11/29/2005

All N64 ROMs after "Mischief Makers" are down. When will this be fixed? Whenever Bishi decides to allow me more disk space.

Apparently, there are people who are downloading files from this website. Now, normally that wouldn't be a problem... but, the thing is, you guys are draining massive amounts of bandwidth. So if the site goes down, it's the fault of you bums. It is also apparent that no one is posting on the forums. This greatly upsets me (not really), as there are many persons downloading, but not posting. It is a crime.

Now to get right down to business, as they say. As some of you may have noticed, I last spoke of Shadow the Hedgehog, which is a game that only the diehard Sonic fans would be able to bear (me being one of them). I can't lie to you and say that this is a great game, so I won't. It sucks. Moving on, upon completing the terrible monstrosity known as Shadow the Hedgehog, I began to search through my "to play" game stack, seeking a worthy opponent to best. I saw SoulCalibur III in there, and thought: "hey, maybe I should try this one out. After all, I did buy it!" Then I played it. This is the tale of that event.

Where to begin? I'm not certain. See, I don't quite feel qualified to speak about these sort of games. What sort of games, you ask? Fighting games. Those are the sort that I'm not very good at playing, and I tend to be worse in SoulCalibur III than most fighting games. If you haven't figured it out by now, I really, really suck at this game. I suck more in this one than the previous game, SoulCalibur II. A lot more.

Fighting games can also get fairly complex and deep, or at the very least, the players do. Professional fighting game "vets" tend to take the entire game to a whole new level. A level largely unexplored by most of the normal citizens who play these games (myself included). Because I have never reached said level in any fighting game (not even Smash Bros.), I tend to not feel capable of properly reviewing these games. Why do I even play them, then? Well, just because I can't properly play or review a game, doesn't mean I can't enjoy it. I enjoy playing some fighting games on occasion; more so when I play with a friend. Specifically, a friend who is at my level (one who sucks horribly) of playing skill. Luckily, most of my friends are around that level (for almost every game, really), so I rarely run into the situation wherein I am absolutely "owned" or "served" by my opponent.

There are professional, diehard "vets" for almost every game in existance, but there is a certain difference with fighting games. In fighting games (and perhaps real time strategy, as well), they were intentionally made with the idea that the people playing it may become that good; that obsessed. These games were built from the ground up to support these professional gamers who take gaming to a level that I have not had the pleasure to explore extensively (though I don't lie to you when I say this; I have been to that level a few times). Back to SoulCalibur III, which is where we've been all along. Is it better than SoulCalibur II? That's most likely the question anyone would ask about it. That question also happens to be the deciding factor in whether or not one would get this game. Really, though, is it better? It's hard for me to say. I am not a professional, so I don't do nonsense like "guard break" or whatever, so this answer I am about to provide, is an answer I'm going to provide from the "other side." Namely, the "I suck donkey dongs at SoulCalibur and just mash the buttons" side.

Okay, so... the answer? Somewhat yes, somewhat no. You see, moves have been tweaked, things have been changed, but none of it is a definite "worse" or "better." They are all simply differences. Some might like certain differences, while others may dislike those differences. Still others won't be at all affected by these differences (me). Graphics? They are pretty impressive for the PS2, I must say. However, when the fighting becomes too intense, it occasionally slows down. It's not too big of a problem, considering how they got such impressive graphics on the PS2 without having it explode into pieces. Taki's breasts aren't nearly as bouncy. Now, to me, this is a grave mistake on the developer's part. I pick Taki for her bouncy breasts. It's part of the reason I play the game. Seeing them bounce with less potency... well, it just breaks my heart.

Still, is the game better? I'm still not too sure. They have this shop system, where you buy stuff or whatever. There are hot girls you see in these shops. They are, in some cases, somewhat bouncy. The Vs. mode took a hit, as there have been some modes taken out. I hear "team Vs." or whatever isn't included. If that's a major issue for you, well, yeah. You might think about that.

