A side scrolling platformer originally released on the SNES; it has also graced collections or downloads on the PSX, PS2, Xbox, GBA, and PS3 to name a few. What really boggles my mind is WHY? I had a friend when I was in grade 8 who didn’t have an SNES, but bought this game so he could come over and play it at my place because he loved the game so much. I didn’t really like him, and I also didn’t really like this game. Nonetheless it is one of Capcom’s best selling games ever.
It’s a ridiculously, stupidly, hard game. If you have enough patience to make it to the end of the game, you have to play it from the beginning again with some bracelet in order to make it to the end. The game is unforgiving, controls terribly, suffers horrible slowdown, and I hate it.
You’ll see this more than you’ve ever seen in your life.
You play as Knight Arthur who must rescue a princess from some demons who have kidnapped her (probably again since there were previous Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts games). Emperor Sardius is the one that has kidnapped her and also the jerk that you must destroy with some bracelet on the second playthrough to get the real true ending.
As you start the game, you are given an ordinary suit of armour which doesn’t stop a damn thing. You get hit once and it just shatters off your body and you’re running around in your boxers. Your boxers offer just as much protection because you’ll die after another hit.
If you lose your awesome armour, treasure chests usually hide a set for you to put back on. You can also upgrade your armour along the way. Bronze will let you add some magic to your weapons; Gold will allow you to charge a special attack and gives you a shield which blocks one attack. Finally, the third upgrade is a moon shield which will let you block 3 attacks and reduces the time required to charge your special attack. I didn’t get any of these due to ultimate frustration.
There are also multiple weapons which was my favourite part of the game. There’s the lance which goes straight ahead, there’s a scythe which is much slower, but I believe it does a double hit (useful for bosses). My favourite is the cross bow which shoots ahead and up at an angle. It’s also kind of useful for a boss because if you’re up close you can get a double hit in. There are more weapons than that, but I never got that far in the game.
Speaking of bosses, they’re fairly easy. At least the few that I got to. Their attacks are not difficult to predict and avoid, and I found that the crossbow did an exquisitely decent job of knocking them out quickly.
The game features some neat gameplay controls. For example; you can double jump. However, once you’re in the air, you cannot change which direction you’re going (you can change direction if you initiate the second jump, but then it’s harder to tell how far you’re going to go). For example if you’re trying to jump to another platform in water, if you don’t judge it right from the first jump, you’re not going to make it. You can spin around and shoot in the other direction in the air, but where you’re going to land is already determined and there ain’t no way around that.
You cannot make it to the top of this pillar. I cannot express how frustrating that is.
Some of the level designs are cool as well. There is a pseudo 3d spiral up a tower (which uses a mode 7 effect to make it happen), and also levels that change orientation. You hop into these platforms that form a cage around you and the entire level rotates.
Maybe it’s just more fun on the arcade, or maybe watching your friends play it. But it’s not one I enjoy. Its difficulty blasts past difficult and frustrating, but I suppose if you ever do get the true ending, you can go around with some bragging rights.
Until next time!
December 11, 2011 at 11:59pm
A side scrolling shooter set in space. Nothing too original there, but as you’ll see, the enemies aren’t just robots, they’re all themed around robotic *fish*. I think everyone knows the premise of these games. You have a main weapon, you have a secondary weapon, you avoid enemies, and you kill the boss.
Robot fish in outer space.
The story in these games are usually something you can ignore pretty well, and that’s what I did here. I’ve never played any other Darius games at the arcade or any other system.
You have a main weapon which shoots straight out front. Sometimes after you defeat a certain group of square shaped enemies, you will receive a power- up. There are different colours for what it gives to you. Since I’m colourblind, this system mainly doesn’t work for me. I noticed some gave me a shield and some powered up my secondary weapon.
Speaking of secondary buttons; you hold down Y to shoot your main gun repeatedly. You hold down the B button to fire your secondary repeatedly. There is no point in the game that I know of that you would want to stop shooting either. Why couldn’t they just use one button to do it? Using your thumb to cover Y and B really gives your thumb a cramp after a while.
