Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'd Rather Not Go Down To South Park

A lot of times I don't know why I own the games I write about, but I can probably guess accurately as to why I own South Park for the Nintendo 64. Seeing as it was released right around my twelfth birthday, I would say I own it because I was twelve, and obviously that meant I thought South Park was cool because it was a cartoon about kids that used naughty words. The joke was on me though, because Iguana Entertainment, known best for making the Turok series and some terrible WWF games, made this game, and it is basically a Turok game with a South Park skin. I never liked Turok. No, it wasn't just “like Turok,” if Wikipedia is to be believed it actually ran on the same engine as Turok 2, which came out the same month.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The King of Fighters '95. . . For Game Boy

Okay, embarrassing confession time. The first King of Fighters game I ever owned was The King of Fighters '95 for the Game Boy. Though it was not the first SNK game I had ever played, it is still amazing that I ended up as a fan considering this trash was the first of their games I spent money on. Of course, calling this one of their games is using a pretty loose definition of ownership. Back in the 90's SNK was still letting outside companies develop and publish ports of their popular Neo Geo titles. The company that did the most of these ports was Takara, whom were responsible for this monster, though they farmed out development to a company called Aspect, who specialized in portable games. Why Nintendo decided to publish the game in the US, in 1997 by the way, I will never know, but I guess they got my money.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hybrid Heaven: A Perplexing Paradise

I recently purchased Hybrid Heaven from my local used game store because I remember renting the game years ago and thinking it was cool then. Of course, I didn't remember anything about the game itself, and after playing the game again today, I think that was because the game is so goddamn weird. Normally I would write something like “Hybrid Heaven is 1999 *insert genre here* game from Konami,” but I don't know what genre I could put this game into. Wikipedia marks it as an Action RPG, but I don't think that really describes it accurately. The game is just so many different things that I don't know where to begin.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Klonoa: Empire of Dreams

Before playing Klonoa: Empire of Dreams for the Game Boy Advance, I had never played any Klonoa game before. I never really felt like I was missing much, even though I've heard good things about the series, because I've missed quite a few good games and Klonoa never seemed particularly important. With Gamestop clearing out their used GBA games, I picked up this and three other games for cheap, so even though I was generally apathetic towards Klonoa, it seemed worth the couple of bucks I spent on it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Portable 4 Kombat

Whenever I write about a terrible game that I've had since I was a kid, I always hope that the only reason I own it is because it was on clearance or something. Firmly in that category is Mortal Kombat 4 for the Game Boy Color. The real version of Mortal Kombat 4 is bad enough, but a portable version, that's just frightening. If that weren't enough, this one was ported by Digital Eclipse, a company with a shaky track record at best. I mean, they are the guys who ported Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to Xbox Live Arcade without realizing that the button config didn't work. Inside the case for this game, I found a ticket to the first The Matrix movie, so I'd like to think that I haven't touched this thing in over twelve years.

Remember When It Was Cool To Rock The Dragon?

I found this when digging through some old board games. It is from that embarrassing part of my childhood when I thought Dragon Ball Z was cool. I also listened to bad music and wore so many chains on my wallet you'd think I walked dogs for a living, but I guess that's just middle school for you. I don't have any good memories of this game or any of these cheap LCD games for that matter. I know I had a Ninja Gaiden one by Tiger, and it was pretty terrible as well. These things are only entertaining for a few minutes.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Of Preparedness and Bonesaws

With the recent news of Randy Savage's death, I've seen the word bonesaw around a lot more than usual. While this mostly brings Randy Savage to my mind, it also reminds me of another thing. Bonesaw: The Game is a free 2D platformer/beat 'em up for PC by Kyle Pulver. It can be downloaded from his website here. I remember reading about it a while back, and I played through quite a bit of it, though I don't have the save file anymore. It's a pretty fun charming little game.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vegas Stakes: Classy SNES Gambling

When I was a kid and wanted games for the SNES, my parents got me a copy Vegas Stakes, I would guess because they have always been thrifty. I don't recall ever having an interest in gambling, but I did rent Caesar's Palace for Genesis at some point, and I enjoyed that, so I guess it's a gift that makes sense. Apparently this HAL Laboratory game was actually a sequel to an NES game called Vegas Dream, which I had not heard of before today. This game is a bit odd, but it has some interesting features and it is a solid gambling game.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trigger Man: Please Shoot Me Now

Trigger Man is such a terrible mess of a game. It is so bad that when I had a party in celebration of poverty games and encouraged people to go and buy the cheapest shit they could find, two people showed up with copies of Trigger Man, and neither spent more than two dollars on it. Trigger Man is so bad that the “reception” section of its wikipedia page is just a bulleted list of its faults. It is so bad that I've seen more than one person try to play it for over an hour and never finish the first level. This game is so bad that it is Point of View Inc.'s worst game, and they made the NFL Blitz sequels.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There Is No Justice Like Cyborg Justice

The coolest thing about Cyborg Justice is the name. I mean, it just sounds like it would be the name to something awesome, like the title to a cheesier version of Ghost in the Shell. Sadly, it is just a weird beat 'em up for Genesis that doesn't execute well on its interesting ideas. Still, it is probably one of the better games from Ecco the Dolphin  creators Novotrade International, later known as Appaloosa Interactive. One weird thing that caught my attention is the title on the box. It's very similar to Streets of Rage, which also has the first part in a wild red font and the second part in a more reserved font, in white, contained in a blue box. What does it mean? Nothing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mendel Palace/Quinty

