1 year ago
Editor's Note: g1 Atsinganoi has compiled all the data from the survey he he took last October and here are the results. In some ways I think it is an interesting look at how ScrewAttack has evolved from its transition to the new ScrewAttack, and it makes me excited for all the cool features coming to the g1s in the future. Thanks for everyones participation and maybe we should do this again sometime. Also tell every female you see to visit the site...
Let's just get right i nto it, shall we?
Here are the results for the 1st question:
So, it looks like we start off with some good news for Craig and the crew. Overall, the response has been generally positive, with more than half (61%) having a favorable or better impression of the new site. Add to that another 15% of people who seem to like the site at least as much as they liked version 4, and you get 76% of respondents, which means it is a minority, though still a significant minority, of people who dislike the new site.
On to the 2nd question:
There are some clear winners here. Keeping in mind that respondents could chose more than one options, it seems people just love the new video player, with over 61% of the respondents choosing it as a change they've like. Not too far behind we have the addition of the search bar, the overall design of the site, and the expansion of the news section, each getting between 47 and 53%. Other categories, like the addition of trailers, the Hard News format, the new blogging system, and the Advantage program got respectable results, scoring between and 10%. Bringing up the rear, we got the forums, with 2% of the respondents choosing it as a change they've liked. Finally, 12 people chose "Other" and wrote-in their choice in the comment box. Most were actually complaints, so they should have put it in the next question, or simply spelling out their love for the new video player. One person did mention the "Hot on the Internet" feature, the "Poll of the Day", and the "Retired Features" as welcome additions.
Two people skipped the question.
The response to this question clearly shows that though there certainly have been complaints about the new site, not all the changes have been bad. On the contrary, some were warmly welcomed. On those points, good job to everyone involved with making those changes.
The 3rd question:
Most disappointing for g1s was the lack of subscriptions. Though the pie chart shows that this got 23% of the votes, it is very misleading. While it may look like the percentages are fairly evenly spread, it's important to remember that respondents could choose as many options as they wanted. In reality, almost 60% of the respondents (with 126 of the 212) citing the lack of subscriptions as a something that left them disappointed. This is a serious problem. It has been stated that subscriptions will be coming back, but the change has not yet been made. It is difficult to understand why they chose to not allow the option to subscribe right from the beginning of the design of the site.
Following the lack of subscriptions, the most cited problems with the site are the absence of the talk-back bar and the new blogging system. 80 people expressed their disappointment with each of these changes, constituting just fewer than 40% of the respondents. This is another serious problem and goes well beyond the usual discontentment you would expect when any site goes through an upgrade. Combined with the lack of subscriptions, as well as the 4th largest disappointment (lack of a friend system, which was the choice for just over 30% of the respondents), these two further problems with the site as determined by the respondents seem to be part of one lager problem: the perception of site's apparent focus away from g1 content, but we'll get to that when we get to question 5.
"Other" was the next most common choice for this question, and many people specified what disappointed them in the comments to this question. The comment seen the most often was the g1s distaste with the Advantage Program. However, it should be specified that these comments were not from Advantage Program members complaining about the feature, rather, they were complaints about the existence of the program itself, citing contradictions (no exclusive content, only early access to content, then finding out that some "behind the scenes" or bonus content would be exclusive to Advantage members) or the fact that many felt that Advantage content normally would have appeared under Random Awesomeness, which was free to all.
Next, we have the video uploading and the new Hard News format, both coming in at around 23%. Both of these probably affected certain users a lot, while most (since they never uploaded videos in the first place, don't watch Hard News, or like the changes to Hard News) were probably left unaffected.
Finally, coming in as the choice of roughly 15% of the respondents, we have the overall design of the site. This is not a negligible amount of people, but considering the scope of the changes to the design of the site, it might also not be surprising since most people tend to resist change; however, if we add to this amount the people who complained about the design of the site when they chose "Other", the percentage swells to nearly 25%. The main theme found within most of these specific complaints regarding the design focus on the "disappearance" or "burying" of the g1 content, something we will focus on, again, with question 5. A few people complained of the site's cluttered or messy front page, citing difficulties finding even the SA staff's original content.
Moving on to question 4:
Here the answers seem to have been rather split. If we add "Much more time on the site" and "More time on the site", we get the choice of 39% of the respondents. By adding "Much less time on the site", "Less time on the site", and "Virtually no time on the site", we get 30%. This leaves us with 29% of the people who responded spending "about the same amount of time on the site". At first glance, this seems like good news. According to this, there are more new people coming to the site and spending more time on the site than there are people leaving or spending less time on the site.
The problem with making this conclusion is that we ignore the people who have stopped visiting the site altogether and the people who spend "Virtually no time on the site" or "Much less time on the site" that just didn't happen to visit the site while the survey was underway. Potentially, this group of people could be very large, simply based on the fact that 11% and 7% of the respondents, respectively, did choose those very responses. It stands to reason that many more people would have chosen those categories, but they just don't visit the site enough anymore. If I ran a website and had these kinds of results, I would be a little worried.
Finally, mitigating this problem a little is the fact that, as we will see later, the majority of people who responded are g1s. This means that they are most likely to be people that already did spend a considerable amount of time on the site; therefore, it stands to reason that it is much easier for people who spend a lot of time on a site to spend less time on it, than it is to spend more. What the question and results of this survey does not reveal is the scope of new visitors to the site, since these people were naturally much less likely to respond to.
Now for question 5.
First of all, I'm only just noticing that the colours for "Much more" and "I never blogged in the first place" look identical. Regardless, that whopping 47% belongs to "I never blogged in the first place". If we eliminate the 100 responses for this option, as well as the 6 who chose to skip the question, we are left with 106 people who responded and just happen to also be bloggers.
This is the area that concerns me for the site. I had a vague feeling that people were blogging less. I also had the impression that people were visiting g1 blogs a lot less frequently than they did on v4. The answers to these questions, and especially the comments, seem to confirm these fears.
1% of the respondents claim to blog "Much more". Almost 8% replied that they blog "More". Another 26% said they "About the same" amount of time blogging. This leaves us with 8% spending "Less" time blogging, 28% spending "Much less time" blogging, and another 28% admitting they they've "Stopped blogging altogether". These stats mean that nearly two-thirds of blogging g1s do so less than before, with the vast majority of them doing much less blogging. For a site dedicated to its community, this should be very alarming.
Even worse, there were 29 people who left a comment (more than for any other question) to explain why their blogging habits changed or stayed the same. The overwhelming majority brought up one major issue, and instead of summing it up, I'll post some of the comments verbatim:
"Like many g1s I've come to know thanks to ScrewAttack, I came her for two reasons: to catch all of the great SA content and to blog in an environnement of respect with like-minded gamers. The community is like no other I've come across. Sadly, I feel like the new ScrewAttack has purposefully turned it's back on this great community in the hopes it can become IGN or GameTrailers, and it pains me beyond belief to witness would I would call the dismantling of the greatest online community found anywhere. How did this happen? One simple answer: news and trailers spamming g1 content into oblivion. It's one simple act that obliterated half of the reasons I even saw this survey."
"What point is there in blogging if there's little to no chance anyone will be able to find it?"
"My blogs get lost in a sea of others. I'm thinking of no posting at all anymore. Time for the blogging g1s to move on to another site if they actually want to be read."
"What's the point if no one sees it. It's not just the blogs. The SA stuff has way less views as well. Maybe, just maybe, it's because you've alienated the people who made up the other half of the reason your site used to be the best."
"While I used to have an average of 500 to 1000 views on every post in the past, I'm now lucky if I get 50 to 100. I feel like the bloggers in the community have been cast aside."
"The community has seems to have been burried behind this new focus on trailers and news."
"The old ScrewAttack was meant for gamers to post their videos and experiences, now its just a carbon copy of IGN."
"Why bother with blogging here anymore? The dismantling of the community combined with this new focus on news and trailers. The constant flow of pointless and useless news and trailer posts borders on spam. Basically, you have to hope that someone with influence notices you, and whether or not someone does seems like a total crapshoot."
"I don't even know why we even still have the option to blog here. It's seems like the site's focus has changed. While the g1s/the community used to be important, now trailers, news, and views have pushed the lowly g1s aside. g1 content is clearly not important to the site anymore."
There were many more like those, unfortunately. Some of the less aggressive comments also brought up the lack of subscriptions as a reason they are dissatisfied with blogging here.
The lack of subscriptions will apparently be remedied, but for the general feeling that ScrewAttack has abandoned the g1s who blogged and posted videos, the solutions are not so easy. Maybe there are plans for things that will be coming soon. Maybe Craig has already thought of some solutions. Maybe, we'll have to wait and see, but the longer the situation continues, the less likely many of the people who responded so strongly will return. Based on chatter I've come across on Twitter, some g1s have already left. The situation is similar to trust for most people: many trust easily, but once betrayed, it's nearly impossible to regain that trust. One wonders whether the people who have left would return at this point.
Enough of the sad, time for question 6:
Not everyone uses the forums, so if we eliminate the 98 people who were not forums users in the past, and the 12 who skipped the question, we get a clearer picture of how the people who are avid forum users see the changes to the site. Overall, it's negative, but only slightly. About 10% of the respondents are visiting the forums more or much more often. 40% have not changed their habits at all. Also, 35% visit the forums less or much less often, while 17% have abandoned the forums completely.