Single player? While I personally don't think it's better, they certainly have made additions to it. There are more single player modes, one of them (being the most important one) is a strategy-type game. It is similar to Ogre Battle, only it doesn't take a century for your character to move 10 meters, and the battles are run-off-the-mill fighting that you tend to do in the SoulCalibur games.

I thought that this system... sucked. At first, the idea seemed really interesting to me (and yes, it is an interesting idea), but the execution was far too terrible. All the load times and absurdity brings this system down to shambles. I perhaps shouldn't have to mention this, but there are load times. If all you do is play the standard SoulCalibur battles, they aren't much. However, in the more engaging game modes (such as the one I described), the load tends to get fairly annoying.

In addition to all this, I hear rumors of memory corruption. Thankfully it hasn't happened to me, though I wouldn't have lost much if it did, considering how badly I suck at this game.

Should you buy this game? I honestly don't know, but I am going to provide an easy framework for you idiots to follow: if you love SoulCalibur in general, and are looking to kick new life into the series, then perhaps you'd want SoulCalibur III. The thing to keep in mind is that, you're not getting the same exact game as SoulCalibur II with improvements. What you're getting is: the same exact game as SoulCalibur II, but with differences. Essentially, these minor differences are what should be your deciding factor. I recommend reading into it, perhaps on GameFAQs, as I am not qualified to speak on this matter.

In my honest opinion, I think they should have waited for the PS3 to release SoulCalibur III. As I've said countless times before, there are certain games that I feel can only improve. Fighting games tend to be one of them. In this case, it would be logical to wait for a more capable console, so that the developers could make improvements to the game that weren't possible in the previous game due to console restraints.

Well, folks, that's it for this post. Join me next time, as I will speak about Battalion Wars and Mario and Luigi 2.

11/23/2005

All N64 ROMs after "Mischief Makers" are down. When will this be fixed? Whenever Bishi decides to allow me more disk space.

Today, I feel the need to talk about Shadow the Hedgehog. First, however, I will mention Sonic Rush. Sonic Rush is not a bad game, but it isn't exactly a great one, either. The style is derived from the previous Sonic Advance games, which also happen to sport the whole "good, but not great" description that I label them as. I would say that Sonic Rush is the best out of the Sonic Advance series, though Sonic Advance 3's game play certainly comes close. Sonic Advance 3 was one of the only games in the Sonic Advance series to get the balance between speed and platforming/other very close to "just right." Sonic Rush is also closer to this balance, as well. It may not be as close as Sonic Advance 3, but it's certainly around there. Sonic Advance 1 and Sonic Advance 2 were both "extremes," in the way that they went far too in a single direction. The former being way too slow, the latter being way too fast.

Back to Sonic Rush, then. The graphics and music are obviously very awesome, more so (by a lot) than the Sonic Advance series. As for the game play... well, I'll say this right now: the entire Sonic Advance series never even came close to comprehending the pure awesomeness of the old Mega Drive Sonic games. Sonic Rush also happens to miss the point, as well. It's a decent game, just not one that could even come close to the old classics in game play.

As many of you know, the game is about Sonic trying to prevent Eggman from doing bad stuff, and also about a new character by the name of "Blaze the Cat." Blaze the Cat, while that name may sound rather lame, is probably one of the best character additions to the Sonic universe in recent times. Ever since Sonic Adventure and Sonic Advance, the character additions have been downright terrible. Big the Cat, Rouge the Bat, Cream the Rabbit, and they've even managed to fit in a palette swap, Shadow the Hedgehog (who is essentially a Sonic clone. I don't mean that plot wise, either), all of these characters were terrible, and all they did was cramp Sonic's style (which is already being cramped by his recently horrible games).

Blaze the Cat, however, is a good character addition, design wise. Game play wise, she plays precisely like Sonic, except her moves look drastically different (as her attacks all revolve around fire). My real disappointment with Sonic Rush is just that, actually: Blaze the Cat not only plays precisely the same as Sonic, but all of her levels are exactly the same, as well. The only difference between both characters, it seems, are the stories and the level order. Of course, you need to beat the game with both to unlock the "true" final boss battle. It's funny how the back of the game's box clearly lies to you, as it says there are "14 levels" to play. In reality, there are only 7 main levels. You merely repeat them a second time in a different order. Overall, Sonic Rush is an okay game, but nothing above that. If you can tolerate the Sonic Advance games, then you will probably somewhat enjoy this game.

