game sliiiightly less unforgiving when you take a hit. You lose half of your power ups, and you're better off resetting the game if it happens even once. I've only beaten it once, and otherwise, I get a game over on stage 4 or 5 if I get hit a single time before then.



That was a tiny review, but like I said, I'm short on time. I'll be sure to add a bunch of Gifs, however. Now, about the other game... Well, that game is MUSHA, a crazy expensive Aleste title on the Genesis (though, to be faire, almost all the Aleste games are well into triple digit figures, even for loose carts, with the possible exceptions of the first Aleste on Game Gear and the first Power Strike, but for both of them, you still have to be lucky to find them under 100$.



Some of you may know about Felix selling his video game collection. Recently, he approached me and asked me if I was interested in buying Musha for 100$. I was like “lolwat”, then he said he would do 50$, but no lower (apparently it was a typo, but he still rolled with what happened next). I said “lol sold” and sent him 60$, then he actually sent me his game for a joke of a price. And now I own it.

Upon receiving the game, I inspected it and noticed a star was scribbled in a small hole visible from the inside of the game's case. I looked at the reverse side of the cover art and found a gigantic, heartwarming message addressed to me (though I initially thought it might have been there since before Felix aquired it). Normally, people would be outraged that such a valuable collectible would have been done like this, but I thought it was the most amazing thing of all, and actually ended up reversing the whole cover so that his message would be showing on the front.

Felix, thank you so much for this, it feels as though our nerdy bromance has reached unspeakable levels. I love you man, and I will take care of and cherish this lil' kid of yours that I adopted as though it was of my own blood.



Aleste 1 and 2 are out on Game Gear. Power Strike and Power Strike II are out on the glorious Master System. MUSHA is exclusive to the Genesis. Space Megaforce is the sole Nintendo Aleste title, and is available on the SNES. Robo Aleste is exclusive to the SEGA CD, and the Aleste collection is available on PS4 and Switch.

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Old 03-23-2021, 10:55 PM   #58
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March 23rd

Today's challenge is: Indie Game.

We're doing an indie game today, awesome! This theme is one of the more promising ones as these games don't necessarily get all the coverage they deserve, and there's also a huge variety of titles to choose from. That being said, however, I knew what I was gonna talk about today from the very beginning of this challenge. My pick for “Indie Game” is Rabi-Ribi, my favorite Metroidvania (it overthrew Strider 2014 to take the title, which is no small feat).



Back in 2016, a collector friend of mine (same guy that let me in on the Magical Chase thing, actually) told a little discussion group we're both a part of that a company called LimitedRunGames was releasing physical PS4 copies of “Shantae: Risky's Revenge” and “Shantae and the Pirate's Curse”. Upon learning of this, I immediately flocked over to their website and lined up to order a copy of each of these titles. I thought their business model was cool, so I checked out their confirmed upcoming titles, and found out they specialized in distributing physical copies of relatively niche games, usually independent ones. I was rather unfamiliar with most of the titles, though one of them caught my attention pretty quickly. It was listed as a platformer and bullet hell hybrid, which was a surprising combo. That was how I first heard of Rabi-Ribi. I decided to stick around and regularly check out the company until that game was up for sale, which ultimately ended up costing me SEVERAL thousand dollars along the way, as I ended up buying a LOT on there in the years I spent waiting for Rabi-Ribi, and I guess that I'm still doing that to this day.

I already said Rabi-Ribi was a “platformer bullet hell metroidvania”, but what else is it? Well, a lot of things, so let's take it from the top. You play as a pet rabbit named Erina who was turned into a bunny girl, who must travel the land in order to subjugate and rally other pantless girls to your cause with the help of her trusty squeaky hammer, a time stopping amulet, bombs and various weapon, and, of course, the naggy yet adorable fairy named Ribbon. If you haven't figured it out from this description, it is indeed a moe dream consisting of only the cutest anime girls.



But don't let any of this fool you. This game is INSANELY brutal, and by far one of the most difficult games I've ever had the chance to play. Even on the normal setting, you'll be wondering how the hell it's even possible, and I'm not even talking about the fact that “normal” is only the third difficulty level in a set of 8. Thankfully, the game is very fair towards the player and doesn't rely on cheapshots to increase the difficulty, but you have to be REALLY good for sometimes very long periods of time without missing a beat. I lent a PS4 copy of the game to my great friend xXOpkillerXx/Oppiie, who is one of the best gamers I've ever had the chance to meet, and he's almost thrown the towel on the fourth difficulty, something I could not have imagined him do ever.



Design wise, the graphics are bright and colorful, and styled in a very retro fashion. The landscape varies a ton in very refreshing ways, and makes sure to always keep you visually stimulated. The game being a danmaku (technical term for bullet hell) boss rush as well, that stimulation is increased a hundredfold by the beautiful and dazzling boss attack patterns. The music is absolutely incredible here as well, and I regularly play the soundtrack disc that came with the game (it's actually been sitting in my CD-i for the past year at least!), and recently, a symphonic album of the game's OST was released to celebrate the game's fifth anniversary. I bought it despite of how it added up to almost a hundred dollars with shipping and everything, though I haven't received it yet. I must also add that I'm usually iffy about metroidvanias because of the backtracking which is a major pain in my ass, but this one makes sure that you never need to do that if you don't want to, as there are warp points all over the damn place.



Overall, Rabi-Ribi is an amazing, adorable and unique game that, if the ruthless difficulty doesn't discourage you, will have you coming back a lot. I consider it to be an all time great game. Special shoutouts to Volupture (aka xMUSICxMASTERx (sorry lol)) who has a spectacular enough set of balls (or boobs I guess?) to try and beat this game on her first playthrough on stream. You get my admiration for that, and I hope you do manage to finish the damn thing.

If you, too, are a bunny lover, the game is available on PS4, PS Vita, Switch and PC. And as a last note, I know this might not qualify as an indie game depending on your definition of the term, but I don't give a shit as it is definitely worth talking about for any excuse you can get.

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something something nate lever
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-24-2021, 02:34 PM   #59
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the most Sven "ongoing series" choice that was ever possible
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Old 03-24-2021, 09:04 PM   #60
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the most Sven "ongoing series" choice that was ever possible
What, Aleste? Why?
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
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