Those last two numbers look terrible, but we need to keep in mind that since so many responses were eliminated, the rest of the results are only based on 102 responses, so the margin for error is larger, while our ability to expand them to reflect the forum users as a whole is hindered slightly. The numbers aren't good, but the potential for them to have been skewed by factors outside of the control of the survey is greater. As well, not being a forum user myself, I'm not the first person to become aware of any changes, if any that have taken place in the forums that may have tempered this reaction. For all I know, all is now well.
The following questions are more of a demographic/general interest nature. I included them to see if some of the questions would have anything interesting added if we looked at the responses by gender, age, etc. I'll bring up the instances where they did as we get to them, otherwise, you'll just be getting the pure statistics.
This question was asked more out of curiosity/market research than anything else, and based on the results; we do get an interesting picture of what brings people to ScewAttack.com. The partnership with GameTrailers, featuring the AVGN, Top 10s, VGV, and now Death Battle, has certainly helped introduce this site to many people. Having SideScrollers and Hard News on YouTube is also contributing to some growth. Finally, it also looks like the g1s are also doing their part. It's a very nice mix and shows that having a strong community and partnerships has served the site well.
Keeping in mind that more than one option could be chosen in the response, we still got some interesting data from this question. The people who came to rate and comment have reacted to the changes much more positively than the average g1.
Meanwhile, the g1s who joined to blog are by far the most disappointed group when we observe the percentage of these people who chose the negative answers in question 5. While earlier, we had 8% of the people who have blogged spending "Less" time blogging, 28% spending "Much less time" blogging, and another 28% admitting they they've "Stopped blogging altogether", if we look at only the people who chose to become g1s so they could blog (among other reasons), the percentages jump to 21% who blog less often, 37% much less often, and 35% who have stopped blogging completely. That makes for a whopping 93% of g1s who came here to blog that are now doing so less than before.
Still looking at the g1s who joined to blog, if we cross-reference them with the responses to question 3 (what has left them most disappointed), only one of these respondents did not chose "Blogging system". Lack of a friend system (46%) and the lack of video uploading (38%) are also much more important concerns for these people.
The forum users are also slightly more critical of the changes, though the difference compared to the average g1 is not as drastic as that of the bloggers.
Well, what can I say about this question? Should we laugh? It's not like anyone expected the results to be any different. Unfortunately, 31 female respondents are not enough to interpret the differences in responses between men and women. Regardless, all would agree that the g1 sausage party needs some more ladies.
First of all, the green slice "2011-11-14" is the result of having worked on this pie chart in November. It should read "11-14".
One result here was slightly surprising. Maybe you don't see it, but the 27-30 year olds outnumber the 23-26 somehow. The numbers for the other groups are fairly unremarkable.
As for how this played out with the other questions, the results were fairly typical, with a slight variance here and there. The older g1s tend to blog a bit less, so the percentage of them disliking the changes to the blogging system was a little lower. The exact opposite is true for the younger g1s, since they tend to blog more; they have tended to have disliked the changes. as for the rest, the numbers only vary by a few percentage points here and there, all within the margin of error.
So, those were the results. React to them if you like. Hopefully, the staff will see this and chose to make some changes or address some of the concerns/complaints. As well, we can hope that this will have provided some confirmation that many of the changes were welcomed and appreciated. Some changes are good, others not so much. Such is life, but since change is inevitable, the strong adapt while the weak get trampled. ScrewAttack, for better or worse, has changed. It could have stayed the same and risk becoming stagnant, which none of us wants. In the end, we can surely all agree that a lot of thought and work went into the new ScrewAttack.
4 years ago
If you're here, it's for two reasons. 1 - You love video games. 2 - You've done a bad, bad thing as a result of that love, and I'm willing to bet a lot of it was hilarious and some of it you haven't even shared with anyone else...until now!
I want to know it all, g1s. Did you pee your pants because you had to finish the boss before going to the bathroom? Did you steal a game you love from a friend or store? Gotten in a fist fight with a friend because he sucked/was better than you? Destroyed a game, controller, console out of anger? Ever murder someone?
It can be big, small, crazy, silly, hilarious, awful, disgusting, etc. I don't care. If you have a story, I want to hear it. Let me be your psychologist or some kind of video game pope, absolving you of your gaming sins. Enter my confessional and let the truth set you free!
So, send me a PM here or on Twitter or just e-mail me (atsinganoi(at)gmail(dot)com). If you'd prefer to remain anonymous, that is totally fine. Just remember to mention it in your message. I'm giving you folks two weeks to get back to me. Spread the word!
4 years ago
When the New ScrewAttack launched last year, some changes were welcomed, while others weren't quite so well received. Just recently, we got an update to the site, an ambitious attempt to create a ScrewAttack social network by merging what's great about ScrewAttack with all the great things a site like Facebook gives us. This unholy love child should have been aborted because the end result was an obscene mess. Here are the top 5 reasons why.#5 - Apps and Games
Sure, it's kinda fun to play these little games like Mass Effect 3 and The Witcher 2 in our browsers, but us real gamers want some real games and, more importantly, we want to know what games all our freinds are playing, how many points they got, and whether or not they need help raising a barn or something. Hopefully, this will come in a future update because for something being called FaceAttack, this is an inexcusable omission. In the meantime, we'll all have to deal with our feeds being littered with garbage like videos, news, and blogs.#4 - Where the fuck is the Timeline?!
Seriously, where the fuck is it? I fucking hate the Timeline. It's terrible. From the way it lets you show people your whole life, from beginning to present, in a completely non-linear or logical fashion, to the way its layout seems to make a mockery of how you're supposed to read most of the languages in which Facebook happens to be available, the whole thing is a mess. To top it off, it appears the vast majority of the Internet agrees with me on this.
So, if we all agree the Timeline is terrible, why am I complaining that it's not part of FaceAttack? Well, like I pointed out, virtually everyone hates the Facebook Timeline, to the point where hating it has become too mainstream. So, if ScrewAttack wants to be as hip as possible, they need the Timeline and fast so we can all be too cool to be likeing something so awful before other sites steal my awesome idea and then loving the Timeline becomes too mainstream as well.#3 - I still haven't found the "Poke" button
This has to be a mistake. I must not be looking in the right place because I can't imagine why a "poke" button wouldn't have been part of the update. Poking people is awesome on Facebook, so it would definitely have enhanced our experience here at ScrewAttack.com. A huge opportunity was missed here. Craig, I'm calling you out. You dropped the ball. You fucked up. Fix this as soon as possible.
To help convince Craig of the error of his ways, I've created a handy online petition. If we can get a few hundred signatures on there, maybe he will give in and do what's right.#2 - It should have been called ScrewAttack+
Again Craig, do you want this to be the hippest website in the entire Interwubz? Then why copy Facebook? That's way too mainstream. A much hipper path would have been to emulate Google+. Now, I know pretty much no one uses Google+, but haven't you been listening? If no one uses it, doesn't that make it inherently hip? You know what this is? Yet another missed opportunity.#1 - Your mom
Seriously, I really miss her. I miss your grandmother too. And your uncles, and cousins, and that guy you never talked to in high school: all those people need to come to FaceAttack. It would have been so much fun!
So, why do you think FaceAttack is the worst thing ever in the history of the Interwiz?
4 years ago
Hey folks! Here's part two. Expect the previously posted stuff to come about every day or two until I've caught up to where I was at before the switch from v4 to the New ScrewAttack (which I believe was entry 61 to 65). New entries coming very soon. Stay tuned!
Originally posted on July 25, 2010, 2:09 pm6 - Sonic Advance (Game Boy Advance)
I don't really have much to say about this game. It was one of the first I beat during this challenge, I had never played it before, and I had to beat it fast since the GBA isn't mine. This tells you a little about how difficult I found the game. Overall though, it reminded of the old school games I grew up with, so it was alright.
I should probably note that I have not played any Sonic games after Sonic & Knuckles other than this one (half an hour or so of 3D blast doesn't really count), so I don't really have an opinion on the apparent garbage (or so-so games, or great games, depending on who you ask) that he's been associated with over the last 10 to 15 years; however, I am excited for Sonic 4, and Colors also looks decent so far (I don't care if it is "meant for kids").
Anyway, the game was fun, but ultimately unmemorable, mostly due to it's laughable difficulty. No one should be able to beat a game they've never played before in a couple of hours.
Finally, for those of you who don't like Sonic, you'll be pleased to know that this was the last. I don't own or know anyone who owns any of the others and I have no plans to buy any either....other than 4 and maybe Colors.
Goodbye, my friend.7 - Gunstar Heroes (Genesis)
I beat this game the first time I played it. Not on my first try, but the first day. One of my brothers rented it and did not like it. My friend and I showed up and gave it a try. We played until we beat it. I still remember how, at the time, it felt really epic. We had tried and worked so hard. We just didn't give up. I never played it again, but it always had a special place in my heart. When I think of the game, I can see my friend with me. It's kind of weird and cool at the same time.