Now, on to Shadow the Hedgehog. I don't really feel like giving a break down on the specifics of the game play, because I don't want to put more effort into this news post than the game programmers put into programming the game. That remark I made right there will give you the idea that this game is worthless. The "idea" behind the game can't work if the game was coded in a farm with boom sticks and cow utters. You can immediately tell from the moment you enter the first level that the game's engine was programmed in haste, and perhaps hate. Hate for all who play this game. It's bad enough that the game's engine is a piece of garbage, but it's way worse when you consider the mission objective for most of the levels. The objectives usually consist of running through a somewhat linear level and trying to kill a certain amount of enemies or find a certain amount of objects. I'm sure this may remind some of you of the Chaotix Team in Sonic Heroes, which also happens to be a ridiculously terrible game. Oh, and yes: Shadow the Hedgehog is even worse than Sonic Heroes. I didn't know such a thing were possible, but apparently it is.

The only good points about this game, are the parts where you aren't playing it. Namely, the title screen plays a rather nice CG video of what you won't be experiencing in the game play. Watching this video is better than playing any portion of this train wreck of a game.

The only other compliment that I can give to Shadow the Hedgehog is how the story can somewhat surprise you with interesting "what if" twists. It's a darn shame the game is almost unplayable, as it seems the plot is actually making some form of an effort. To sum up my entire news post: Sonic Rush is the Sonic game you may want to get, while Shadow the Hedgehog is the Sonic game you should stay far, far, far away from.

11/20/2005

All N64 ROMs after "Mischief Makers" are down. When will this be fixed? Whenever Bishi decides to allow me more disk space.

Mario Kart DS: I'm certain this has been said before, but if you own a DS, this is a game that should be in it. This statement has actually been spun around several times over, as the DS has been getting quite a pummel in triple A titles. Titles such as: Kirby's Canvas Curse, Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, and of course, Mario Kart DS. That's not the end of it, either. There are still more on the way; more that may hit the triple A rank. So yes, I have played the Mario Kart DS game. Not only that, but I beat all of mission mode (including the secret missions) and got gold on all cups on all engine classes, including mirror. Thus, to my knowledge, I have unlocked all of the game's content.

Then, I went online. For real this time. I added a few people to my friends list, beat one of them silly in a race, then challenged anonymous peoples via the automatch feature. I won against most of the people who challenged me, except for one guy. This person seemed to have been the king at all things relating to karts, because he flew through the tracks we played at light speed. I rarely ever caught up to him; and when I did, he'd usually just be right on my tail until I made a mistake. See, he doesn't make mistakes. Ever. This allows him to gain a huge advantage over practically everyone. So yes, the online mode works, and it works nicely. Whenever lag is experienced, it's usually just in the minor way of seeing the other racer warp around the track and at times do really crazy, impossible things. In reality, they're not doing those things; they are simply lagging up. It's okay though, because the race still progresses smoothly, and this doesn't seem to happen often, from my experience.

As for single player; well, many of us can remember Mario Kart: Double Dash. When I first played that game, I found it to be a rather large letdown. No, it's not just the fact that they removed the hop (which isn't that big of a thing once you master the power slide/sparks), but the courses in that game were... lacking, to say the least. They all seemed uninspired, and save for a select few, they sucked. This problem does not exist in Mario Kart DS, thankfully. The main tracks for this game are all quite awesome, and bring me back to the days of the N64 and SNES, when the tracks were awesome. Some of the tracks even use Super Mario Bros. 3 as a basis of their design. So yes, there is a desert track with a sun that shoots fireballs, and those pipes. There is also a track with a bunch of flying battleships and a fortress. That track is considerably awesome. It also happens to kick butt.

