Thursday, June 11, 2009

one more thing of awesomeness before the weekend

new blog which is a spin off for this blog

a weekly updated blog where i post a picture of a video game character.

it's called Character of the Week

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Retro Saga Part 23: Intellivision Live! for the Playstation 2 Review

A lot of people might have knowledge of one of the best old consoles of all time, the Atari 2600, but some might not have knowledge of another old gaming console that tried to take down Atari, and it was called the Intellivision. The Intellivision wasn’t anything that special, since it was basically the same as the Atari 2600, and had the same kind of library of games. The big thing that made it different was that it had a controller that was like a TV remote, in a way, since it had a numeric keypad. Sadly, this console was made by Mattel electronics, which made horrible peripherals like the Power Glove. In the end, it just couldn’t survive, and it died off during the video game crash of 1983.

This review will be different since I will be doing short reviews of my favorite games out of the disc, and then a short review of the disc. Let’s start then, shall we?

Snafu: This game is kind of like another game called Snake, where you are a line, and you need to keep the line going without touching other lines or your own line. The graphics are bare basic like Pong. Surprisingly, it’s a really fun game.

Thin Ice: In this odd game, you play as penguin and you try to sink the other penguins into the icy cold water. During the game, you collect these torch-looking things that look like french fries from Wendy’s or McDonald’s. The challenge that this game brings into form is of a seal that will chase you if he sees you. This is also a fun game, which would have been fun in the arcades.

Astrosmash: This one is going to be short, since this is a pure rip-off of the more famous Missile Command, where instead of shooting down missiles, you shoot down asteroids and other things that are falling from the sky.

Space Armada: It’s a pure 100% rip-off of Space Invaders. Play Space Invaders and you will see what I mean.

Frog Bog: You basically play as a frog, and you jump from two lily pads, eating as many bugs as you can. This is like another game from the Atari 2600, except it’s for the Intellivision. This is my second favorite out of the bunch, and my first favorite is the one below.

Buzz Bomber: Basically, you are destroying bees before they can make it down to your level. The crazy thing I like about this game is that you are the can of bug spray that is killing the bees instead of the person holding the spray can. This is reminiscent of games like Centipede and Space Invaders, since you don’t want the bees to get to your level.

Now, it’s time to talk about the bad parts. There isn’t enough good games on this disc. It’s not like the Sega Genesis Collection where there are more good games then bad games, it’s the exact opposite. The ones I listed out are the best or are just decent enough to be fun. The controls for most of the games seem stiff and unresponsive and it’s no fun when a game’s controls are broken.
All and all, it’s not the best thing out there. I mean, there are better collections of games for the Playstation 2. I would only rent if you were curious. Other than that, I wouldn’t buy it at all.

This whole disc gets a 4.6 out of 10.

Klonoa for the Wii Review

Why have plat-formers died off? Whatever happened to there being, like, thousands of them? It seems like Mario, Wario and Kirby are still bringing it through the ages. I would put Sonic down here, but he has basically screwed himself over too much to come back. One day, I remember reading about a character known as Klonoa and how a game for the Wii was coming out for it. I then read up about it, and found it out was a revamped version of a Playstation 1 classic. I got excited and put it on my list of games I wanted to play. After I beat Madworld, I got this game in the next couple of days in the mail. So, is this a horrible translation from PS1 to Wii? Or is it a Gem that the Wii has been ever-so looking for.

Basically, the whole story takes place in a world known as Phantomile, a world powered by dreams that people have by night. One day, a plane crashed into the top of the hill in Phantomile, and a character known as Klonoa and his ring spirit Hewpoe go find out whats going on and save Phantomile from what evil has been brought upon the land.

This is one of those characters that were part of the whole mascot craze in the 90’s, when it ended. Older gamers know that multiple different mascots were made to compete against the almighty Mario and Sonic. Usually, they all had horrible games but some actually made it through to get at least a couple more sequels like Sparkster, from Rocket Knight Adventures, and Klonoa, from, well uhh, Klonoa. Now, this game has gotten a total makeover in the form of new redesigned characters, awesome graphics, new cut scenes and everything.