Eventually you make it to a boss and you’ll see a warning screen telling you the boss is approaching and what their name is.
Watch out for the Hyper Greatthing.
The bosses were somewhat tough. Some of them were pretty annoying to play. But I guess that’s what this genre thrives on, having difficult bosses that shoot 30 missiles at you that you need to constantly dodge while scoring very few hits against them. You can figure out their pattern in short time and then defeat them soon enough.
Defeat the boss and you get to a map screen where you can choose where you want to go. I suppose this adds a little bit to the replayability of the game.
I am suddenly reminded of Star Fox.
I’ll leave you with some screenshots and move onto the final verdict.
December 7, 2011 at 8:23pm
Alright, straight off. That’s What She Wants.
A mixture of a platformer and top down city planning god overlord game that is notoriously fun. This was a game that I rented from the local Blockbuster (when they still existed), and beat in one night.
You are known as ‘The Master’ to the people and the evil guy is Tanzra. So you were defeated by Tanzra and six of his friends and you left for your sky castle to sleep it off. Tanzra split the world up into six pieces; one for each of his friends.
Now you’ve come back and are ready to take over.
In the top down city building view, you fly around in this skycastle. Inside your castle, you can choose different options such as magic you want to take down with you to the platforming stages. At this point you don’t have any magic, and you don’t have any cities that are faithful to you so all you can do is choose to go down and fight.
The screen spins around Mode 7 style until you go into the platforming stage.
The first stage is called Fillmore. You aren’t high enough level yet to visit any of the other stages. On each of these worlds, there exist these statues your sky master ‘presence’ inhabits and animates and then you go hack n slash platforming.
The first time you visit every world, you must first defeat the boss before you are allowed to go down and direct the people. None of the bosses you face will be terribly hard. You might die a few times to figure out their pattern and then you’ll pretty much be unscathed provided you still got some reflexes left in your old age.
Check out them biceps!
In the city-building-directing phase, you take the form of an angel that can shoot arrows. You’ll find enemies spawn out of these portal like things on the ground. You don’t build any of the buildings directly a la SimCity, but you can select an area where you want your people to build towards. You want to build towards a portal and your people will seal it.
You also have magic you can use. One of the magicks you’ll probably be using most is lighting. It can destroy trees and allow your people to build out more. The sun can dry up marshy bits, and earthquake can alter the landscape (but it will also knock down your village if they haven’t built earthquake proof shelters).
You keep building and your villages will find artifacts that can give you more MP, or allow some villages to have boats. In each city once you’ve been building for a bit, your villagers will tell you there is castle or a cave or something that has another boss in it that you must dive into the platforming stage to do. Once you defeat this boss that world will be completely free.
What a game! I started playing and just couldn’t put it down again. So I finished the game. I guess the downside to this game is that, it is short, and it is terribly easy. Anyways I leave you with some screenshots!
November 29, 2011 at 8:17pm
Yes! Another golf game! I am somewhat partial to golf games. I used to play Tiger Woods PGA on the original Xbox with 3 other friends and it was a completely blast to play (regardless of how boring it may sound).
Waialae is an actual golf course in Hawai’i. Now I don’t know if the different greens are based on the actual greens at Waialae, but I’m just going to assume that they are. Whether they are or not doesn’t add to the fun of golf, hit ball a few times and putt into the hole. Repeat 17 more times.
Before you start playing, you do need to register your name. You can also play up to 4 players. You will need to share controllers though. It’s not multi-tap compatible.
I chose to play the tournament.
You have to pick a caddy and…. Hahahahaha!
I think the second one has a mullet!
So you start. You can see the course, the wind direction, where your ball is sitting. You can hit a button to see the green but, it’s not really all that useful. Choose your club (usually the best one is automagically picked for you), hit another button to choose the power.
