- A 38 year old male gamer
- Joined on November 25th 2014, last online on 26 April 2019.
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BS Legend of Zelda (SNES) - 'BS' here stands for Broadcast Satellite - this is one of a handful of titles only available for a limited time in Japan as it was broadcast in episodes on a weekly basis. One of these titles was a 'remake' of sorts of the original Legend of Zelda. Fans have cobbled together the episodes, removed the timed events, and changed the visuals so you play as Link and collect Triforce pieces (rather than playing as a Sattelaview mascot collecting crosses).
If you liked the original game, this is a fast and more focused version of it. The map has been truncated, but most of the areas you'll remember are present. The visual upgrade from the NES reminds me of Super Mario All-Stars, something I would have loved to see for more games.
You can't buy this game, and Nintendo doesn't seem to care that fans have put so much work into making it functional long after the last live broadcast, so go get it and have fun! http://bszelda.zeldalegends.net/
Jurassic Park (GEN) - This is a heart breaker. I LOVED this game as a kid, and as an adult I'm not sure how I ever had the patience for it. The presentation is top-notch for Sega's 16-bit platform, probably the only JP video game to ever get the atmosphere of the series right. There are two campaigns, one where you play as Allen Grant and one where you play as a velociraptor, both trying to escape Isla Nublar. Both are 2D platformers - Grant has deliberate pacing & ammo management, while the raptor speeds through the levels and stomps on enemies like a standard platformer.
Sounds great, yeah? But the game betrays all these good points with mushy and unreliable controls, haphazard hit detection (mostly just affecting the raptor), and some of the most garbage-tier level design I've encountered in a while. I'm talking blind leaps of faith over instant death pits right from the first level. I don't even understand that part; the game lets you look 'up' by holding up on the D-pad, why won't it simply let you look 'down?' Grant drops from vines he holds onto for no reason, the raptors melee attacks sometimes have no effect for some reason, and I'm still not entirely sure I understand why going over waterfalls in Grants third level sometimes kills you and sometimes doesn't.
The levels aren't terribly long, and there is a password system to continue where you left off, but the entire experience is just spoiled by all the inescapable jank. With my rose-tinted nostalgia glasses removed, I must reluctantly say just skip this 'classic.' I hope "Rampage Edition" fares better...
Live A Live (SNES) - Just finished a fairly thorough replay of this game, and again I am struck by how this masterpiece from Squaresoft never made its way west. This is a turn-based RPG broken up into nine chapters, the first seven of which you play in whichever order you wish. The first eight chapters have a completely different setting and theme:
- prehistoric caveman action
- a ninja on a mission to assassinate a feudal lord
- an MMA fighter proves he's the strongest in the world
- a robot on a civilian spaceship carrying a deadly alien for the military
- a cowboy gunfighter who comes upon a town in trouble
- a psychic delinquent attempts to pilot a giant robot
- an old kung fu master searches for a disciple before his time is up
- and finally a knight must slay the demon lord and save the princess.
All these disparate chapters connect in final chapter, and it is glorious. Tons of secrets, optional hidden bosses, many possible endings, and perhaps the most sympathetic main villain ever make this a title you'll want to come back to for more.
"As long as there is hatred, anyone can become a king of demons, in any world, at any time..."
The Lost Vikings (SNES) - This is a 2D puzzle platformer where you must get three characters with distinct abilities to the end. One has a shield that he can use to block attacks & glide, one has a ranged and melee attack, and the last can bull rush and jump. The presentation is fantastic, although the SNES version has a lower resolution (so the screen is zoomed in a bit much, necessitating extra camera maneuvering tricks not needed in other versions). Initially the game has the heroes thrown around to different time periods - prehistoric, ancient Egypt, modern factory - but then the fourth world is just random nonsense, a bit of a let down to be honest.
Speaking of which, the latter worlds are brutally difficult due to an over abundance of instant death; gameplay ends up being a test of memory, reflexes, and patience as much as puzzle solving. Infinite lives means this becomes a trial-and-error affair, one that might not be for everyone - lack of checkpoints really makes the entire thing feel a bit unfair at times - but it is a fun and rewarding experience for those up for dying a few hundred times.
