By all rights The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris for the GBA should be an abomination. It is a licensed game in a sea of shitty licensed games for the GBA, and it is based on The Scorpion King, a movie, starring The Rock, that was a spinoff of The Mummy, a pretty lackluster series to begin with. Granted, I have never seen the film version of The Scorpion King, but I don't think it is bold of me to assume it isn't any good. Maybe it is because my expectations were so insanely low, but I was surprised to find that it's not that bad. Sure, it's nothing amazing or unique, but it is a very competent game.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
People that know me know that I am a huge fan of portable game consoles. People that know me really well know that I got into them rather late. Sure, I had a Game Gear, but the first handheld I owned that was actually portable was a the Game Boy Color I got not long after launch. Before that I only ever used the Game Boys of friends on occasion. The first Game Boy game I ever played was a little game called Motocross Maniacs by Konami, which happens to also be one of the earlier Game Boy releases. I liked it a lot back then, but until I found this cartridge with a severely mutilated label, I had not seen it in about twenty years. When the worker at the register asked if I knew what game it was, it was feel of great success when he confirmed that it was, in fact, Motocross Maniacs.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
For a system that has so few good third-person shooters, I was surprised that I had never heard of (C-12) Final Resistance, which is an unusually decent for a game on the first Playstation.. As it turns out, I probably hadn't heard of it because, in the United States, it didn't come out until 2002, nearly two years after the PS2 was out. It was made by SCE Studio Cambridge, the same developers responsible for the MediEvil series and the version of LittleBigPlanet for PSP. It was originally released in the EU in 2001, which seems more reasonable than when it came across the ocean more than a year later. I don't know why it took so long. Certainly, a game from a Sony studio released by Sony themselves could have been released sooner.
If I were to ask the common man what the sequel to Pac-Man is, the response would mostly likely be Ms. Pac-Man. But, in reality Ms. Pac-Man wasn't so much a sequel as a hack, originally called Crazy Otto, but that is story for others to tell. The only time Namco had the courage to name a game as a true sequel was with 1994's Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures, which isn't at all like the previous games in the series, but is weird and interesting in its own right. I played it on Genesis, but as far as I know there isn't a big difference between that and the SNES version.
Monday, August 22, 2011
It's strange. I had remembered playing Blast Corps back when the N64 was new, but I didn't remember anything about it other than it was about breaking stuff. As it turns out, that was pretty much the whole game. It is one of Rare's earlier N64 titles, and it was mainly made by a small group of young developers in the company. It wasn't a launch title, but it came out early enough in the system's life cycle that it was probably played by most people simple because they were looking for games to play on it. It is a decent game, considering the situation, but it's not a brilliant game either.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Deus Ex is definitely a unique and interesting game. Developed by Ion Storm and released in 2000, it is a game that was the first to do a lot of things, and was praised for doing them, but has never been properly replicated or built upon. Hopefully the soon-to-be-released Deus Ex: Human Revolution will remedy this. I am not the most qualified person to write about this game. During it's day, I had never even heard of it, and the nearly universal approval of the game had only reached my ears a few years ago. I purchased it during a Steam sale some time ago, but I never got around to it for whatever reason.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Here is some advice that could potentially save you tens of dollars. If you ever see a game with the LJN rainbow logo, especially if it is an NES game, don't buy it. I don't care if it only costs a dollar, chances are really good that the game isn't worth that much. What brings this topic on is the impressively terrible Back to the Future for NES. It was developed by Beam Software, a company that has made a lot of crap, but also a few interesting titles, such as the SNES version of Shadowrun. It doesn't really matter, it was payed for by LJN, and it is based on a movie license, so it clearly has a 0% chance of being any good.
Back in the early nineties there was a race to create the next big mascot character. Publishers saw the success of Sonic the Hedgehog, and they wanted some of that sweet money of children. A lot of companies that didn't need a mascot ended up with one just so they could make a bland platform game based around him, and one of the best examples of this is Accolade's Bubsy. It may have not been that great of a game, but the character of Bubsy the bobcat had enough 'tude to sell a bunch of games and green light a few sequels.