Then there are the "retro" tracks. See, the Grand Prix actually branches into two: "Nitro Grand Prix" and "Retro Grand Prix". Both of these have four cups, and each cup has four courses. The first one are courses mostly unique to this particular game, while the second are courses from various other Mario Kart games. Which ones? From the SNES to the GameCube. That's right; they even have some N64 and GBA Mario Kart tracks in there. Each cup in Retro has one track from each game, starting from SNES and moving torwards the GameCube.

The game also does the whole "take what's best, leave the rest" thing. It has the hop from the older Mario Karts, but it also has the power sliding sparks from Mario Kart: Double Dash (though I heard Mario Kart 64 also had this, perhaps that's why I lost so many races in that game...). In addition to that, the game retains the "pick your kart" setup from Mario Kart: Double Dash, but removes the redundant "pick two characters per kart" thing. There are a lot of karts in the game, and they all have various stats which determine how they do on the road. As we all have come to know it, there are lightweight racers and heavyweight racers. Each racer starts off with a rather minimal choice of karts (two per character), but as you earn gold trophies, you'll unlock a third kart for each character. Then, you'll unlock the ability to pick 7 karts for each character (not unique karts, mind you; just a bigger selection). Eventually, through much hard work and determination, you'll earn the ability to choose any kart with any character. Let's take a step back, though. When you can select 7 karts per character, usually the heavyweights will get heavy karts, and lightweights will get light karts, etc. However, when you can select all karts, this is no longer the case. You can put a heavy character in a lightweight kart. This can lead to some interesting mixtures, to say the least. Characters themselves don't have any stats apart from weight; most of the important stats are all in the kart.

As many of us know by now, heavy karts have high top speed, and light karts have high acceleration. Top speed is what you get when you drive in a straight line for a while; acceleration is how quickly you get to your top speed. This means that, heavy karts such as what Bowser normally drives can easily win any race as long as it doesn't hit any walls or weapons, while karts that light characters normally drive (such as Toad) can reach their top speed very easily, and thus they can afford to get hit more often. Most of us veteran Mario Kart players know all of that, of course.

In addition to the Grand Prix, Time Trial, VS and Battle, there is also a "Mission" mode. The other modes are familiar to anyone who has played Mario Kart before, but this is not the case with Mission mode, so I shall explain about that here. Mission mode has six "levels," plus an extra seventh one that you can unlock. Each level has about 8 missions and one boss battle. The missions usually consist of various challenges, such as: "collect all 20 coins within the time limit!" "defeat 10 Goombas within the time limit!", "drive through all the gates within the time limit," etc. Once you beat 8 of those, you get to face off against a boss. The boss battles are sweet, to say the least. They don't revolve around racing, but rather, they have a sort of a "Battle" setup, with the balloons as your life bar. You have to use weapons and such to defeat them. It's a very cool mode, and certainly extends the life of single player.

So far I've spoken all about how awesome this game is, but now I think it's about time I mention some of its faults. Firstly, multiplayer (offline): there does not seem to be any way to set the number of players in a multiplayer match. There are always 8 players, be it CPUs or friends. I somewhat dislike this, as there are times when I'd rather go one-on-one with another player. I really don't understand why they couldn't have just given us the freedom to decide, as was done in previous Mario Kart games. In regards to the tracks, I personally think there should have been more retro tracks. No, I don't mean extend the Grand Prix mode; I mean have these tracks available as unlockables for time trial and multiplayer matches. I will admit that the Retro Grand Prix is somewhat lacking, though. Many of my favorite SNES and N64 tracks didn't seem to make the cut. No one really cares for the GameCube tracks, I'm sure.