Coming back to it, I was worried everything would be ruined. Luckily for me, this was not one of those games that didn't age well. Like I said, I played it as a rental and never played it again, so it wasn't like it had the nostalgic value of something I'd been playing for years. The music is still great, the weapons are awesome (seriously!), and there's a tonne of shit flying at you all over the screen most of the time. I reminds me of a Genesis version of something like Contra, but without the annoying "player 1 jumped too high and killed player 2 who was on a lower platform". Beating it again took me two tries since it had been a while since I played it. For those of you who have never played this game, you should give it a try. Slightly underappreciated classic.8 - Shinobi (NES version)
My cousin had a Sega Master System, and every time I would go over I would rip out the Super Monaco GP cartridge put Shinobi in. I never beat it, but I loved it. When I got an NES, I found out that it had a Shinobi game in a sweet black cartridge, so I bought it. It was waaaay easier, but still pretty hard (for a 9 or 10 year old kid), and I eventually beat it. The sense of accomplishment I felt was immense.
Thus began my love affair with the Shinobi franchise. I still love this game and it is another one of those games I feel I could beat with my eyes closed since I've played it so much. The music is great, the difficulty is perfect (except for the bonus stages, which, in the NES version, eliminates the need for skill and only recquires you to throw the shuriken non-stop), the boss battles are fun, etc, etc, etc. The one thing I hated was, as the game progressed, your weapons would upgrade from the shuriken to the knife to the pistol, but if you died, you restarted with the much less powerful shuriken again. Going from shuriken to pistol took about a level and a half, so I always felt like, if you died, you were screwed, since you were probably in the 3rd or 4th level with the shittiest weapon, which meant you almost had to beat the game without dying. Writing about it makes me want to play it right now, but I'm at work...9 - Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Genesis)
My favorite Shinobi game. I've beaten it countless times, so doing it again was a pleasure. The graphics are amazing, the music and sound effects are perfect (I never really understood all the hate towards the Genesis and it's sound, I actually prefer it to the SNES. I always felt the Genesis sounds were more organic, while the SNES were very synthetic.), the boss battles are epic, the levels are gorgeous, the enemies are fun to kill. I honestly have zero complaints about this game. It's perfect. I was going to list my favorite levels, but it would be easier to list the levels that aren't my favorites: the first level. I also really liked the sections on horseback and motorized surfboard. The game is a Genesis classic and you should play it if you haven't. I cannot say enough good things about it. Go play it. It's on the Virtual Console and on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for the PS2 and 360. No excuses.10 - Madworld (Wii)
This game is good...for the Wii.
Greg Proops and John DiMaggio's banter during the levels. If you suck it could get repetitive, I suppose. Luckily, I don't. ;)
Style/design of weapons, characters, and levels fit together with the content very well.
The different way you could kill people was gorily satisfying.
The game wasn't terribly hard.
I did find that it sorta dragged on at the end. After all, you're basically swinging the Wiimote and tapping a couple buttons for hours. I never felt like the was much skill to it.
The different ways to kill people eventually got a little repetitive. They were all variations on crush, mangle, and impale.
Multiplayer was lame. It was just the regular challenges you find in each level, but with a friend. It would have been more fun to play through the levels with a friend or two or more while trying to kill each other.
Conclusion: good game...for the Wii. If you own a Wii, you should probably own this game. If it sounds like I didn't really like the game, that's not the case. It's just that have this weird feeling that if this came out on the PS3 or Xbox360 (hell, or even the PS2), I wouldn't have bought it and it would not have gotten the praise that it did from others. It's a good game, but more importantly, it's a good game for the Wii, and even more importantly, it's a good mature game for the Wii, so this may make it seem even better than it really is.
Well, that's it for now folks. Those of you tired of Sega games will be pleased to know there won't be any in the next section. Maybe I'll do something for the Mario fans. Maybe not. I'm not sure yet. What I am sure of is that I have ridiculously slowed down the rate at which I'm beating games. This is due to the fact that I've exhausted the number of games that are short and/or easy that I can currently think of, leaving me with RPGs and games for the more recent consoles. In other words, I still need help with suggestions, or else I'm going to have to spend the next 6 months beating 5 Final Fantasy games or something. So g1s, suggest away and thanks in advance.
Also, still not a dad yet.
Hèrà la face!
4 years ago
If you're here, it's for two reasons. 1 - You love video games. 2 - You've done some terrible things as a result of that love, and I'm willing to bet a lot of it was hilarious and some of it you haven't even shared with anyone else...until now!
I want to know it all, g1s. Did you pee your pants because you had to finish the boss before going to the bathroom? Did you steal a game you love from a friend or store? Gotten in a fist fight with a friend because he sucked/was better than you? Destroyed a game, controller, console out of anger? Ever murder someone?
It can be big, small, crazy, silly, hilarious, awful, disgusting, etc. I don't care. If you have a story, I want to hear it. Let me be your psychologist or some kind of video game pope, absolving you of your gaming sins. Let the truth set you free!
So, send me a PM here or on Twitter or just e-mail me (atsinganoi(at)gmail(dot)com). If you'd prefer to remain anonymous, that is totally fine. Just remember to mention it in your message. I'm giving you folks two weeks to get back to me. Spread the word!
4 years ago
Originally posted on December 15, 2010
I'm going to try to do a more straightforward review of these games today. Please let me know what you think in the comments. I know I switch from a more review-like style to an anecdotal style from game to game without any clear reason. No one has complained, but no one has commented either way really, so I'm curious to find out what you think. I think I'm going to start off with a "how I came to playing this game" paragraph, and then follow it with a "story, music, graphics, gameplay, overall" formatted review. I hope you like it.46 - The Legend of Zelda - Oracle of Season (Game Boy Color, played on Game Boy Advance)
I never owned a Game Boy Color. I never owned a Game Boy anything or any handheld system for that matter, so I had no idea Capcom made not one, but two Zelda games?!! Luckily, this experiment turner out a lot better than the last time Nintendo let someone else make a Zelda game. Also, luckily for me, I was able to borrow a Game Boy Advance and this game (though not Oracle of Ages) and then proceeded to beat the crap out of it.
So, for some reason, the Triforce calls out to Link and then inexplicably transports him to a forest in some place called Holodrum (what a stupid name) where he meets a dancer named Din. Shit gets dark, Onox, a voice in the coulds, says some stuff, a tornado shows up and whisks Din away. So, Din's attendant, Impa, tells you to go find the Maku Tree. On your way there, you find a sword in a cave (what a surprise) and then the tree gives you a key and tells you to find the 8 Essences of Nature to fix the seasons (which are all out of whack and constantly changing). Now go play the game.
Well, apparently that's the story. I couldn't tell you if that's true though. It's what Wikipedia told me the plot was. I was on the phone when I started the game and just mashed buttons to quickly skip all the story stuff at the beginning, so I really don't know if that's really what happened. Wait, I do know because this is a post-NES Zelda game, so that means the plot, story, and what you need to do every step of the way gets repeated to you over, and over, and over, and over, ... Still, it's not as bad as Navi in OoT.
Anyway, as with any Zelda game, the story is fine and serves more as an excuse to have Link run around fields, forest, dungeons, villages, and castles. In Zelda games, I usually care more about defeating whatever evil character is in the game than I do about saving anyone, and this game is no different. The story is good enough to get you interested and keep you interested. That's it. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Music & Graphics
It's a Zelda game, and like all Zelda games, the music does not disappoint. I really liked the song above, the overworld theme for the game. It's a nice reworking of the original Zelda theme, paying homage to it while becoming it's own song in the process. There are a number of songs throughout the game, like the horon Village tune, the Unicorn's Cave, or the music when you fight Twinrova, that stick in your head for weeks. Look them up if you don't believe me.
As for the graphics, well, if you've never played the game you've now seen a few screenshots since I've posted one above and will post more below. If you have played the game, then you know what I'm talking about. This is a Game Boy Color game (though it looks better on the Advance), so it looks like it might have come out on a console a few generations back. So, if you like old school games this will not be a problem. However, if what you want is something that looks even better than OoT, Majora's Mask, or Twilight Princess then you're not being reasonable.
Anyway, the game looks and sounds great. It reminds me of the old school titles from the NES and SNES, and I loved those. But what's impressive is that while it reminds me of those games, Oracles of Seasons remains fresh and new in both these departments. 4.5 stars!
The game is presented in the 3/4 perspective just like in A Link to the Past, which is the game of which it is the most reminiscent. Also like it's SNES predecessor, the environment changes. However, instead of having a Light World and Dark World, the seasons change. Snow can obstruct pathways or create drifts that allow access to new areas in the winter while rivers and lakes can freeze over. The summer heat can dry up river beds while overgrown vegetation can block some paths or create vine-ladders to give access to raises platforms. Spring and fall also offer their own unique changes to the environment.
Early on, the season from one screen to the next is predetermined, but later on Link gets the Rod of Seasons and can gain the power to change the season for a particlar area once he has visited the tower for that particular season by standing on a tree stump. Besides being a cool element, it adds quite a bit of replay value. Every area needs to be explored in every season to truly discover every hidden area. Another neat addition is the inclusion of rings, granting Link certain abilities or causing/preventing/increasing/decreasing certain effects. There's something like 50 of them that you can collect.
You don't get the hookshoot in this game. However, you do get some sweet Magnetic Gloves and they allow you to do much more than the hookshot. You can change the polarity to not only pull you to an object or pull an object to you, but you can also use it to push yourself or an object away. Along with everything else you'd expect from a Zelda game, it makes for some very interesting puzzles and action throughout the game. 5 stars!