I didn’t get a screenshot of this part but right after you select the power, a little dot superimposed over the ball travels from left to right, bottom to up so that you can choose where you want to hit the ball. If you’re in the sand trap you would want to hit it lower to dig your ball out. In all the other golf games I’ve played, you could use the D-pad or analog stick to choose. This one is like a game of centipede and you have to bit the button just at the right time if you want to smack it dead center. It moves quickly too so it’s hard to hit it where you want to.
Pretty much repeat until you win, or lose terribly like I did. Due to that crappy ball hitting mechanic, my golf balls were constantly veering off into the forest, sad traps, or water hazards. When I did eventually make it to the green, you will find it overlays a grid like most golf games so you can see the terrain. Putting was immensely easier than any other part of this game. I put it in the hole most of the time in the first or second shot.
Once in a while, a guy will pop up on the screen and tell you how well other players are doing compared to you. Your caddy will also randomly pop up and give you some comments or a kudos.
Sweet blog dude!
The menu music is all happy and sounds like steel drums. There isn’t any of this distracting music in game (thank goodness). Other than that, birds chirp, leaves rustle, and you get a satisfying thwock when you hit the ball with a driver.
A pretty decent golf game, marred by that one mechanic in the process of hitting the ball. Well it’s still fun to play but I’m not going to give it a That’s What She Wants.
November 22, 2011 at 9:18pm
I knew I shouldn’t have expected much when I found out that RPM actually stood for Radical Psycho Machine instead of its traditional meaning. The goal of this game is to win races (surprise surprise), upgrade your vehicle until you win the final level and get 30 million big ones. Well let’s get radical then.
Choose a save slot and let’s get started. You choose a chassis. I forgot to take a screenshot here, but there are three different chassis’. Monster truck, a Lamborghini Diablo-esque shaped car, and an F1 car. Each has different levels power, endurance, handling, and etc. You are then taken to the upgrade screen but you don’t have any money to buy anything at this point.
I now proceeded to race. Apologies in advance for the quality of these screenshots, but the game has decided to double the resolution but interlace everything.
I’m terrible at this.
For some reason, even in single player it is split screen. You can see one of your opponents race on the bottom. You can’t turn it off. Why couldn’t they do something like Super Mario Kart and have a large map down there? Also I have just realized this game is a lot like Rock n Roll Racing.
Watch out for mines.
You can purchase mines if you want. By default your vehicles comes with one. I ran into one during my race and it just makes you instantly explode. But don’t worry, you respawn a few seconds later and you’re good to go again.
I lost my first race completely and won a grand total of 0$. So I played again, and completely destroyed the race, and I won a hot total of TWO dollars. It’s not enough to upgrade anything or even pay the entry fee into the next race. The controls are terrible, the framerate sucks, the music is quiet and it sounds like it really sucks also, and the sound effects are pretty mediocre as well.
I attempted to use the track editor and you can put down varying pieces of track as well as change the elevation of those sections. But it is very complex to use and it just kept on dinging at me.
Well onto my final thoughts.
November 21, 2011 at 8:19pm
FOOTBALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL (Please refer to the Simpsons). I can’t find the clip so I might have to make one myself out of my DVDs
I don’t know how to play football. As a Canadian, hockey is more of my sport, or even baseball. I vaguely know the rules. Get the ball to the other end, and play stops a whole bunch of times during the way.
The way this game plays, I have no trouble believing he had input.
The game kind of throws you in like a lot of games of the era. There isn’t a tutorial mode, nor does it tell you what the controls are. I guess that’s just sometime I take for granted now. When I get a new game for my 360, the instruction manual doesn’t even get touched. I just throw the disc in and expect the game to tell me what to do through some sort of interactive tutorial.
Since the only football team I recognized was Green Bay, I chose them and played against Buffalo. So I chose some play, hit B, and ran for it with the quarterback. Believe me I tried to pass but no matter what button I hit, I couldn’t do it.
Beginner’s luck that I completely destroy them on the first play. Even the kick was good! Since I had no manual for this, I now opted to look up the controls on gamefaqs. Needless to say it’s complex. However I kept on playing to see what the game is like on the defensive.