The game play is in the style of a 2.5D plat-former much like Super Mario Brothers 1, Goemon’s Great Adventure, Yoshi’s Story, and Wario Land Shake it! Every plat-former has their own unique thing that makes their games fun, like Mario has the Fire Flower and the multiple other power-ups in his games, Sonic is fast, Kirby can swallow, then copy enemies’ abilities, and Wario has you going around collecting treasures and money. Klonoa has the ability to pick up enemies and throw them. You can also use them to give your character a double-jump-like ability by throwing the captured enemy down to the ground after jumping.

The graphics are just gorgeous. I mean, I could say they are almost as good as Super Mario Galaxy’s graphics in the term of color and such. I was actually glad that they didn’t just port the PS1 version of the game, since another Wii game Counter Force didn’t get upgraded to current graphics, so it got bombed by reviewers. The art style is bright and colorful, with unique and wonderful Nintendo-like characters. I think the whole charm comes from the style of the game, since you would think it has a cutesy soft story, but the story itself is quite dark for such a game. I won’t say anything about it so you have to play the game yourself. The music is beautiful, and just a hoot to listen, to the point that I wish there was a soundtrack for the game. The music for this game actually stands up to some of the best of the Wii’s Library of Games.

It is time now to pick up the bad parts of the game and smash them. The length of the game suffers the same as Madworld and Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars. It’s too short. You could easily beat this game in a day. The sad reason for that fact is that it is too easy, I mean, until you get to the two last areas of the game. The rest of the game is just a breeze to get through. The voice acting isn’t bad or anything, since sometimes they overdo it to the point where it’s annoying. Even if you’re not listening to the English voice acting, the made-up language thing can get on anyone’s nerves.

All and all, this is a pretty awesome game. This is the full package for a third-party Wii game, awesome graphics, dark story, and amazing music. This game is an automatic buy for any Wii owner looking for a good Wii game. Now, if we can only bring back Vectorman and Ristar in some way, shape, or form.

This game gets an 8.1 out of 10

Rated E for everyone.

MadWorld for the Wii Review

Let’s be honest. Sega isn’t doing well in the gaming world. Some could say that they are screwing over their Sonic franchise. That is basically my reason for thinking they aren’t doing well. For a couple years, I wondered, why doesn’t Sega make another franchise? Then, a couple months ago, one game caught my eye on Gamefly, Madworld. I looked up everything I could about this game that was coming out. After I looked at it, I got excited and added it to my list and waited for it to come out. I just beat it a few days or so ago, and now I am on my computer, typing up a review for it.

So, basically, the story is that a terrorist group has taken over Varrigan City and has blown up the bridges, and blocked out communications to the island city. To be even bigger jerks, they have released a virus into the city, and told everyone in the city that they have to fight for the cure of the virus. This has then turned into the violent game show known as Death Watch. Now enters our main hero Jack, who is signing up to join Death Watch to find out what is happening, and beat some guys down into the ground while he is saving the city.

This time, I’ll start out by talking about Jack, our main hero. Let’s just say he isn’t someone you would want to meet in a very dark alley. This guy is a seriously awesome character. He has a robotic arm with a chainsaw hidden inside it, and he will screw you over 100 different ways. The voice actor for this marvelously violent character is Steve Blum who is famous for roles such as Roger Smith from the robot anime Big-O, Agito a.k.a Guyver III from Guyver, Hakaider from the anime version of Kikaider, and his most famous role, Spike from Cowboy Bebop. I just love this guy’s voice acting. It just fits the character. I also think Ron Perlman could have done a good job, but that is just me.