This game was a lot of fun. I honestly cannot think of a single thing I disliked about it. I guess there's a reason why many call it the best game for the GBC. It would be cool if Nintendo added it to the Virtual Console, but then again, they haven't added any Game Boy game yet (though Link's Awakening DX and Super Mario Land are coming soon, but only for the 3DS). If you own a GBC and you haven't played this game, you are missing out. Overall score: 4.5 stars!47 - Zelda Windwaker (Gamecube, played on Wii)
I'd received mixed reviews for this game. Some people loved it, while others hated it. I hesitated a long time before getting it once I got my Wii. Now that I've beaten it, I have no idea what is wrong with the people who did not like this game because there is nothing wrong with it at all.
I said earlier that, for me at least, the story in Zelda games are almost inconsequential. They simply provide an excuse to make Link run around, solve puzzles, collect rupees, defeat bosses, and other stuff. Luckily, the games are always fun so they don't suffer from, I won't say weak, but possibly, less than inspiring stories (they're still better than Mario or Sonic plotlines). Well, for the first time ever, Wind Waker is a Zelda game with a story that actually made me care. And how couldn't I? Link's little sister, Aryll, gets kidnapped by a huge bird and is taken to Ganondorf. How can I not do everything in my power to save cute little Aryll and make cute but sad little Link happy again?
Rescueing Aryll won't be easy. You make it to Ganondorf's fortress, get thrown out, get the Master Sword, and go back. This time, you make it to Ganondorf, but he kicks your ass hard and tells you that by taking that sword you've got in your hands, which happens to be the Master Sword, you've lifted the seal on his powers. Also, the Master Sword has lost all of its power, so you're fucked AND you made things worse than they were at the beginning. Good job!
So, now you have to use your little boat who happens to be able to talk to collect all the pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. Ganondorf still has your poor little sister locked up with a bunch of other young girls by the way, so hurry up. 5 stars!
Music & Graphics
Though I really didn't care for the main theme to Wind Waker, a lot of the other tunes were just great. Many songs have stuck with me even though I beat this game last Spring. The Ocean Theme was perfect for sailing your little boat across vast expanses of water. The music from Dragon Roost Island was a catchy little ditty. Those are just a couple that stuck with me. The music was by no means phenomenal, but every track fit well with the area or moment for which it was written.
Now, the graphics. I remember reading a lot about the style choice for the game leading up to its release. Apparently, some people didn't like the thought of a cel-shaded Link in a cel-shaded world. Dear "those people", you are all crazy. In previous Zelda games, on a certain level, I knew how young Link was, but I always felt like he looked more like a short, little man or something than an actual teenager, which always felt weird. In Wind waker, the graphics and art style really make me feel that I am in the shoes of a 12-ish year old boy who's never left his home island and is now on an epic quest to save his little sister. Honestly, no other style would have fit this game's story better. It's just perfect. 5 stars!
Much of the controls felt completely intuitive, likely because they are so similar to OoT, with much of the same abilities carrying over as well. Something new was the ability to parry, which worked like a pseudo quick time event. It was alright, I guess. As for weapons, you've got your usual sword and shield, along with bombs, bow and arrow, and boomerang. One of my few complaints goes to the grappling hook, which works a lot like the hookshot. However, the grappling hook will only work on very few specific spots and you have to watch the stupid "grappling animation" every single time, no exceptions. It's tedious, annoying, and completely unnecessary.
A second problem is using your talking boat. Don't get me wrong, I actually liked using the boat for the most part. If you loved OoT but hated Wind Waker because of the boat, you're stupid. The boat just replaces Epona. Anyway, by the end of the game though, it does get rather boring having to sail from place to another. Being able to jump from one area to another thanks to the tornadoes only remedies this a little. My solution? An outboard motor power up!
Ok, one more gripe, but it's super minor: your Deluxe Picto Box can only hold 3 pictures at a time. This turns what could have been a really fun side-quest (collecting all the figurines) into something tedious and not worth the effort.
It might sound like I only have negative things to say about the gameplay, but those three minor things are all that I have to complain about, so it's quite the opposite. The game has tonnes of replay value. If they attributed a percentage to every element in the game, I'm confident you could beat it while only completing well under 50% of the games elements. With the aforementioned Picto Box/figurine side-quest, you also have the obligatory Zelda game heart piece searching, as well as much more.
Finally, you also have the eponymous Wind Waker, a wand that allows you to controls the wind. You can use it to play music, which you need to do to complete certain puzzles and whatnot, but you also use it to control the wind's direction, which is important because your boat uses a sail. No wind in your sail means your boat ain't going anywhere. I didn't really mind having to use it. It replaces the Rod of Seasons or the Ocarina of Time in a lot of ways. 5 stars!
Despite the 3 very minor flaws I pointed out in the gameplay, this game is essentially flawless. A great story, graphics and music the perfectly fit said story, and engaging and fun gameplay. Overall score: 5 stars!!48 - Pikmin 2 (Gamecube, played on Wii)
I bought this game because it kept popping up on lists of the best Gamecube games. I didn't remember seeing any publicity for it and I never met anyone who played, but I bought it anyway. Also, I never played the first game.
So, apparently, in the first game, Captain Olimar, your main character, crashed on some planet and met the Pikmin. So in the 2nd game, you come home to find out that the company you work for is bankrupt, so you go back to the planet and try to dig up some loot to raise enough money to save the company. That's pretty much it. You also bring Louie, a fellow employee. 3 stars.
Music and Graphics
I won't take long on the subject of music in this game. Pretty much all the music in the game is forgettable. Proof of this is the fact that I cannot remember a single tune. This is not necessarily bad, since this is a game where hearing all of the sound effects has some importance, which means having music that overshadows and overpowers them would be worse. As for the sounds effects (the Pikmins' "voices", the enemies' sounds, etc), they are all very well done.
Visually, the game is pretty perfect. It manages to blend real world looking backgrounds and objects with cartoony characters and enemies in just the right way. To me, it's obvious that the graphics could be more detailed and polished on a different console, but so could Mario 3, and the comparison to Mario 3 is accurate. I cannot think of a more perfect game graphically on the NES. As well, Mario 3 looks exactly how it should look. In other words, if it had come out on the SNES or if some kind of HD remake is made in the future, it still wouldn't look as good as it did on its original system. I feel the same way about Pikmin 2. It looks exactly the way it should, and, in the end, that's the best thing you can say about a games graphics. 4 stars!
In Pikmin 2, you play as Captain Olimar and Louie. You can switch from one to the other at will, thus allowing you to split your Pikmin into two teams should you so wish. You command the Pikmin by blowing a whistle to get their attention (the whistle has an expanding radius the longer you blow it, thus allowing you to chose from a small group to all the Pikmin around you). Once under your direct command, you can have them attack enemies, dig up treasure, and carry treasure and dead enemies back to your ship. They will automaticall follow you and you can also use the C stick to direct them. You can also throw the Pikmin if you need to place them on a higher ledge, etc. I found the controls very intuitive, especially since I had never played the original. It doesn't take long to master most of the abilities/controls.
And that is basically what you do, you land in an area, explore the surface, kill enemies, collect treasure, find caves, explore them, and do the same. Eventually, you will find a boss and have to fight it. You also spend a lot of time increasing the number of various Pikmin. There are also 6 different types of Pikmin, each with different abilities: some move faster, some have stronger attacks, others are immune to electricity, while others can go underwater. Part of the challenge of the game, beyond the fighting, exploring, and treasure hunting, consists of wisely choosing which types of Pikmin to bring with you, as you can only have 100 of them out at any one time. This is especially important when you enter caves, as you cannot simply go back to your ship and replace your Pikmin of one type for another. 3.5 stars!
Everytime I think of this game, I keep thinking it should have been on the PC. The way the game works, how you control the Pikmin, the type of activities involved in the game, all of it reminds me of PC games as opposed to consoles. It's just a thought, not a criticism. Commanding the Pikmin just seems like it would have worked better with a mouse.
The game is thoroughly decent, nothing more. I know I haven't had much to say about it that was negative, so the game should get a higher overall score, but even though it's a well executed game, it's not something that makes me excited for a possible sequel, which isn't a good sign. I would totally play a sequel if the game was given or lent to me, but I would not buy it. I can't imagine a sequel being much different from this game anyway. Pikmin, regardless of 1, 2, or some future sequel, should be played once, but it's not the kind of series that will have many fans lining up outside stores on release day. Overall score: 3.5 stars.49 - No More Heroes (Wii)
I got this game last Christmas along with Madworld and I beat it way before Madworld for one reason: the intro. If you've never played the game before, watch the vid below. It's everything you see right up until you take control of your character.
Well, if you watched the clip, you know the story. If that doesn't make you want to play the game, I'm not sure there's any hope for you. The story is a little lame and cliche at times, but it's pretty intentional. There were a few twists here and there, but all in all it's just good, dirty fun. From what I can understand, you need money and want to sleep with this girl name Sylvia Christel (not to be confused with Sylvia Kristel...actually, that was probably completely intentional). You kill other assassins on your quest for both those things. The writing is also pretty good. Everythin is so stupid, it gets 4 stars!
Music and Graphics
The music in this game is pretty damn sweet. On top of what you heard in the video, I included a couple more favorites just above for your listening pleasure. The game's soundtrack was released in a 3-disk set and from what I've seen, it includes 71 tracks. I didn't realise there were so many. They might not all be awesome, but none of them are annoying, and many will stick with you.