Well turns out my team is pretty good at tackling the offense, so I didn’t really have to do a whole lot except recover a fumbled ball. I just kept on picking plays and getting tackled and repeat over and over until you are on the defensive again. I stopped playing rather quickly after that. Sorry football fans, it really isn’t my game.
November 18, 2011 at 11:17pm
One of the very few Final Fantasy series games that I’ve not had the pleasure of playing. For some reason, everyone had heard of Final Fantasy III, but this one was hardly mentioned. At least that’s how I perceived it anyways. This one is actually Final Fantasy IV (Just like the North American release of Final Fantasy III is actually FFVI). They renumbered it just keep continuity in North America, however the DS remake is actually named under its original title.
Apparently the difficult is reduced! What do those Japanese developers think we North Americans are? Noobs?! Later on there was even a remake called FFII EasyType that reduced difficulty for the Japanese release. I think most important was that some of the story were removed from the NA localization, supposedly for space limitations. As far as I know, the Super Famicom and SNES had the same sized cartridges (memory wise). The game was even censored to remove religious references and some of the magic spells were renamed (Holy was White in the NA version). At the time, the ESRB was not yet formed, so I guess Nintendo went all Nanny state on us.
Anyways, interesting tidbits from my research aside, let’s see what the game is like.
Robbing is our duty!
You start out watching the intro and you are a knight named Cecil and you’re going around on an airship stealing crystals. What for, I have no idea.
Take my package!
Apparently the King of Baron wants these crystals, but Cecil has an ethical moment and questions the King’s motives and promptly gets sent out on another quest with a Dragoon named Kain along with the King’s package.
Detroit? They must be moonlighting.
Now you get a little bit of time to explore the castle and talk to people and learn about the world. I’m trying not to ruin the story, but I think it’s safe to say, then you head to bed and head out into the overworld.
It’s really hard to talk about this game without ruining more of the storyline since it is an RPG and I believe probably rather lengthy as well. I don’t know how game reviewers do it. Instead I will just leave you with some screenshots! I will say that even though I only put maybe an hour or so into the game so far, this is definitely going to get a That’s What She Wants and I’ll have to play this through completely. I might go grab it for the DS instead though so I can carry it around.
Automatic Package? I don’t like the sound of that.
PS. Apologies again for the delay. I’m horrible at this regular blog updating thing. Having been busy with work and my health again, along with the recent release of Battlefield 3 means I have neglected you friends again. I’ll try my best to put some time in this weekend! My 360 is not close by so I know I can’t go on Live!
October 14, 2011 at 2:48pm
Who has never wanted to push the kid in gym class hogging the basketball? Come on don’t lie. Fortunately for us, we had this game to keep us from actually doing it. Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball. I don’t actually watch basketball, so I have no idea who this man is.
Remember it is the year 2030, and all the players are robots (I guess that’s why they never get hurt), but for some reason Bill Laimbeer has chosen to stay as a human… that also doesn’t get hurt.
This game is very simple to play in its top down view, even down to the fact that other than the D-pad the only other button that does anything is the B button. You can only back court, and throw the ball out. Other than that, it’s all fair game to go checking anybody on the court.
You press the D-pad + B to slide and check someone when you don’t have the ball, or to pass it when you do. Then you just press B to shoot it in the general direction of the basket. One annoying thing I found is, that if you’re facing away from the basket and you press shoot, your guy (I have no idea if you play as Bill or not) does a really slow 180 before shooting, leaving you susceptible to a check.
Not only that, when you pass, it only goes in the direction that you point it in, which makes sense, but your AI partners always seem to be somewhere else leaving only the other team in front of me. Even during the play, your AI never seems to be in the right place, so it feels like mostly a solo effort.
I blame the AI for this one.
It’s an alright game, that I would play once in a while with a friend. I used to play this when I was younger with a friend over and it was much more fun to do that than play against the AI. It was already frustrating enough to play on beginner mode; I don’t know how frustrating it would be to play on the professional difficulty setting. Give it a shot, but don’t expect too much out of it.
Yay I’m winner!