Monday, August 15, 2011
There aren't a lot classic arcade games that I can really get into, but I've always kind of liked Asteroids. That must be why I ended up with Asteroids for the Game Boy Color, which no doubt something I got out of a bargain bin at some point. This version of the game was part of a group of remakes for modern systems in the late nineties, all of which were developed by Syrox Developments, whom were also behind the Game Gear version of The Lion King, and not much else.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
As a child of thrifty parents, my CD collection as a child was pretty weird. For every Soul Asylum album, I also had some weird crap that I got because it was cheap, like this soundtrack for the Mega Man cartoon. Some department store was going out of business and had a bunch of stuff on clearance, so since it had Mega Man on it and it costs three dollars or something, it seemed worth a purchase. Hey, the title theme to the cartoon was a solid example of Saturday morning cartoon music, so how bad could it be? Well, as it turns out that song isn't on the album, and basically everything that is on it is wholly inappropriate. Throughout this article will be Youtube videos for the songs that I've been able to find on there, so thanks go out to the brave people that have uploaded them. Please note that any of the videos that actually have anything to do with the cartoon are fan-made.
I've already written about how impressive it is that SNK was able to condense Metal Slug down into a Neo Geo Pocket Color game in 1999, but since then there have been quite a few portable Metal Slug games. Immediately following Metal Slug 1st Mission there was 2nd Mission, also on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, but then the company collapsed and it took a bit for the next to come along. In 2004, Noise Factory, the company best known for Rage of the Dragons and the later Power Instinct games, though they also assisted in developing Metal Slug 4 and 5, made Metal Slug Advance for the Game Boy Advance. This title expanded on the tweaks originally started in the NGPC games.
Friday, August 12, 2011
It has been a long time since I've played through Illusion of Gaia, so I don't really remember the intricacies of the game, but there are a lot of moments that are very memorable. I am having a hard time judging how well the game is known. It seems that anyone that has played it remembers it well, but I don't think it is as widely known as other similar SNES titles. I have a lot of fond memories of the game, but for some reason I've never went back and replayed it. Illusion of Gaia is just a strange game in a whole lot of ways.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I have long held the opinion that there are only two professional wrestling games worth playing. For good mechanics and a wide variety of moves for creating a wrestler, there is WWF No Mercy, which enthusiasts seem to agree is the last good wrestling game. For pure wackiness and a fantastic character creator in terms of aesthetics, there is WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role. Oddly enough, both of these game were released within a week of one another eleven years ago. Fourteen years before that, the selection of professional wrestling games weren't so great, which leads us to Pro Wrestling for the Master System.
Monday, August 8, 2011
I've must have mentioned multiple times now that horizontal scrolling shooters are not really for me. Still, every once in a while I'll throw one in to see some flashy stuff, blow some things up, and mash a button fervently. I initially started playing Zed Blade, known as Operation Ragnarok in Japan, because it is a Neo Geo game, and it seems obvious that I will write about every Neo Geo game eventually, regardless of quality or monetary value. It was made by a company known as NMK, whom never made any major hits in their short lifespan.
I can't think of any comic book character that so easily makes the translation to video game form than the Punisher. In newer games he's a perfect excuse to do a game about a dude running around and shooting guys, and The Punisher for Xbox/PS2/PC from 2005 did a great job making boring old torture and murder into an exciting sport by using a Tony Hawk Pro Skater-style scoring system. But that is a topic for another day. In 1994, Capcom released a port of their arcade game, also simply titled The Punisher, on the Genesis. The arcade game was programmed by Capcom themselves, but the port was handled by Sculptured Software, the company responsible for Metal Mech and Eliminator Boat Duel.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Earth is under attack from an alien force of monstrous bugs or something, and the only chance for humanity to survive is to fight back with some big scary marines. That may be the plot to a million shooters, but in this case it happens to be the plot of Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M. I don't actually know what S.W.A.R.M. is supposed to stand for, but considering I only had the stomach to play to the second level, so I can't say with certainty that Acclaim Studios London didn't bother to come up with one. Acclaim Studios London is probably better known by their other names, Probe Entertainment which was the name the company went by when they ported the Mortal Kombat games to the Genesis and when they made Die Hard Trilogy.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
I could easily write about Max Payne. It is one of my favorite games and it can be picked up for dirt cheap these days, but that's not what I'm here for. Max Payne is wonderful, and you should play it if you haven't, but I would like to dig into the topic of mods, and specifically Max Payne: Kung Fu Edition. Mods are definitely poverty, not only because they are free, but because they are used to extend the life of games that are already owned, preventing the need to buy new games. The quality of mods may not always be great, but there are certainly some gems out there.
I'm beginning to think I purchase too many games based on how goofy their name is. Even with the goofy name, I knew pretty much what I was getting in to when I got Eliminator Boat Duel. If you're playing a boat racing game on NES, you're probably playing some sort of top-down, Micro Machines-like affair. A bit of coincidence, this game was published by Electro Brain, the company responsible for the game inthe previous post, though it was actually developed by Sculptured Software, the makers of Metal Mech.