While the game does fairly well online, as I have mentioned earlier in this post, there are many things that are left to be desired (things that will differ from game to game): an actual interface. The interface they have now is okay, except for a few minor things: when searching for others to play, it does not allow you to end the search when you've found someone. It continues searching until a certain amount of time has passed. Sometimes, I find two people immediately, but the searching continues. It takes such a long time that these persons become bored and exit. If there were a way to end a search manually, that'd be kind of neat. The way you handle the whole friends thing is kind of awkward. Essentially, it searches through your friend roster for anyone who wants to play, which is a good idea. However, if you want to play with a certain person in your friend roster, but not with the others, you'll have to "lock" every other person you do not wish to play with. This is a somewhat odd thing to do, but at least they give you the option to do it. It may also dissappoint you to hear that the Battle mode is not online. Lastly, there is no form of communication. I was hoping they'd simply let you use a PictoChat-like environment before and after a race to speak with your opponents, but alas...

Despite those minor flaws, this is definitely one of the better Mario Kart games, and a definite must own title for anyone sporting a DS. I mentioned that I unlocked everything, thus I shall now start on Sonic Rush, so I may speak about this on the next news post. However, Mario Kart DS will be a game I can not simply forget about, so I will definitely be playing many rounds of that inbetween my other games.

11/16/2005

All N64 ROMs after Mischief Makers are down. When will this be fixed? Whenever Bishi decides to allow me more disk space.

Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble does indeed suck. I now know this more than ever, for I have (literally) unlocked everything and beat everything in the game. It was not easy, especially with how much of a bad game it was, but I did it. I did it for you guys. I am relieved to put this game on the self (or rather, the trash bin).

Today, I received many things. One of those things happened to be Nintendo's new USB WiFi Connector thing. This little trinket is for those of us who lack a wireless router (a large majority, especially when you consider how wireless routers are far too expensive to offer most home users any actual benefit). I am one who lacks such a router; thus getting online with the DS would require this. I ordered it from Nintendo's online store (I assume it will eventually be available at your local game shops, but don't hold me to that statement). The price is definitely a lot cheaper than buying a whole wireless network, so that's good.

I then proceeded to read the manual. Apparently, the manual will insult your intelligence many times, as it assumes the user has absolutely no knowledge about anything whatsoever. That is a good thing, of course. The software installed beautifully, though I found the sheer amount of automation to be rather unsettling. I've installed drivers before, and Windows already makes that process fairly simple and rather automatic. This Nintendo software installation somehow automates the already automatic install. How is that possible? Well, I guess you'd have to see it for yourself to understand.

So it installed, and it seems to work. I mean, the software is there, and it recognizes that the WiFi USB thing is in my USB port. Beyond that, I haven't gotten anywhere yet. Right now, I have a rather large choice to make, as I have a grand total of three rather important games to choose from: Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic Rush, and last but certainly not least, Mario Kart DS. Considering how badly Sonic has been doing in most of his recent games, you would be under the impression that this would be an easier choice to make. However... well, you never know. Shadow the Hedgehog is a game I am interested in witnessing. I mean, when I first had heard about this game, I literally thought it was a hoax by some person with limitless time. Not just me, but many other people were under the same impression. As time went on, it became clear that this was no hoax, and indeed a genuine game by Sonic Team. It still sounds like a really dumb idea, but seeing later screen shots and videos makes it seem as if the game actually took some comprehensible form.

Sonic Rush is a 2D Sonic game with sweet visuals. Beyond that, though? I don't know. All of the rest is shrouded in mystery, and I can only assume it will be around the quality of the Sonic Advance series.

Mario Kart is a sure winner here, but I already know what it is and what I will be getting. I don't know what I'll get with the other Sonic games, and that's what is making this decision somewhat difficult.

The startling revelation will ensue on the next news post, perhaps. Right now there is something else I want to briefly touch on: We Love Katamari. Yes, that's right; We Love Katamari. I love it, you love it, that guy loves it; we all love it. What is Katamari, you ask? Oh, you are such an ignorant fool, that you are. Katamari is awesome. Now to be serious: Katamari Damacy is a game wherein the King of All Cosmos ends up destroying all of the stars in the galaxy in a drunken stupor (including most of the planets and the moon). The King realizes that he should do something about the mess, and by that, he actually means his son should do it. Enter the prince, the character you control for the majority of the game. What's the prince's objective? To go to Earth, the planet with many things on it, and roll a Katamari. Enter the game play: a Katamari is a sticky ball. Things stick to it, therefore it becomes bigger. The bigger it gets, the more things you can roll it into, thus increasing its size even bigger. Bigger and bigger and bigger. Once it's really big (each level has a certain size you need to reach within a time limit), the prince takes it to the king. The king will then insult the prince. Then, the king will launch the large Katamari up into the cosmos, where it will become a star/moon/planet.