Graphically, this game is weird. It mixes a bunch of visual styles together. You got some 8-bit elements, some stuff that looks comic book-y, and other stuff that looks like it's trying to be real-looking but it's on the Wii so it can't. Like I said, it's a strange mix, but it works somehow. They seemed to have gone in the complete opposite direction from Madworld and the explosion of colours is a nice change from the dull grey/brown worlds in many other games. It's also nice to have all this colour and not have to play a game marketted to children. 4.5 stars!
No More Heroes is two parts awesome gameplay, and one part annoying gameplay. I'll start with the negative.
This game, and I'm not the first to say this, is terribly repetitious. Most enemies are identical and you only need to waggle a bunch to kill them. Driving your motorcycle (your bike in this game looks exactly like how I would picture a mentally handicapped motorbike) is super boring. With the Wiimote, it handles about as comfortably as your grandfathers limp penis dangling right there in the palm of your hand. It's also just as responsive (without the Viagra).
The "jobs" stuff is terribly boring, lame, tedious, (insert other negative adjectives). Mowing grass, collecting kittens, pumping gas, and much more shitty tasks no one in their right minds would want to do in real life, so why am I doing playing some kind of simulation of it for fun?!!
Finally, last on my list of complaints is the "open" world. You can "drive" your motorcycle around the city to go from one place to another to get to jobs and whatnot. Since your vehicle handles so poorly, half the fun is ruined, but the fact that the city itself, it's environment, it's people, is so uninteractive, completely ruins an aspect that could have provided hours of fun outside of the actual "game", unlike Grand Theft Auto or Prototype. I see it as a massive missed opportunity.
Now for the good. The fighting, at times, is fun, especially at first. There is something uniquely satisfying with slicing someone's head off and basking in the resulting flow of blood, and though it might get tedious after a while at times, the boss battles area different story. I found them challenging at times, which is a good thing, especially when compared to the monotony of fighting the hordes of generic baddies.
The controls, both regular and motion, worked well, particularly well with the finishing moves (a.k.a. death blows). The fact that they were QTEs did not bother me, in fact, I think it was the perfect choice and wish they would have done the same with the boss fights (like in MadWorld). It would have been better than the simple cutscenes, regardless of how good they were. The wrestling moves were a nice touch as well. 3.5 stars!
This game is far from perfect. It has quite a few flaws but still manages to be a fun game throughout. Even though I feel I've been quite negative, I am confident in saying that if you own a Wii, you absolutely need to own this game. The best way I can describe this game is calling it the closest thing to a Quentin Tarantino video game. I'm also pretty sure I would have given it a 4.5 if it wasn't going up against two Zelda games and the one coming up, but since it is, I'm forced to give it this: Overall score: 4 stars.50 - Cave Story (Mac)
From the moment I chose to write about these 5 games, I've been anxiously waiting to get to this one. I don't remember how or when I first came across it, but I am eternally thankful that I did.
Well, your silent protagonist, who looks so cool, wakes up alone in a cave after getting a cryptic cut-scene where you only get half of an electronic conversation. He has amnesia, so you have no idea who he is, what to do or what is going on, who is friend, who is foe, nothing. I love it. Think Metroid or Zelda. You eventually begin to piece things together, slowly, but right to the end, unexpected discoreries await you just beyond the next screen.
Essentially, what is going is that Mimigas, these cute little bunny-like creatures are being harrassed by the "Doctor", some kind of mad scientist who is force feeding the Mimigas a certain red plant that turns them into murderous and bloodthirsty killing machines which he will then use as an army to attack the surface world (yeah, that's right, you're on a floating island, these things are everywhere in Japanese stories). You meet many Mimigas, humans, and other creatures, both friends and enemies, on your journey. The creator of the game even admits that one was based on a bar of soap. As cute as they are, it's hard not to get attached to some of these little guys and both the story and dialogue reinforce these feelings. 7 stars!!!
Music & Graphics
As soon as the opening theme came on, I fell in love with this game. It's catchy, up-beat, wonderful, and floods my mind with memories, flshing images of every single old school game I grew up with in an instant. To top it off, the entire game is filled with these beautiful little musical gems. Gems like these:
The sounds effects are just as great as the music, especially when getting a new "Life Capsule" cues a short little tune rather reminiscent of the one you hear when you find another E-Tank in Metroid. Everything about the sounds this game makes feels perfect.
If you like the sounds in the game, then you'll probably like the graphics. To round out the retro feel of this game, the graphics look just like a beautiful NES game. It's just another case of a game's story and gameplay perfectly meshing with it's visual style. Here, I'll just let you folks drool at a few screenshots...
So the game looks and sounds amazing, but did I mention that this game was made by one single dude in his spare time over the course of 5 years?! I don't really know what other adjective I could throw out in light of this since I already thought the game looked and sounded absolutely amazing. What's more amazing than amazing? Super amazing sounds kinda stupid. Incredibly amazing? Sure. 7 stars!!!
The game is incredibly simple, whether you use a keybord or a controller. One button jumps, another shoots. The arrows or d-pad moves you around.
Sound boring? Well, it isn't because you also get 10 different weapons, each able to be upgraded 3 levels. You level up weapons by collecting the energy crystals dropped by enemies when they die. It is simple enought to get them to levelled up, but the hitch is that as you get hit, you not only lose health but also the energy crystals for the weapon you have equipped, thus levelling it down. The weapons also change based on these level ups. For example, the Machine Gun works like a machine gun, but level it up, aim at the ground, and you can use the recoil to keep you afloat. Just for the hell of it, another weapon, the Nemesis, is the most powerful weapon in the game, but gets weaker as you level it up, to the point where, at the highest level, it simply shoots rubber ducks that deal 1 damage.
There are also many items and powerups throught the game, some allow you to breathe under water, other let you fly through the air temporarily. This makes for an adventure that does not get stale with time, and time it will take. This isn't a dinky little 1 or 2 hour game, especially not in the first playthrough. Think more along the lines of 3 or 4 hours, plus, there are alternate endings and you will not get the best one your first try. That, and how fun the game is, will have you coming back for more after you beat it. Once again, 7 stars!!
Daisuke Amaya, a.k.a. Pixel, created this game for fun and then released it for free on PC. It then got ported to the Mac, Amiga, and Linus OSs, as well as the Xbox, PSP, and even Texas Instruments' graphing calculators, among others, so you have no excuse to not play this game. The best compliment I can give this it is that if I ever made my own game where I had an unlimited budget and could hire whoever I wanted, this is exactly the product I would want as a result. This game absolutely deserves this. Overall score: 7 out of 5 stars!!!!!
So I've reached the midway point of this challenge, as far as blogging about it is concerned. I'm actually at 85 games beaten right now. 15 to go, but I'm running out of games. I own just over 100, but I'm at the point where most of what I have left are Atari games and uber-long RPGs. However, Christmas and my birthday are coming, but I'm a little at a loss for ideas for games I should be asking for, so I'd appreciate your suggestions. Remember, old school games or new school games, I don't care as long as it's a good game. Help me out g1s!
Also, a few posts ago, I mentioned that I beat an FPS single-handedly, literally. I beat it with one hand because my son was sucking on a finger on the other hand. Well, no one took a guess, even though I promised a prize (I still don't know what it could be). Well, I'll give you a hint. It's from the PS2's library.
So there you go. Guess which game I beat with one hand, suggest some games I should buy, and let me know what you think about the change in style of the reviews.
Hèrà la face!
4 years ago
Ok, so it looks like SGC 3 is going to happen. I'm going to be honest, after how poorly it started and how it was barely half way to its goal a couple of days ago, I was 100% certain it wasn't going to happen. I was wrong. Very, very, very wrong. As a result, I've decided my lack of faith deserves some kind of punishment.
What does "some kind of punishment" mean? Well, how about every single g1 gets to suggest a blog topic which I will have to write about between now and the start of SGC 3. In other words, if 500 g1 ones comment on this with a topic, I have 500 blogs to write. I don't care what the topic is. No matter how stupid, boring, ridiculous, sexy, detailed, vague, painful, obscure (or whatever other word you want to add to qualify your topic) your topic may be, I will absolutely post a blog about it.
I'm giving you all 1 week to come up with your topic and post it as a comment here. Go ahead g1s, make my next year a living hell. If you post more than 1 suggestion, I will go with the last one you post.
Also, feel free to share this all over the place to screw me even harder. I like it hard ;)
Edit: Your suggestion can be a list, a rant, a limerick, a short story, an essay, etc. You decide. If you don't, I'll choose what I want to make of your topic.
4 years ago
Originally posted on September 7, 2010
Have you ever played a game that everyone loves and you just can't understand why? Whether a "true" classic or a cult classic, you've had people go on and on about these games or almost every review you've read about these games has been overwhelmingly positive, so you try them out, hate them or just think their mediocre at best, and feel that the whole world must be on drugs or have some kind of developmental disorder. Well, I beat 5 of these "classics" recently and was left less than impressed.26 - Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES)
I had never even heard of this game before the Duane and Brando tune, so I looked it up, and to my shock, it is apparently supposed to be really good. Pretty much all the reviews I've seen praise the game. IGN ranked it the 68th best NES game, Gamefaqs has it at 7.9 and 8.0 out of 10 (based on reviews and ratings respectively), and many reviewers across the net write glowingly about the title. I don't really understand why.
