_hojo:Woody’s Roundup.01May 29, 2009
_so there i was, chatting with Kibou about this blog. and she’s all “i haven’t posted much.” and i was all “i haven’t recently, either. everything i’ve beat recently was kinda short, or i didn’t have that strong of feelings or write more than a paragraph or two about them. so instead of writing short posts, i wrote nothing at all.” then i remembered…Kibou wrote short blurbs on games in giant super-posts…i’m a dumbass, i should do the same! so…it’s a game roundup! or, as any post by me like this in the future will be known as,…Woody’s Roundup! because Toy Story is awesome. ride like the wind, Bullseye!
_Contra: Shattered Soldier_this is one of those games that could be so much better with a couple of easy design choices. in a game that wants you to beat stages with 100%’s without dying to get a “Good ending”…restarting the stages gives you an automatic -10%. thanks. so…there must be a “Quit game” option from the start menu, right? nope. that’s requires you resetting your system. awesome. brilliant. also, getting the “Good ending” isn’t something like “get good grades on every stage and beat the game.” because the “Bad ending” comes after Stage 5. the “Good ending” sees the game continue past that. for like…2 or 3 stages. sweet. so you need to play a hard game over and over until you have all the stages down good enough to A or S all the stages, and when you do, you get to play a completely new hard stage which will see you die. and to practice the stage, you have to beat every stage again. because you can’t save in the middle of the game. did anybody telling you guys that going back to the beginning of games and being forced to play through stages you’ve beat numerous times was actually a pain in the ass, and not great design? i mean…the gameplay and stages themselves are fine. but these little things make the game more of a chore than it needs to be.
_Breakdown_THIS is a japanese FPS i can get behind. we all know that the japanese have a history of not caring about US FPS’s (or 3rdPS for that matter), so the idea of a japanese developer making a game in the genre the country doesn’t really like sounds like…a little bit of a ridiculous prospect. but that vibe can sometimes be felt, as Breakdown tries to really think outside the box throughout the game. there’s an emphasis on hand-to-hand combat and use of superhuman powers. the game is very story-driven. your HUD disappears completely near the end of the game. other things i can’t think of off the top of my head. it’s a mash of unique ideas that makes Breakdown stand out from most any other FPS game out there. do all of these ideas work? no, not at all. can US developers learn something from this game, and inject some of the ideas in it in their games to freshen up the genre? absolutely. in fact, you can see a lot influence from this game in something like Mirror’s Edge. and that’s a good thing.
_Sunsetriders_a favorite from my childhood. i used to play this in the arcade on a 4 player cabinet. 4 cowboys running through the old west, killing bad guys for bounties. i’m actually not sure if you play as 4 deputies or 4 sheriffs or something, killing people to clean up the streets, or if they’re just 4 normal cowboys, killing guys strictly for the money. my dream situation is some kind of combination of the 2. like, they’re all law enforcers, but from a different town. like, they’re killing guys that are technically outside of their jurisdiction.
_enough about my personal fantasies about the plot of the game. i read a description of this game that said “it’s like Contra, only with more focus on running and less on jumping.” that’s pretty accurate. i don’t think i could come up with a better “not really, but yeah” one sentence description of the game. the game’s setting of the old west is pretty cool. it’s not really something you see often in games, and lends a very unique feel to the game. the gameplay is also solid, and the aforementioned emphasis on running and sliding more than jumping also separates it from a lot of games of similar style. finally…”Bury me with my money.”
_Super R-Type_having played R-Type, R-Type 2, and R-Type Final before this, is was more than happy to play through this on Easy. R-Type Final on Easy mode isn’t even comparable to 1 and 2 difficulty-wise, and compared to Final’s easiest mode, this might be easier. so Super R-Type on Easy might be the easiest R-Type i’ve played. that translates to “Super R-Type is one of the more enjoyable R-Type experiences.” will i play Super R-Type on normal mode in the future? i’m not sure. easy was such a pleasant, enjoyable experience. normal mode might ruin it for me. maybe when my Backlog is :B:.
_Panzer Dragoon_a couple days ago, i turned on X-Play (lol) and during a review of a game, they talked about rail-shooting sections. the sentiment was basically, “rail-shooting? really? RAIL-shooting?! seriously?!” to which my reaction is “rail-shooting? really? RAIL-shooting?! seriously?!” only their statement had a “rail-shooting sux” delivery, and mine had a “rail-shooting sux?” delivery. i mean, it’s not like rail-shooters are the pinnacle of gaming ecstasy. but they’re far from terrible. i might even go so far as to say that they can be highly enjoyable. i guess that means i can’t be a co-host on X-Play. my dreams dashed.
_so what’s my opinion on this particular rail-shooter? it’s good. it’s neat seeing the series roots. even though i haven’t played Orta in a long time, i remember the whole “3 forms” thing and levelling up each form as you saw fit. it added a lot of depth and strategy to the game. the original, while fun, seems simplistic in comparison. but…still fun.
_Dino Crisis 2_my biggest gripe with the survival-horror genre is the handicapped-sloth-covered-in-molasses-trapped-in-concrete pace of the gameplay. so that Dino Crisis went from that style to a run’n’gun with tank controls…i’m fine with that. i liked the Fear Effect games too. props for DC2 for having points in a game that actually matter.
_points are always something that amazed me. they originated as a way to encourage kids to pump more money into arcade games by “immortalizing” their initials for getting teh hello skorz. then they came home in “arcade perfect” ports, probably because taking out the points system would be something like work. imagine simply removing a line of code and having everything around it work without a hitch. HA! anyways, we all got to “immortalize” our initials at home with our siblings or ourselves…at least until we turned off the system. that’s cool, right? a hi-score that displays as long as the system is on? yeah, there’s totally a point to that. anyways, it became such an ingrained part of gaming that points just got stuck in every game. Mega Man 1 had points. there was no hi-score table. not even a hi-score display. you didn’t even get lives for reaching a certain amount of points. and it wasn’t originally an arcade game, so there’s literally no reason for there to be a score. it’s just there because…all games had score counters! you HAD to have points!
_i love that points have recently made a comeback thanks to consoles being online. we see action games give out points for random shit, and you can try to beat other people’s high scores on online leaderboards to give games “replay value.” score counters were originally there to encourage people to put more credits into arcade machine…now they’re put into games for added “replay value.” i love it. points have come full circle.
_MDK_whoa, two back-to-back 5 hour games. i love it when run’n’gun games that are kind of mindless are short. they end before they can get boring. those are huge pros for Dino Crisis 2 and MDK. there’s nothing worse than a shooter that doesn’t know when to quit.
_and i keep hearing that MDK2 is really difficult. after finishing MDK in 5 hours, it leads me to believe that the sequel is radically different. this game was incredibly easy. super amount of auto-aim, infinite ammo, circle strafing will dodge pretty much everything…easy gamez.
_…that’s it. that’s what i’ve been doing =D tune in again for another Woody’s Roundup. he’s the rootin’est, tootin’est cowboy in the wild, wild west.