Tuesday, November 29, 2011

D(imension) Force

It has occurred to me that I haven't posted much about SNES games. This is mostly a product of my small SNES collection, so to help rectify this I've decided to write about some random SNES roms. After landing on a few Japanese-only RPGs, which I don't feel qualified enough to get into, I ended up with Dimension Force, which I had never heard of. There doesn't appear to be much of a difference between it and the North American, D-Force. This 1991 shooter was made by Asmik Ace Entertainment, a company that has been around since the NES era, and is still active today, but has never made much of importance. The most notable of their releases to me is the terrible The Ring: Terror's Realm for the Dreamcast.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spider-Man vs. NYC

I grew up playing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin for the Genesis, and it is one of the earliest games for the system that my family owned. Maybe it was because of that, or because it was at the height of the comics boom, when everyone loved Spider-Man, but my brother and I loved this game. It's really not a very good game, but all that mattered was that it is a game that a kid can play as Spider-Man. It was the first game developed by Technopop, a company that only lasted through the nineties, whose only other notable game was the early console FPS Zero Tolerance, also for the Genesis.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Defense of Tank Controls

It has always bothered me that some people completely dismiss a game based on the way it controls. The goal of controls is to give the player a way to interact with the game, and, to me, a game has good controls if they facilitate logical interaction with a game. Basically, if the controls allow the player to do what needs to be done in the game, then they are good controls. Most complaints that a game has “bad controls” seem to boil down to a player that wants one game to control like another instead of attempting to understand why the other control scheme may be more suited the that particular game.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Brown Before It Was Cool: Desert Strike

It's strange how much things stay the same. Back in 1992 EA's biggest success was a military shooter based around real world weaponry and a fictionalized version of a modern conflict in the Middle East. Some people were saying that it was in bad taste. It was a whole big thing. On the other hand, much of the success of Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf was based on the way it was different from the other shooters at the time. It isn't about just blowing up everything on screen and never getting hit by a single bullet, but about going around, completing objectives, and tactically dealing with any opposition there might be.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Deadly Premonition

This is video game blog Poverty Game Night. You can call it PGN. Everybody calls it that. For those that can't tell just by that reference, this post is about Deadly Premonition. I can't remember the last time I've had such a difficult time articulating what is so great about a game. Even though the game is flawed in most every way, it is more than the sum of its parts. It is a game that is utterly bizarre and strangely fascinating.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Legend of Moneypenny: James Bond 007

Released amid the furor around Goldeneye for the N64, James Bond 007 for the Game Boy didn't get attention. There are quite a few reasons for this. For one, it was released in 1997, very late into the life-span of monochrome Game Boy games and not long before the release of the Game Boy Color, so it wasn't really a time in which any game for the system got a whole lot of attention. Secondly, the game could not be more different from the game that popularized first-person shooters on consoles. It is not surprising that the game goes overlooked considering the situation, but it is quite interesting. It is the first game from Saffire, a small developer formed out of Sculptured Software that didn't make anything particularly noteworthy before going out of business in 2004.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Off on a Tangent: Piracy

I don't think publishers these days understand how good they've got it. They love to complain about piracy and used game sales, and are intent on redefining the concept of software ownership in order to “protect” their works. Compared to how things have been, publishers have the most control over their games than ever before. Consumers no longer own software, they own a license to software, and this license allows the publisher to basically make any restrictions they want on the product. It just annoys me that publishers completely ignore the negative effects on the honest consumer out of fear of theoretically losing money.

Final Fantasy Adventure and Sword of Mana

I picked up Sword of Mana because I heard it was a remake of Final Fantasy Adventure, the first Game Boy game I ever bought and a game that I am quite fond of. See, Adventure for the Game Boy is actually the first game in the Mana series, which was followed up by the great Secret of Mana for SNES, but has more recently been known for some pretty mediocre games. A remake of an early Game Boy game updated for GBA that brings it more in line with the SNES graphics and systems of later games sounds great on paper, but something just feels wrong about the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wario Land 3: Yay Torture!

The first Game Boy I ever owned was a Game Boy Color, but I didn't have too many games for it and so I didn't play it very much. I didn't really get into portable games until the Game Boy Advance, so I missed out on quite a few good games. For example, I never played any Wario games with the exception of WarioWare titles, so I missed out on the critically acclaimed Wario Land series. When I saw a beat up copy of 2000's Wario Land 3 for the Game Boy Color in the bargain bin at my local used game store for three dollars, it seemed like as good a place to start as any.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Breath of Death VII: A Parody, Not a Sequel

I don't usually play Xbox Live Indie Games, and I guess technically I still haven't, because it is difficult to determine what is actually worth the time or money. I picked up the Breath of Death VII/Cthulhu Saves the World pack on sale on Steam for two dollars, as opposed the usual three, because I was already buying a bunch of other stuff, so it was hard to find a reason not to purchase it. They were made by Zeboyd Games, a three person team that started making Xbox Live Indie Games in 2009, first with a couple of interactive novels and then with these two parody RPGs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Top Gun: Impossible To Land

When looking through a pile of old NES games, the last game I ever want to see Top Gun.  It is indicative of an owner that had no taste in games, and would likely purchase any licensed schlock that was released for the popular console, and generally lowers any expectations I might have had for the collection.  There are some excuses for owning the game, like receiving it for free or writing a blog about playing awful games, and sadly I fall into both of those categories.  It is games like this that defy the entire idea of a Nintendo Seal of Quality.