Don't get me wrong, the game is by no means terrible or even bad. It's simply just not very good and definitely not a classic in any sense of the word. It has nothing to do with faulty gameplay or a bad story, but I just get the feeling that Capcom phoned this one in, like they did with Tale Spin. What I'm saying is that it's a little uninspired.
There's nothing new in this game, especially not as a Capcom game. It looks and feels like most of their NES games, but something is missing. Fun perhaps, cuz I sure didn't have any while playing it. Throwing candy at animals to tame them and then...wear (?!) them as a suit of some kind while retaining their abilities should have been a really cool gameplay mechanic, but it wasn't. They could have created all kinds of secret areas and bonus items that could only be reached with a specific creature, but instead, the game feels painfully linear and even the "secret" areas are terribly obvious. Also, the animals' abilities aren't that fun to use either, but they beat the hell out of throwing candy.
Another gripe: there are 13 enemies in the game. None are fun to kill, all die the same way, and Evil Balls might be the worst enemy ever created in a video game. Also, the only weapon (this includes the animals' defense abilities) that is fun to use, you only get in the last level. Imagine Contra with the spreader and machine gun being available in the final level only. Lame.
And by the way, I'm not talking about this kind of evil balls:
I mean this kind:
The game as a whole reminds me of the Wonder Boy/Adventure Island series, but boring instead of fun, or at the very least, much more poorly executed. The game, on paper, has loads of potential that it just fails to tap into. It is not a terrible game, but it is far from good. I don't recommend it at all.27 - Jackal (NES)
I can honestly say that I don't understand why people even like this game. 6 levels. Boring gameplay. One weapon that cannot be upgraded and always shoots North. Another that can be upgraded but still isn't that great. Boring enemies. The bosses are alright though, and the last one is stupid hard. All in all, this game would be painfully mediocre and painfully forgettable if it wasn't for one final problem.
Throughout the game, almost the only way you should ever die is the direct result of really crappy programming. As you move up through the levels, you have to be about two thirds of the way up the screen for it to scroll, which means that as soon as an enemy becomes visible, you are within their range and they usually begin shooting immediately. It is even worse when you scroll for left to right or vice versa. You literally have to cover about 90% of your screen to have it begin scrolling in any direction, so as soon as an enemy appears, they are right next to you, leaving you no time to react. This is one of those games that could easily be beaten without ever getting hit if you decided that you were going to move inch by inch, slowly, taking a whole week to beat it. To me, this is a fatal flaw. You can see in the video below that even though the person playing is clearly very skilled at the game, he comes close to getting hit in this way every once in a while. Just imagine if you were playing for the first time!
Finally, if you watched that video, you got a taste of the games one redeeming quality: the music. Right from the begining, the music got me pumped for a great game. What a disappointment. Don't play this game.28 - Double Dragon (NES)
Oh boy. So many people love this game. That's great. I'm glad you enjoy it. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever be able to understand why, because to be perfectly truthful, I think this game is absolutely fucking terrible. Here's why:
I can punch and kick and jump (and headbutt, I suppose), but that's all, unless I go up a skill level which will allow me to punch and kick, more or less, but differently. So far, this sounds great and not repetitive at all. The enemies can also punch and kick. Some of them can jump too, but don't worry, you'll never have to face two different kinds of enemies, or more than two enemies, at once, ever. Again, totally not repetitive. Enemies also come in two sizes: your size and large. This has no effect on their actual abilities, bigger just means stronger. Picture Mario 3 with nothing but Koopas and Goombas. Like I said, not repetitive.
And just to shake things up a little, the game also features some platforming. There are not many platforming sections in the game, and I am forever thankful for this. This game features some of the worst platforming I have ever seen. Check it (especially at 1:35 to witness "jumping over a gap"):
Even if you've never played the game before, if you watched to the point I mentioned (1:35), you probably noticed that in a minute and a half, all you've done is fight a few identical guys and move forward. Since I've been in the habit of explaining how one game is bad by pointing out how bad a good game would have been if it were made the same way, here's another: to me, this game is as fun as Contra would have been if all the levels were like those 3D stages (like level 2 like level 4). You can shoot, jump, and move from side to side. So can the enemies. You kill a few enemies, you move forward. The same thing, over and over, for the whole game. If Contra would have been made this way, it would have gotten old after the 2nd level, so it's a bad comparison. Double Dragon gets old halfway through the first level. I will never be playing it again.29 - River City Ransom (NES)
Wow, that is some terrible cover art right there. Somehow, it reminds me of The Outsiders or something similar. Well, this game definitely did not stay golden. Sorry Ponyboy.
First thing's first, this game is better than Double Dragon. Yes, I know, a lot of you think this is a Double Dragon ripoff. Alright, it totally is, but it's still better. If it makes you feel better, I still don't think it's good. Actually, I almost completely missed the things that make it better and the game could have done without them. Also, what I liked more about the game is completely biased or doesn't necessarily make the game better. Let me explain.
I kept being told this game was good by various people. So, I'd pick it up, play a little, and turn it off after a few minutes saying to myself, "This is only slightly better than Double Dragon". Indeed, BARF! I had played Double Dragon before, gotten pretty far (Mission 3 or 4) and didn't like it and this just seemed like a smoother copy. Apparently I was wrong, since RCR has some RPG elements to it that make it totally different, with stats that can be upgraded by eating food and stuff. I like this, mostly because I like RPGs, but there's just one problem. When I started playing RCR, I picked up a lead pipe early on and never let it go. I nearly made it to the final boss this way, but then I died. It was only at this point that I went into a shop and actually bought something and realised that "I have stats?! And they can be increased?!!!" What's my problem with it? It's completely unnecessary, so why even have it in the game? To make the game easier? I repeat, I picked up a lead pipe and almost made it to the end of the game without dying or upgrading a thing. All this on what was essentially my first try. The whole experience reminded me of this video.
All in all, as I've said before, River City Ransom feels like a polished Double Dragon clone with a useless RPG-like tweak. It is just as repetitive and unfun, but where Double Dragon is quite difficult, RCR is ridiculously easy. Don't waste your time with this game either.30 - Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! (NES)
I only have one criticism in regards to this game, but considering it's the gameplay, and therefore the whole damn game, it's a pretty major criticism. I have a feeling I might piss off some people here, way more than I may have with the previous 4 games.
Hey g1s! You like quick time events (QTE) in your video games? Personally, I don't mind them, in moderation. Some of you might agree. I thought they were well used in God of War. Some of you definitely disagree, and I understand. However, I am fairly certain that most of you would not like a game that is nothing more than quick time event after quick time event. Ok, fine, so why do many of these same people still like Punch Out? IT'S JUST ONE LONG QUICK TIME EVENT DISGUISED AS A GAME!
Now that I have you all riled up and that you're all preparing your anger-filled comments, let's think about what you just read. First, in case you don't know or aren't sure, what is a QTE? Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
A quick time event (QTE) is a method of gameplay used in video games. It allows for limited control of the game character during cut scenes or cinematic sequences in the game, and generally involves the player following onscreen prompts to press buttons or perform other actions (like shaking the controller). Failing these segments takes the scene in a different course, often to the player character's death. (Source)
Now, you may agree or disagree with the details or specifics of the above definition, but in general, that is what a QTE is. So how is that anything like Punch Out? Well, let's have one final comparison.
In God of War, during many boss battles, you wail at them with your Blades of Athena, or whatever you have equipped, for a while. The boss has some form of pattern but isn't completely predictable. He or she may also, though not always, be able to move around the battle area freely. You are also free to move wherever you wish in the battle area. Eventually, the game cuts to a cinematic sequence where you will be prompted as to which buttons you need to push at specific times. Pressing all the buttons at the right time and in the correct order will ensure that the boss will lose a large amount of health or kill him or her completely. Failing to do so will have the same result; however, you will be on the receiving end. During the QTE, both you and the boss follow completely predetermined patterns and movements which cannot be altered.
Now, in Punch Out, do your opponents have the abillity to freely move about the battle area, in this case, the ring? Do they have a few moves, but no real set-in-stone pattern? Are you also able to move freely throughout the ring? To each of these questions, the answer is "no". You may wish to argue that you can move left and right and that your opponents can also move forward, backward, and side to side, but both you and the opponent do so in a very strict and predetermined manner, which brings me to the other half of the comparison.
In Punch Out, are your movements and those of your opponent completely limited or even predetermined? Do your opponents follow completely predictable patterns? Are you prompted which buttons you need to push at specific times? Does pressing all the buttons at the right time and in the correct order result in your opponent losing a large amount of health or his defeat altogether? Does failing to push the right buttons at the right time have the same result but with you on the receiving end? To each of these questions, the answer is "yes". You may wish to argue that you are not prompted which button to press, which is true enough, but you are prompted in a sense. When Tyson winks, that is your prompt. When King Hippo drops his shorts, that is your prompt. When Von Kaiser's moustache twitches, that is your prompt. Sure, you aren't told which button you need to press, but this doesn't even make it more difficult since, with this game, you only have 6 choices: A, B, Up, Down, Left, or Right. We really don't need much more prompting.