That sums up the game play. Take note that I was totally serious throughout that whole explanation. To be frank, this game might not appeal to those who have a weak stomach when it comes to the odd humor that the Japanese employ (which can often not be described, as it's way too weird for most westerners). However, if you've played games like EarthBound and Parodius, then you'll know what I'm on about here. If you enjoyed those games, then chances are, you will enjoy Katamari Damacy.

Game play wise, the game is very entertaining. There also happen to be a fair amount of secrets to unlock, for those of us seeking more life out of the experience. In addition to all of this general pleasentness, you will always be treated with beautiful, awesome, mind blowing music. Most of the music contains lyrics, even. My friends, this game is a perfect example of what a game should be, especially the music part. I wish more games made a larger effort when it came to the music. Everything about Katamari Damacy is great, and it's all of these things together that makes the entire experience worth going through.

There is a sequel to this beautiful masterpiece, which may have been released around September this year: We Love Katamari. This game does not fail to live up to the original. While the first may have focused on the rolling alone, the second spices it up with a bunch of gimmicks and various different environments. There really isn't much more to say about the sequel than: if you loved the original (or liked it), then I can assure you that you will be entertained by its sequel.

Well, that certainly wasn't all that brief. I'm going to briefly (for real this time) touch on Mario Party 7. In my honest opinion, there are way too many of these games. In my mind, there should only be a single Mario Party on every console. Mario Party is the type of game that you can only add to or improve, which is something that is usually done when you have access to better hardware (an example of a game series like this is Smash Bros). That said, Mario Party 7 isn't all that bad. It actually happens to be better than most of the other poor attempts on the GameCube. It also uses surprisingly good graphics. I am rather disheartened to see such good and unique graphics used in a Mario Party game, when it can be used on a real sequel to Mario 64. Ah well, that's how the cookie crumbles, I suppose.

11/12/2005

All N64 ROMs after "Mischief Makers" are down. When will this be fixed? Whenever Bishi decides to allow me more disk space.

Okay, I'll be honest with all of you guys; I am here writing this news post for one reason: the new mythical Viewtiful Joe game sucks. It sucks on levels that you may not even think were possible. First of all, I went into this game not knowing exactly what it was. At first, I was under the impression that it was to be a fighting game similar to Super Smash Bros. Then, I read about it on GameFAQs, and saw a select few importers speak about it. While the things they said were fairly vague, it sounded like this was just another Viewtiful Joe game. The way they spoke of it, I was now under the impression that this was Viewtiful Joe 3. However, in the end, all of these impressions were wrong. Ironically, even after reading the back of the game's box and watching the opening movie, I still had no clue what kind of game it was. Fighter? Platformer? Simulator? No idea. So I played it and clicked on a mode. At first, I thought this was a main mode, but I soon realized it was a tutorial. Throughout this tutorial, I had no clue what was going on, and after finishing it, I was still completely clueless as to what kind of game I'm playing. By now, this should be a fairly bad sign. I played the game, and still didn't know what type of game it was trying to be. Already I was disgusted and confused, so I felt like turning the thing off and just playing some other game.

I decided against that, of course. The fact is, I still had no idea what type of game play this game was embracing. I've always made it a point to never judge a game until I've gotten fairly into it. Thus, I embarked on the first saga of the story mode. After beating the first saga of the story mode, I finally realized just what genre this game is classified as: garbage. Yes, that's right; garbage. It's a genre that has been explored by many a title. Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble is one of those titles. To be fair, this game can't be compared to the first two Viewtiful Joe games. It's an entirely different genre altogether. It would be like comparing an RPG to a platformer. I'll try my best to explain how this game works, but it will be difficult, considering I'm still not really sure what to call this new, innovative genre. The only name that sounds reasonable is garbage. Sure, it's new, somewhat innovative garbage, but it's still garbage. It's not even all that innovative, really.