A friend of mine left Mendel Palace at my house with the assurance that it was a game that ate up a large amount of his childhood. I thought this was weird because I had never heard of the game, but after playing it for a bit I can see the appeal. Known as Quinty in Japan, this game is probably most remembered in retrospect as the first game from Pokémon developers Game Freak. Oddly enough, the two friends who recommended this game to me were also my two friends who were bit hardest by the Pokémon bug back in the 90's, but I don't think they knew they were both designed by the same guy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Independence Day: Hardly Deserving Of Fireworks

Independence Day for Playstation was one of those games somebody left at my house. It has been here for years now, and since I hadn't played it, I didn't know why my friend left it. After having seen the game played, I feel like he owes me for keeping this crap in my collection instead of his. Notice how I said I've “seen the game played,” that's because, for the first time I am writing an article about a game that I have not played. It may seem rude to slander a game that I haven't even played, but having seen a friend foolishly put the game into my Playstation and play it for at least two hours makes me think I've been tortured enough. I can laugh about it now, but my friend who played it still seems angry.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Off On A Tangent: Saving

This is a different type of article for this site, and I don't know if it's a good idea or if I'll do more like this, but here it is. I don't like to sound like I'm ranting, so this is more of a post about saving where I get off on various tangents and rant about those, which I admit is a pretty fine distinction. I just hope this doesn't end up making me feel like a lunatic. The evolution of saving in video games is interesting to me. I don't know what has made me think about it recently, but thinking back about how things have been, I am glad things are the way they are now. We've definitely come a long way since long passwords. There have been a lot of third party solutions to preserve a record of all the time wasted on video games, and some have been more successful than others. Lately it seems that the method of saving hasn't changed as much as people's attitudes towards it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Zyclunt/Blade Warrior

I purchased Blade Warrior approximately ten years ago at a Big Lots. If that's not poverty enough for you, it was part of a two pack. The other game that was included in the box was Samurai Shodown 2, oddly titled simply Samurai Spirits. I don't know why, but I guess the 90's were an odd time for PC ports of arcade games. That's not really an issue with Blade Warrior because as far as I can tell it is a PC original. It is one of the earliest games from Phantagram, the company that went on to make the Kingdom Under Fire series.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spin Master: They Spinnin'

Here is another Neo Geo game that is unusual in a couple of ways. It wasn't developed by SNK and it isn't a fighting game. Spin Master is an action platformer made by the always quirky Data East. The name makes since considering the default weapon is a yo-yo, but I don't have an explanation for the Japanese title, Miracle Adventure. I apologize for the screenshots in this article. For some reason I took them with the HUD layer disabled, and I'm just too lazy to retake them. It shouldn't really change your view of the game because it is unremarkable like everything else.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Poverty Attendant Part 3: The Games

A lot of kids from my generation probably thought of working at an arcade as some sort of dream job. You could just play games all day and get paid for it, right? Of course this isn't true. The companies that own arcades don't want to pay employees to sit around and play games, they should be helping customers. When I got a job working at a mall arcade in 2008, I had no misconceptions about this, and I didn't really mind because this particular arcade had absolutely no games I had any interest in playing. As it turned out, nobody at this arcade cared if you played games, and it was only a matter of time before the boredom broke me down and I ended up playing some of them. In this third, and probably final, part of this series I will detail just how broken almost every machine in the place was.  Part 1 and part 2, for those that are out of order.

Crossed Swords: Insert Joke Here

My experience with Crossed Swords  started when I was an impressionable young boy. Okay, I could go on with the double entendre, but that would be uncouth, and I'm not one to drive a joke into the ground. I actually did play the game as a kid though, in the game room of a hotel or something like that. As someone who *gasp* never really got into Punch Out!, I rather enjoyed the game back then, and it is still a mostly fun little game.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gundam 0079: The War for Earth

It's a sad thing to be both a fan of video games and Gundam. There just aren't many good Gundam video games. There are lot of mediocre ones, a few good ones, and some that are so awful that they make the very notion of a good game seem laughable. Can you guess which I'll group the one I'll be writing about today comes from? Gundam 0079: The War for Earth is easily one of the worst Gundam games out there, and probably one of the worst games period. If I had to choose one word to describe this game, it would be abomination. If I had two, I'd say hilarious abomination.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Road Rash: '90s As Fuck

If you asked someone what game makes them most nostalgic for the nineties, they'd probably tell you some great game that came out in the nineties, like Streets of Rage 2 or Chrono Trigger. While these are both amazing games that were released in the nineties, they are not games that contain the essence of the nineties. The one game that does this better than any other is Road Rash for the Playstation. Playing this game is roughly equivalent to taking a shot of apathy and shooting up a hit of grunge. The only game that is anywhere near this nineties is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Ghost Pilots: No EVPs Here

Looking at the breakdown of what systems I've written about, I realized I've hardly written about Neo Geo Games, in spite of the fact I love the system. So, I randomly chose a Neo Geo game that I had never played before, and sadly I got Ghost Pilots. While the system doesn't have a lot of bad games, it does have a lot of competent, though forgettable, titles. This is definitely one of those. There isn't anything particularly wrong with Ghost Pilots, it just isn't anything special.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Metal Mech: Man & Machine & M's Of All Kinds

I purchased Metal Mech: Man & Machine because it has a silly title. I don't think it's a stretch to say that most large death-shooting mechs are made of metal, so the title seems redundant. In Japan it was released under the name Metal Flame Psybuster, which is exactly the sort of name you would expect out of a Japanese mecha game, especially since it is so nonsensical. Metal makes sense, I would guess with Flame they were going for Frame because there is no fire in the game and referring to the mech as a Metal Frame makes enough sense. I'd guess it's called Psybuster because it sounds cool, because there wasn't any psychicing or bustering going on. Japan must like the name Psybuster, because Cybuster is a staple original unit from the Super Robot Wars series that was popular enough to get its own anime series.