A Week in Gaming 2nd Quest #13: 3/27 – 4/2

Seems like I’ve developed a habit of missing the Sunday deadlines I impose upon myself. No matter, I’m still able to get these things in at some point. Really it just comes down to motivation. Between doing homework, housework, and investing time into other hobbies I don’t find myself motivated to write as much as I used to. No, I’m not addicted to making perler bead sprites (okay, so I am), but I still managed to hammer out a few achievements this past week… and gain a dozen new games in the process.

I’ve not the motivation to write a three-thousand word monologue much like a few weeks ago, so I’m going to write in that short and substantial way that I’ve done in the past. With five games and low motivation, a long monologue dissecting these games would become flat and unfocused. Today we’ve got a spread between a few ported Genesis titles, two Game Boy Color titles, and a brief stint with a Game Boy Advance game.

Virtua Fighter 2 (PC, originally Genesis)

I have a seething dislike of pre-Saturn/PlayStation fighting games. I also happen to own a lot of them for some reason. After experiencing the likes of Ultimate Mortal Kombat III, Primal Rage, Street Fighter II, Ballz 3D… (though Killer Instinct was cool), I didn’t have high expectations for Virtua Fighter 2. This was a good mindset to have going in, as old fighting games never really age well. After looking up some info on it, I can appreciate what the game did in terms of pushing the envelope and being more realistic and all of that nonsense. But honestly, Virtua Fighter II was even more simplistic than Street Fighter II. Just take out the special moves and keep in combos and add in ring-outs. That’s basically it. Oh, and the final boss of the game? What the hell was up with that? I go from fighting a diverse ethnic selection of people as a guy who looks like General Tao or Master Asia… then the final boss ends up being a crystal-colored cyborg who I fight in Atlantis? What the shit.

If you’re into old or antiquated fighting games, this one could be up your alley. Otherwise, give it respect for what it influenced but never touch it.

Crack Down (PC, originally Genesis)

Here’s the other of the two Sega Genesis Classics I completed on Steam over the week. More and more I’m finding myself an aficionado of top-down shooters, and this one takes the solid formula that games like Gauntlet and Gain Ground used and modifies it. This felt like a double-edged sword though, as level design became increasingly frustrating with the time limit each stage has. The concept behind the gameplay is great: you have a time period to run through stages in a top-down perspective to plant explosives and escape. You’ve got two different guns and screen-clearing bombs at your disposal, the enemies have variety to them, you’ve got close-range combat available, and the stages are never truly the same.

Execution, however? Some stages are designed cruelly and one hit equaling death doesn’t help the situation. I’m reminded of three stages in particular that I hated: the one with moving platforms over lava, the one with the electrical circuits on the ground that required bomb abuse to get past safely, and the final stage. If nothing else, that final stage will leave people salivating in rage or abandoning the fight against Dr. X. Beyond these issues which can be overcome with time and tenacity? This is a good game. It’s not the best in the world, but I rather enjoyed it and don’t regret going in blind. It’s cheap on Steam, look into it if you’re interested.

F-Zero: GP Legend (Game Boy Advance)

This is the GBA game I had a brief stint with. On stream I didn’t play beyond the easiest circuit cup to complete and Rick Wheeler’s portion of the Story Mode. This plays like what you’d expect of an updated F-Zero SNES title, and it does so well. I found the controls tight and responsive, the music is glorious, and the fact that it has a Story mode really entices me. Even with being based on an anime, this game reeks of chunky F-Zero goodness with only a few things I found to complain about.

Mainly, those came from the “tracks” in the story mode where you had to race someone else to the finish. So many ninety-degree turns and odd design compared to your average track made these segments irritating and I didn’t like them. Beyond that I haven’t much else to complain about but I’m sure once I get more in-depth with the game you all can expect to hear me moan and groan about it.  As it stands now I do promote this title but we’ll see how things go in the future.

Looney Tunes (Game Boy Color)

This was one of the four Game Boy / Game Boy Color games I picked up in the impulse splurge spree I went on. I had no idea what to expect going into this, so you can imagine my surprise when I found a half-decent and colorful platformer lodged inside. Character and stage diversity are a positive but the sheer jump the difficulty decided to make at the halfway point left me feeling incredibly mixed about the title.

For whatever reason you have to play as different Looney Tunes to achieve various objectives that are miles apart from one another. The first stage belongs to Daffy Duck, which functions as your standard platformer. Controlling the duck means running, jumping, and throwing a frisbee for a projectile as you fight Yosemite Sam and Marvin the Martian for some reason. As soon as that is done, you’re suddenly playing as Tweety. With limited flight capacity you have to repeatedly run away from Sylvester and an odd kid who keeps appearing to chuck stuff at you. Stage 3 goes completely different where you end up playing as Porky Pig in a stage designed after horizontal shmups. For some reason Porky has a death feud with a witch and a giant black star but the stage is fun. Stage 4 is Taz’s stage and honestly this functions more as a bonus stage than anything. All you do is spin around breaking rocks while trying to collect as many pieces of meat as possible in the time given. All in all, these stages are great.

Stage 5 is a brick wall. Speedy Gonzales is inside of an Egyptian themed pyramid or some such, the stage is incredibly long and Speedy’s main form of attack is terrible. Speedy stops where he is and enters an unbreakable animation where he dances around shooting waves of stars to 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. This entire stage is filled with ridiculous pain and I died many a time here before getting it down. Stage 6 isn’t any better, as now you’re in the shoes of the Road Runner, escaping from Wile E. Coyote. The game auto-scrolls the level and the only way to hurt Wile E. is to jump on him. Naturally the coyote has a plethora of things to chuck at the Road Runner and this becomes another serious case of trial and error. Once you manage to get this far, you finally end up at the final stage… which essentially is a fusion of Daffy’s and Speedy’s. Specifically, Daffy has been reskinned as Bugs Bunny in a stage designed much like Speedy’s, complete with a boss rush and ending with a battle against Elmer Fudd. Painful, odd, and subject to rage when you find out that Elmer requires a ton of hits to die and has a spreadshot built into his shotgun.

Overall this game isn’t too bad. The latter three stages are brutally hard in a contrast to the easy first four stages but all of them are designed well. This entire game just comes down to trial and error while learning the quirky physics of the game and the layouts of the stages. If I had paid more, I’d like it less but since I only paid $2 for it I’m happy.

A Bug’s Life (Game Boy Color)

I could write about how bad this game is. How it is literally impossible to finish with passwords, rife with bad design, and is presented in a horrific manner. Instead, I’ll summarize A Bug’s Life for the Game Boy Color with this.

 

Won't you help him make his harvester?

 

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Sorry for the delay folks, and thanks for reading! We’ll have another set of games to write about next week. I know it’s not the standard for you all to comment, but you could please do me a favor and tell me if today’s format was better than prior weeks? Thanks again, and keep gaming! o/

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One Response

  1. I find either format to be interesting so I have no real opinion… Boy that sure was helpful wasn’t it?

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