Every fight is as I described above. Beating Punch Out is not so much a matter of skill as it is a matter of memorizing patterns. Pattern memorization is fine to a certain extent. Whether it's the Robot Masters in Mega Man or any of the bosses is the 3D Zelda or Mario games, bosses usually have patterns. The difference is that in any of those games, even if you really, really try, you cannot beat the bosses the exact same way twice. The patterns are not set in stone. The bosses react to what you do. However, in Punch Out, beating an opponent in the exactly same way twice is easy, especially as the game progresses, as long as you don't get hit. This is the difference: Punch Out requires no skill other than quick thumbs. This does not sound like a fun time to me.
Well, that's enough negativity for one day. Hopefully, the fanboys and fangirls will not interpret me criticizing a game they like as me criticizing them personally. Wait..., that'll never happen, nevermind. Anyway, you can expect some full-blown positivity from me in the next post. ...I think.
Hèrà la face!
4 years ago
Originally posted on November 14, 2010
These games are what the NES was all about. 5 of my favorite games of all time. I've been putting off talking about these games for a while, especially two of them, since I've played them more than almost any other NES game. Anyway, here we go.31 - The Legend of Zelda (NES)
I never owned this games as a kid. I got it much later, but I had a friend who owned it, so it was liked I grew up with it since I kept borrowing it. It's definitely not my favorite Zelda game. In fact, it's probably my least favorite of all the Zelda games I've played, but before fanboys and fangirls start getting all uppity, keep in mind that ONE Zelda game HAS to be my least favorite. Now, for a lot of people, #32 will probably be your least favorite Zelda game, which is fine because everyone is allowed to have their own opinions no matter how stupid or wrong they may be.
So, this is my least favorite Zelda game, but oh man is it ever a great game. Right from the start screen and the overworld, the music ellicits a visceral reaction from me. You start out standing in a field? Empty space surrounded by...mountains? You move a round a little, and since neither A nor B seem t do anything, you hit start, notice you have no weapons or items at all, hit start again, and notice a cave. You enter the cave, see some old, bearded guy who says "It's dangerous to go alone! Take this." You then grab what looks like a three quarters of the way unwrapped chocolate bar with a bite taken off the end of it and leave on a kind of adventure your little 5 year old mind can't even begin to comprehend. Screw the instruction manual. I don't even know if it had anything useful inside since I never looked at it. I'd only started to learn how to read, and that was in French, so the English manual couldn't have helped anyway. Thus, I was thrown into this amazingly vast world without any idea how to do anything. This is what video games are all about.
I love the fact that almost 25 years later, there are still secrets I don't know hidden in this game. The only thing I would criticize about this game are the graphics. Not that great, right? I'm kidding of course. This was made in 1986 so we shouldn't expect Mario 3. However, I do feel that it hasn't aged as well as some other classics. Other than that, I don't have much to say other than if you haven't played this game, I feel bad for you. You're missing out.32 - The Adventure of Link: Zelda II
This is, without any hesitation, my all-time favorite game. It's the game that made me buy my first console. I had a hand-me-down Atari 2600, Coleco Vision, and Commodore 64, thanks to my cousins. I loved them, I guess, but I never bought any games really. I mostly just played with I was given along with the consoles. One day, I was over at my aunt's house getting babysat and she had an NES. She had brought me to a small store called Midnight Video to rent a couple games. I don't remember what I chose, but she chose Zelda II. A few weeks later, I sent my parents with all my money to buy an NES and Zelda II. In my opinion, I've been a true gamer ever since.
Why do I like this game so much, you might ask. My reply would be, what's not to love, moron? Seriously, no other game receiving unwarranted hate makes me this angry. Let's go over some of the complaints.
I've heard some people complain that the overworld stuff has shitty graphics and that they don't like the whole generic enemy moving around on the screen stuff. Frankly, I didn't mind it and never thought about it much when I played. To be honest, I preferred it to what you had to deal with in Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior. At least I could see the enemies and try to avoid them. It never stopped me from loving those two games though.
Now, from what I've heard and read, one of the main complaints is: "Zelda II is a side-scroller." Dear idiots, this is not a real complaint. Even if you qualify it to "Zelda II is a side-scroller and Zelda I wasn't," it's still not a complaint. It's a goddamned fact that has no bearing on the quality of the game. It's like saying Mario Kart sucks because it's a racing game and Mario 3 isn't. Now, is it a bad side-scroller? That's the important question.
Zelda II is a great side-scroller! Using the shield, ducking, swinging your sword high or low, jumping, running, etc: what exactly is wrong with any of these elements? I'd say that they are improved over the original, especially the jumping. It always annoyed me that I couldn't jump over holes or blocks in Zelda I...or duck under enemies like Keese (a.k.a., bats). Add the up and down thrusts to the mix and it's perfect. Who here can claim that the boss battles in Zelda II, or even just fighting the Darknuts and Iron Knuckles, aren't more epic and fun than in Zelda I? They also require more skill: blocking, dodging, jumping, magic, and more strategy than what the first game had thrown at us. I could go on and on, but regardless of whether or not you completely agree with me, this game is definitely not a bad side-scroller.
I mentioned that I think the game requires more skill than the original and this brings me to another lame complaint: the game is too difficult. I'm not sure where this comes from. The original was by no means easy. The next three games in this list are much more difficult, yet are considered classics. As well, considering the other games that had come out for the NES at the time of this game's release, it was clearly nowhere near being the hardest. Finally, I got this game when I was 7 years old and beat it by the time I was 8 at the latest (I don't remember when I beat it the first time, but I know it didn't take me a whole friggin' year). So, people who say the game is too hard are also saying that their video game playing skills are inferior to those of an 8 year old child playing it in a foreign language. That's right, this game is so hard, I was able to beat before I took my first English class (which would be 4 years later). Sure, some words (magic=magie) were similar, but others are completely different (life=santé). This was also before the World Wide Web, let alone sites like Gamefaqs, and I never had an issue of Nintendo Power (neither did my friends). Ceux qui trouvent Zelda II trop difficile sont complètement pourris aux jeux vidéos. Period.
There's a bunch more nit-picky crap people have complained about, but I won't go through it all. It pretty much all boils down to "I liked the first game and this game isn't exactly like it, therefore, I don't like it." My response to this is that I can only imagine how popular Mario would be today if we were still playing Donkey Kong. You don't have to love this game as much as I do, but calling it bad is ludicrous. Those of you who have never played it, for whatever reason, you are really missing out. It improves on what the first game did well and blends in sidescrolling and RPG elements perfectly.33 - Ninja Gaiden (NES)
I never owned this game as a kid. I only played it twice over one summer when I rented it at this convenience store near my family's cottage. The first time I rented it, I got to the before last level. I loved it so much I rented again immediately upon returning it. I beat it the next day. Until a few months ago, I had not played this game since.
Well, understandably, it was a lot harder than I remembered, but it still isn't that hard. Like the AVGN said, the game play, graphics, and music are awesome, but I disagree about the game being impossible to beat, or even that it is hard. Infinite continues aside, most of his "issues" are simple to resolve. That annoying enemy keeps respawning? Take 1 damn step forward, kill him, and move on. Don't kill it, moves backwards, then forwards again. If you do, your an idiot. You can also use the knockback caused by getting hit to your advantage. If there's an enemy on a small platform and you don't have any magic to kill him, there will usually be a bat flying around. Jump over the bat, but hit it on it's far side so that it knocks you towards the small platform. You'll be invulnerable for a bit, allowing to land safely on the platform and kill the enemy there. Simple. As for the last boss, each of it's 3 forms follows a pattern, just like all the other bosses in the game. Learn the pattern, then kill him. I figured it out as a kid without too much stress and did it again without a walkthrough. Where's the problem?
So, since I don't find the game terribly difficult, I pretty much love everything else about the game. The music is classic NES-era goodness. The gameplay and controls are perfect. The enemies are fun to kill and varied. The boss battles are challenging and even more fun. Beating the game leaves you with a sense of satisfaction. Finally, the graphics are a little weak. For North Americans, this game came out a year before Mario 3 and a year after Zelda II. They're not bad, but still not great.34 - Ninja Gaiden II (NES)
My favorite Ninja Gaiden game (if you're noticing a pattern [Zelda II, Ninja Gaiden II, Mario 2, Mega Man 2], then you know what to expect when I get to Castlevania...coming soon) and not just because it's the only one I owned as a kid and I played it all the time. I find it to be the easiest game in the original series as well, though this is likely because I played it so much.
Again, coming to the AVGN's complaints, the wind and ice levels aren't that bad and I can probably beat the lightning level with a blindfold on (in any case, I can beat it without having to wait for the flashes of lightning). When I say I played this game all the time, I mean it. It is easily in the top 10 games I've spent the most time playing. It should be. I've owned it for around 20 years! This fact obviously has an impact on how difficult the game is for me, but regardless, until the final act, none of the levels are what I would call hard. Challenging, yes, but not exactly hard.
Everything about it is slightly better than the original, so there isn't much more to say. The graphics have improved. I loved the addition of the Spirit Clones and the possibilities they added in terms of gameplay and strategy, especially against the bosses. The music is also sweet. My favorite would have to be from Act 2-2. Click below to listen it.35 - Ninja Gaiden III (NES)
This is my least favorite of the three for one reason only: no continues or passwords. For some reason, we didn't get the real Super Mario 2 because it was deemed too difficult, so instead, when it comes to a series already considered difficult, Japan gets passwords and unlimited continues, North America gets no passwords and a 5 continue limit, and Europe gets completely gipped and doesn't see the game released until the Virtual Console.