Lufia & The Fortress of Doom (SNES) - Well, I remember playing the crap out of Lufia 2, so imagine my surprise when the first game bored me to tears. I shouldn't be struggling to find excuses to NOT play a game. I hate it when people say something is "average" to bag on something, but that definitely fits the bill here. Other than being boring, this game has some terrible sound effects - particularly how the menu has one jarring and loud beep noise that is used for EVERYTHING you do in it. Just navigating the item menu made me appreciate how much nicer other RPGs are.
This one gets a hard pass from me. There are too many better games out there to bother with this crude mediocrity. Hopefully the sequel fares better when I give it a second look in the future...
Flicky (GEN) - This is a simple single-screen arcade game that has the title character collecting small chicks and bringing back to the start point. What makes this different from others is how quickly it moves, how colorful it is, and the single screen scrolls so you're always somewhat in the center of the screen. It's not an RPG epic or satisfying beat 'em up with a final boss, but for a simple 'get the high score' type affair, it's really fun and addicting. The only downsides to my taste is the very loud and obnoxious music, as well as the limited selection of enemies to avoid.
Super Metroid (SNES) - One of the crown jewels of the SNES library, and one that really doesn't need another review. If you somehow haven't played this classic, which fine-tuned the ideas established in the first two Metroid titles, you're slacking. Even after playing more modern 'metroidvanias,' Super Metroid absolutely holds up. Play in a dark room with a good sound system to best experience the top-notch atmosphere.
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (SNES) - A port of an old educational MS-DOS title, it's a game of tracking a criminal across the world with a time limit and vague geographical hints. The actual game is very limited and repetitive, the visuals are bare bones, calling the audio 'minimalist' would be generous, and I suspect it could have been handled just as well on the NES. I doubt modern gamers would get much out of this, but it held some nostalgic value for me, and honestly, you won't find many titles like this (on consoles at least).
Magical Quest (SNES) - A very basic platformer with a decent variety of moves and obstacles. It's short, somewhat slow paced, and not particularly difficult to complete (unlimited continues makes it a matter of time), but surprisingly small hit boxes and large HP on enemies, combined with the random nature of boss patterns can make for some real frustration. You slowly unlock new abilities as you progress, and unfortunately some are just far more useful than others. There are plenty of secrets to discover...all of which make the game even easier to complete. It might be a bit too harsh for what used to be the target demographic when it was released, but Magical Quest is fun and worth a look if you're in the mood for a short platformer.
Bonanza Bros (GEN) - This heavily ported game has always been a favorite of mine to mindlessly mess with on occasion. The goal of the game has you rushing through 2D stages, sneaking past / tranquilizing guards, stealing all the required objects, and escaping within 3 minutes. Once you get the jist of how the game works, it is quite short and not particularly difficult (save for the 10th and last stage, which requires almost the entire 180 seconds). The game seems built for simultaneous 2-player, so even when you're doing 1-player you only get to use half your screen. Fun despite some clunk, Bonanza Bros is a must if you like local multiplayer, and merely 'recommended' otherwise.
Next was an old favorite on the Megadrive, Toejam & Earl. Played this game for many hours as a kid but never managed to beat it despite getting very close. It's an overhead exploration-focused title, avoid enemies & grab 10 collectibles across 25 stages. Coming back to it years later, I find it pretty time consuming if you explore the stages thoroughly, this is definitely a game that could benefit from some form of saving progress. TJ&E would be a perfect co-op title were it not for the lack of saving and the sometimes inaccurate in-game maps, but it's still very much a must-play.
After finally completing an RPG on the old Megadrive, I went back to my old faithful SNES to attempt E.V.O. VGchartz considers this a 'simulation,' but it's just an action game with some RPG-style grinding for XP. The concept is really neat (evolve your body parts with XP), but I think most players will quickly be annoyed by the odd hit boxes, slippery hit detection, lots of stun-lock, and some surprisingly OP bosses. The soundtrack is also very repetitive and annoying. I wanted to like this one more, but the execution is really lacking despite all the good ideas. It's good, but with serious flaws many will not be able to look past.
Playing through my collection of old timey games, MANY of which I never completed.
First was Shining in the Darkness (GEN) which was a very simple but fun first-person dungeon crawl RPG. Lots of character keeps it from getting dull. Though not particularly difficult, it can be really easy for your entire party to get paralyzed or stumble upon a boss and see a game over screen. Great game, just have a pad of graph paper and a few pencils handy!
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