Okay, onto the game. The game play style is in a 3D beat em’ up where you travel across 14 intense levels, beating down on goons 1,000 different ways and eventually fighting a boss at the end of each level. Now, the unique part of this game is the intense violence. A lot of people have complained about this intense violence for a game for the Wii, but I remember a quote from Eurogamer saying that it’s hard to get offended, since the violence is so ridiculous and over-the-top, like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, and I have to agree with that statement. Besides just punching people, you can also use your chainsaw to cut people and things in half. You can also wield signs posts, barrels, trashcans, and other weapons to rack up points on your opponent, since you can multiply your points by being violent. It’s a unique point system, which really fits in the game. There are also destructible environments where you could throw opponents into spikes, steamrollers, slot machines, and other stuff to rack up points. During halfway through every level, you compete in a mini-game-like challenge, where you either throw or hit guys into dartboards, under the death press, throwing them in front of trains, and multiple other games that you will have to find out for yourself. You don’t lose a life or anything if you don’t make enough points, which is a good thing in my opinion. The boss fights are outrageous. Every boss fight is different each time. There is always a different challenge for every boss fight, and to be honest, they aren’t that hard. I mean, some can be easier than others, but you will die if you don’t know what to do. There are also mini-bosses that sometime come out during the level, and the mini-boss is always different, depending on where you are in the game.

The graphics are just awesome. Since the Wii isn’t the strongest game console out there, the people who made this game used a Sin City-style artwork, which cleverly hides the Wii’s graphic limitations. The voice acting is just amazing. You forget that this game was made in Japan since it’s just so American. It’s hard to explain. I’ll just say that the voice acting is spot on. Most of the charm of the game comes from the two game announcers who are voiced by Greg Proops, who is famous for doing stuff like the Pod Racing announcer from Star Wars Episode 1, various voices from The Nightmare Before Christmas and also appearing on shows like Who’s Line is it Anyways. He is partnered up with John Dimaggio, who is famous for doing the voice of Bender from Futurama, Brother #2 from Afro Samurai, the Scotsman from Samurai Jack, and Aquaman and Gorilla Grodd from Batman the Brave and the Bold. These two are just hilarious, in a sick manner, as they swap banter while Jack is playing through the game. Even Jack has clever lines throughout the whole game, and that is the reason I said Ron Perlman would have done a good job as Jack also.

It’s time to shove a sign pole into the bad parts of the game. The camera control is very awkward since it stays in one place and doesn’t turn around when you’re facing another, unlike in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon. The enemy AI can be pretty stupid, since they just stand there as you bring on the pain. I admit though, they get smarter later in the game and when you play it on the hard difficulty. Lengthwise, the game is short, and you can beat it in a dedicated day or two. This is just a small gripe but I think it would have been cool to have a fighting game multiplayer where you could play as Jack and the different bosses, but like I said, it’s just a small gripe.

All and all, I highly enjoyed this game. I just wish there were more games like this on the Wii. The only game I can recall being this violent and awesome is No More Heroes. Even though there is little to unlock, this game is fun to play through over and over again. I would highly recommend buying this game since it is one of the better third party games.

This game gets a solid 8 out of 10
Rated M for mature.

Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars for the Wii Review

There are a lot of really odd games out in the world today that just catch our eyes and make us curious whether to rent or buy. If you look at today’s games, there are some odd ones like Kirby, Little Big Planet, The Neverhood, Banjo Kazooie, Conker’s Bad Furday, and the list goes on. With the introduction of the Wii, we got some pretty odd ones already, like Dewey’s Adventure and Opoona. In my opinion, by far, one of the strangest games on earth has to be Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars.
The story picks up from the DS game Mushroom Men, Rise of the Fungi, where a mysterious comet falls onto Earth and changes most life. The strange energy of the comet even affects the fungus as they start to come to life, along with other kinds of mushrooms, and start to act like humans. However, a group of evil mushrooms known as Amaniti wants to use the stones’ power to conquer the world, and then set out to destroy multiple villages where innocent mushroom people live, including the peace-loving Boletes. The main hero of the game is Pax, a lone surviving bolete mushroom traveling across the land, trying to figure out where he belongs in the world. While in a mushroom village, Pax discovers that he could absorb pieces of the meteorite and accidentally absorb the village’s piece of the stone. He then sets off to find a new piece for the village.
The game play style is of an action adventure plat-former where you control Pax, and journey across huge parts of the land. The style of the game is very offbeat since you are a small humanoid mushroom traveling across areas of land, which could be for a human just a couple of yards long. The first thing I noticed and loved about this game was the designs of the characters and environment. It’s so unusual that you would see stuff like this in a video game. It has a very Tim Burton look to it and if you know anything about him, you would agree with me. This is one of those games that you can pick up and play, and realize how small your character actually is. I mean, if you played games like Deadly Creatures or Little Big Planet or even Shadow of the Colossus, you would understand what I mean. The combat style of the game is maybe one of the best features. Since your are a small Mushroom man, you will have to build weapons out of everyday junk, like hooks, razors, thimbles, gum, thread, pencils, and the list is so big you would have to see for yourself. You also have a strange power called Sporekenesis, where you are able to pick up or move stuff that has glowing green fungus on it. It’s maybe the same kind of power you can feel when you play like Bioshock or Destroy All Humans. Another cool weapon you gain from a gumball machine is a sticky hand-like toy you can find in gumball machines in real life. This special tool is only useful for getting to higher places where your jump can’t reach. By far, one of the best things about Pax is his jumping ability. You can jump normally, but you can also hold down the ‘A’ button to jump high and farther, kind of like Wario Land and Super Mario Brothers. If you press the ‘A’ button again, while you’re jumping, you can cap glide where you hold onto your wide mushroom head and glide down to the ground safely, which kind of reminds me of other games like Kirby, when he gets an umbrella weapon, and Legend of Zelda, the Wind Waker, where Toon Link uses a leaf to glide over to an island.
The enemy selection is rather interesting too, since the only evil mushroom colony you fight for the first part is the Amaniti, which are war-like, and will also capture other mushroom colonies like the tech wizards, Morel. Later, you find out that you fight another race called Lepiota, which has taken control of the Amaniti, and plan to use the meteorite’s power to control the land. Other enemies are mostly wildlife that has encountered the strange stone like rabbits, spiders, moles, and other animals.
The graphics are amazing on the Wii. Like I said before, they aren’t Super Mario Galaxy amazing, but they are still pretty dang good for Wii standards. The graphic style has more in common with games like Deadly Creatures. The detail and color of the game still so much reminds me of a Tim Burton animated film. Even the creators said they wanted the creatures to have a clay-animated style of movement and look, which fits the mood of the game. The music is pretty awesome too, since it gives you an unusual feel and vibe from it, and most of the songs are contributed by Les Claypool of Primus fame.
Now, it’s time to put together a weapon made of trash, and beat up the bad parts of the game. Even though the jumping mechanic is awesome and fun, it wouldn’t have hurt for the creators to put in a double jump ability, which could have helped when trying to find small pieces of the meteorite. The camera controls could have been better also. Even though you can control it, and it isn’t set in one place like most games, it could help players more when they are trying to find a place to use the sticky hand or to explore your surroundings better. The game itself is pretty short since most gamers could get through it in a dedicated day to play it, or in two days, which was my scenario.
The ultimate question though is, did I enjoy it? Well, yes, I did. Actually, this is one of the best Wii games I have ever played, and I was proud to play it. The sad thing is that I don’t hear anyone talking about it, which is shocking since this is one of the better third party games for the Wii. I would highly recommend buying it or renting it whichever is your choice. I wish people would talk more about, but I can see this game getting a good cult following and another sequel, if done right.

This game gets an 8 out of 10.

just some random awesomeness

this is from a japanese super hero show i like to watch.

you can email me if you have any questions about it