Regardless of this, the game isn't that difficult. It's just tedious. It's another game that I never owned and beat after a couple of rentals. What was difficult about it was bothering to beat all the early levels over and over just to get to the later levels and progress further into the game. When I beat the game this time around, for the first time in over a decade, I probably beat the first level 15 times. In contrast, I beat the last level to get to the final boss 3 times. There was no reason to force me to go through the 1st level that many times. It proves nothing. It just makes the game annoying. If I was able to beat it the first 14 times, why make me do it again? It's just so stupid and it almost ruins the game.
But only almost. Everything positive I said about the first 2 games can be repeated here. Music, graphics, gameplay, etc: it's all great here once again. The whole trilogy for the NES is very consistent. There are no major shifts in style or gameplay, yet it never felt like it got stale. It just feels really solid as a whole. I just wish someone other than Team Ninja would make some new games for the series. Serisouly, why does anyone even like any of their games? DoA games a fucking terrible. If you like jiggling breasts that much, you need to get a life.
Good news, my son no longer needs to constantly have my finger in his mouth. This makes it way easier to play games. Trust me, I don't ever want to beat another FPS with one hand (Free 'something I'll figure out later that will totally be virtual and not in any way real' for the first person who guesses which FPS it was. I might give some hints eventually.)
Hèrà la face.
4 years ago
Originally posted on August 4, 2010
Hey g1s, while trying to beat 100 games in 1 year, I decided to attack some weird games I'd always wanted to play or had never heard of. They weren't all good, but at least they were all different.11 - Kid Niki: Radical Ninja (NES)
If you already know about this game, "atta boy!" If not, "will help you." (Watch the video if you're confused).
I hope you like the music in the first level, cuz it's the music in every single level of the game other than the boss battles. I also hope you end up liking the boss music as well, cuz it's the same for every boss. You read that right, this whole game has two songs during the actual game play. There's also a little tune when you beat the game and another at the begining when the bird gets killed, but they don't count. There isn't even music, as you just saw, for the title screen. Classic.
So, about the game itself... The controls are alright. That's a good thing. The enemies don't make any sense (bees with spears instead of stingers, things that look like floating sheets of paper, Moe from the Three Stooges with a huge head and bad breath as a boss, etc.) This could be a good thing if it gives the game some kind of funny, irreverant feel. Sadly, it came off meh. The levels are mostly pretty easy, except when bubbles randomly come out of the ground, and they aren't like Zelda 2 bubbles either. These bubbles follow no recognizable pattern. Also, the enemies just kinda spawn randomly...except for the birds who just float there for no reason (float isn't the right word, since it implies at least a little motion, these birds are fixed in the air)...like right next to a moving platform, so when the game is hard, it's not through what I would call legit means (like the need for strategy, puzzle solving, etc), but through sheer, cheap-ass design.
As far as beating is concerned, I died a lot. How did I do that if the levels are easy? Did I mention that you only have one hit? Yeah, I know, real nice. There are power-ups hidden in hidden bonus stages apparently (I read this in an FAQ after I beat the game). Also, during the boss fights, if you actually hit the boss, your sword (or majorettes batton...well, that's what it looks like) flies out of your hands only to get stuck in the air, sometimes near the top of the screen. So, how do you get it back? No worries, when your swords flies up that high and stays there, all you have to do is jump. You will jump the same height you normally do, only to be inexplicably launched to the height of your sword all of a sudden. It's really weird and choppy as hell when you do it.
Overall, I give this game 3 scrolls that turn into money when you hit them with your majorettes batton out of 10. It was alright, I'm glad I played it, but I will never play this game again and I don't recommend it to others. Play the next game instead.12 - Metal Storm (NES)
So, Metal Storm looks like a pretty average or maybe even below average game, right? That's what I thought the first time I played it. Oh, I can reverse the gravity? Big deal!
I beat the first level and then quit. Thought it was boring and the gravity thing gimmicky. Luckily, my friend who recommended it forgot he recommended it so he recommended it again. Even luckier, I had forgotten as well, so I played it again. Felt the same way and had a strange feeling I had seen all this before, but I figured since it was easy I'd beat it and add it to the list. This is how I learned that the gravity reversing ability actually adds to the gameplay and the overall fun. Here, have a look at level 6 for proof. If you watch the boss fight and think it looks easy, keep in mind that you can't touch the ceiling or floor. I had a lot of trouble with that one.
Overall, the game was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it. It isn't an unbelievably awesome game, just fun. It is a little short (only 7 levels), but as a consequence of the challenge, I didn't mind. A remake and expansion of this game could be cool as well. I give it 8 mechs falling up through the ceiling to pop up through the floor and land upside down out of 10.13 - Shadow of the Ninja (NES)
Also known as Blue Shadow in Europe, Shadow of the Ninja reminded me of so many classic NES games. Think Ninja Gaiden, Contra, and Bionic Commando, with music from the first TMNT game. The game wasn't as fun as it should have been, and that has nothing to do with the game itself. I think I beat three other games the night I beat this one. I put it in, played it, and beat it. Next game please.
This could be the first example of one of the potential problems with my challenge. While ripping through game as fast as possible, you can possibly miss out on some of the enjoyment to be had with the game. However, in my defense, if the game had the difficulty of Mega Man 2 or 3, the problem would be solved. The fact that I was able to beat it so quickly could mean that it's too easy. If I had to play the levels over and over to figure out the enemies and bosses patterns, I would remember the game a whole lot more, obviously, but I would also feel a sense of accomplishment when I did finish a level.
Sadly, I got nothing out of this game, even though I really think it's an excellent game. I could see someone who played this when they were 8 thinking the game is absolutely amazing, since it would have been much more difficult to beat it at that age. Also, I played alone, but a cool feature in the game is being able to play with 2 players simultaneously (à la Contra). 6 heat-seeking shurikens out of 10. The score could go higher later. I plan on revisiting this one and enlisting my buddy (who owns this and the previous two games) for some 2 player action as well.14 - Wagyan (or Wagan) Land (NES...technically Famicom)
I forget who recommended this game, but whoever it was must have played it on an emulator, which is what I did, because the game was released for the Famicom and Game Gear exclusively in Japan. In fact, Wagyan (or Wagan, I've seen both) is a series of 8 games all released solely in Japan.
So a game with 7 sequels must be pretty awesome, right? I don't know, maybe Wagyan Land 2 was really good and that's why Japan got all the subsequent games, because it cannot possibly have been because of this one.
From what I understand, I'm a frog, dinosaur, green thing and I...yell shit at people and they die. I yell three different things: WA, GA, and GYA. WA is the weakest and you work your way up to GYA by picking up power-ups in the shape of...smaller green things along the levels. Wait, did I say they die? Enemies don't die, they just freeze, even in mid-air, ...and then come back to life somehow. To actually kill stuff, you have to pick up a fourth power-up. This makes you invincible for what seems like a third of the level, enabling you to kill all kinds of snails, worms with an eyeball, canes, moles, birds, and mushrooms.
So you blast through a few levels while mostly invincible and then you reach a boss. The boss battle must at least be good, right? Here's what you get:
Yup, that huge thing that could just crush you is pitting his wits against yours in a word game. You each take turns choosing one of the images, but the last letter of one image must be used for the first letter of the next. So, if the boss choses the "camera", you could then chose the "arm" next to it, forcing him to find something starting with an "M". With one point per good guess, the winner is the one with the most points, provided you passed the "goal" marker next to the timer. Pretty epic if you ask me. All bosses either have this or a straight up memory game. The last boss has both, with a catch. You have to be flawless in the non-memory game. Also, if you end up with a kind of stalemate (where either you or the final boss are left with no viable choices; i.e., you chose "arm" and there are no choices left begining with the letter "M"), you lose. Doesn't matter if you were leading. Mega epic. Oddly enough, this was one of the hardest bosses ever. I took me forever to beat him, since it seemed impossible not to have the puzzle finish early in a stalemate. I constantly had to chose my moves and then make sure he would have a viable option to follow up, and then make sure I also had one to follow his, and so on.
I don't know how to rate this game. 1 green thing-killing cane out of 10? Do not play this game!15 - Yume K?j?: Doki Doki Panic (NES...again, technically the Famicom or the Famicom Disk System, to be exact)
Now this game I had heard of and had been wanting to play for a long time. I also played this game thanks to an emulator since, again, it was not released in North America, at least not in its original form. We all know this became what we know as Mario 2, whereas the real Mario 2 was only released on Super Mario Allstars for the SNES and was called Lost Levels. Still, I wanted to play it in its original form to see if anything was different.
Well, there were differences, but nothing major. Obviously, the title screen and the playable characters were changed (Luigi replaced the mom character...nice!), as was the story slightly. A few colours and sounds here and there seemed different as well. One major change was that Clawgrip (seen below) replaced a boss named Mouser (also seen below).
The one change that I really noticed was the lack of being able to run while holding the "B" button. Took a while to get used to it.
Overall, I really liked the game, which isn't surprising since I really like Mario 2, and since I'll likely be playing and beating Mario 2 and adding it later, I'll leave it at that.
Next time, it's-a Mario! Until then...
Hèrà la face.
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