As of this posting, Picasa has introduced a new feature that detects faces! I tagged Bill Laimbeer in title picture. At least now we know he at least looks human… but so are his robot friends.. uh oh… Skynet?
September 24, 2011 at 5:30am
I had thought I had heard of Ultraman before. I was right. It was an animated series in Japan and I had one of the robots from the game as a toy. I’ve never seen the show and never played this game until now. Thank goodness.
This is probably one of the worst fighting games that I have ever played in my life. There’s absolutely no menu or anything. No options, no description of the controls. This is all it looks like when the game starts, followed by the stage description.
Ultraman smiles like he has candy in his van.
According to some anime lore that I found online, the Earth must protect itself from Alien invaders which is the job of the Science Special Search Party. I thought Ultraman was part of this party, but apparently running from some alien, Ultraman crashed his ship on Earth. Apparently he is the ultimate warrior and protector of peace in the universe. Unfortunately this videogame doesn’t show his skills off at all.
All Ultraman can do is punch, kick, jump way too high, and fire your special weapon. I wish I had known this when I started playing. Once you use all your lame punches and kicks to get the boss to ‘Finish’ mode, you have to use your special power by hitting Y a few times. But you need to do it when the meter at the bottom has built to L4 or the boss will just get their life back slowly.
Yeah I didn’t know that. I kept kicking his ass left and right and he just wouldn’t die. Eventually I just lost.
Ultimate protector my arse.
Once I did figure that out, I started to get a little better at the game. The bosses do get harder. Degola for instance has some sort of laser attack that’s pretty hard to dodge because Ultraman starts his jump a little too slow. If you try to jump and kick the boss, you’ll probably end up way too high in the air and then when you land right in front of the boss, you’ll just get kicked in the face.
Degola really looks like Alf.
That’s really all there is to the game. I didn’t enjoy this one. At all.
Am I glad this review is over.
September 8, 2011 at 3:45am
Oh what a game to follow Super R-Type. Basically another side scrolling shooter but perhaps a little more rooted in reality as you fly airplanes (that I believe are real or at least semi-real). Originally released in 1989 on the CPS arcade system (the menu even looks like Streetfighter). It was called Area 88 in Japan and was based on a manga series. The subtle difference between the arcade and SNES port in 1991 was that the console version started you with 3 lives vs. 1 in the arcade, and that there were more airplanes in the console version.
Your mission is to defeat a group of terrorists known as Project 4 by simply piloting your ship and shooting everything in your way.
Oh so lucky.
Once you start the game, you get to choose who you want to pilot and their corresponding jet. Each pilot has a jet that performs a little differently. For example; Shin’s weapons fire forward only but rapidly vs. Greg whose A-10 fire forward and downwards on an angle.
The pilots you can choose from.
I chose to go with Mickey (whose weapons do more damage). Then you choose a ship, buy your weapons and select on the map where you want to go fight the terrorists. As you destroy enemies, you make more money and can buy more weapons or a more powerful ship (which will unlock different weapons). Some enemies will also drop powerups that you need to collect a certain number of to upgrade your primary weapon.
This game is a little more forgiving than Super R-Type but I also think it is a little more difficult. For example, if you take a hit your shields will drop (usually down to danger), but if you avoid taking hits for a while, you’ll regain most but not all of your shield back. However I think the game is more difficult because of all the ground forces shooting at you and your limited supply for secondary weapons. I would love to buy more than one megacrush, but it won’t let me.
Ahhh ground forces!
If you die, you have to choose your loadout again and choose on the map who you want to fight. However the grids that represent the enemy move closer to your base with each turn whether you lose or win. The bosses were quite difficult, but your jet is less twitchy than that of Super R-Type. Combined with your limited amount of secondary weapons, it caused me a lot of level restarts.
I made it to about level 3 or 4 after I got used to the level layouts when I decided I should put the game down. It was quite difficult but I persevered as long as I did because of the gorgeous graphics, giant boss battles, and great music.
U.N. Squadron, you get a That’s What She Wants from me. This game could only get better if there was a coop mode like Super Strike Eagle.