In any case, moving on to the explanation of the game play: this is a "fighting" game that doesn't revolve around fighting your opponent (or "rival," which is a better term for this circumstance). I know that may have sounded confusing, but please bear with me here. You pick from a bunch of characters (many of which are from the first two Viewtiful Joe games, while there are a bunch of new, unlockable additions), then pick a story "saga," or "chapter." Chapter may be a better way to phrase it, although the game itself makes no effort to explain this. Once that's done, you are treated to a mundane screen showing your objective and what part of that chapter you're on (there are four parts to each chapter). This screen is where most of the dialogue takes place. Captain Blue will say something inane, and the other characters of the Joe universe will then join in on the fun by spouting yet more inane stuff (this screen usually determines your rival(s) for the chapter). Now you are thrown into the "arena." There are four arenas in each chapter (one arena per "part," or "phase," or whatever the heck you call it).

Now, one would think that the objective is to beat the tar out of your rival. Whoever thinks that is dead wrong. Sure, you can hit your rival, but it doesn't really help you all that much, and it's definitely not the primary way to win (though it can aid you in winning). The primary way to win in each arena is to obtain a higher score than your rival. You earn this score by way of coinage. You receive coins in many ways; defeating enemies on the field, injuring mini-bosses/bosses, or injuring your rival. However, the primary way to obtain coinage is to abide by the mission objective. In each arena, there are a number of mission objectives, which usually appear in a predefined order. Mission objectives are rather mundane, and usually range from "kill more foes than your rival!!!" to things such as "collect more gems than your rival!!!" By this point, I've practically summed up the entire game play experience. In every arena, in every chapter, you go through the same sort of mission objectives. Namely, this gets old real fast. I can't convey just how quickly this setup gets old. It's possible that this setup would perhaps be far more entertaining if you were playing in multiplayer (with other human beings; something I am certain the visitors of this site know nothing of), but as it is, this thing simply does not have enough substance to withstand being a single player mode.

This sole fact is what will most likely ruin the entire gaming experience for many. There is more, however (as if what I wrote wasn't already enough). The whole thing reeks of a very poor quality. From the game box being rather flimsy and weak, to the shoddy game mechanics, the whole thing just comes off as mediocre. Perhaps the only decent thing on this disc is the various clips of this Viewtiful Joe anime, but even that sucks a whole lot. While the art of the anime looks quite good, the animation seems rather low budget, and it looked corny as heck. Not as corny as that Yu-Gi-Oh stuff, but it certainly is pretty bad. It might be around the level of Sonic X, perhaps. In closing, Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble is a mediocre piece of garbage. There really isn't much more to say.

11/11/2005

All N64 ROMs after "Mischief Makers" are down. When will this be fixed? Whenever Bishi decides to allow me more disk space.

Apparently, there are many websites out there that have been directly linking to my files. This act is sometimes referred to as "leeching." I really don't condone these acts, nor do I indulge in them. What's worse, many of these sites are even more populor than my site, so it's rather insulting that they gained their popularity by stealing from the underdogs. I think this is a fairly rude thing to be doing, so I've gone and implemented some hotlinking protection. This means you will be redirected to the main page whenever someone is directly linking a file of mine. Some of you may be thinking: "why didn't you just do that in the first place? Are you a moron? You're a moron," and my excuse to that is I simply didn't see it necessary to do it if my site wasn't getting any hits. If no one comes here, then why would I need hotlink protection?

However, it appears that people are beginning to come here, somewhat. According to these generated stats, that is. By looking through them, I realized that a handful of sites were directly linking to my files, and to the files of other populor ROM sites (such as qualityroms, the domain of the great Arch Nacho and Tortilla Godzilla). For those of you who may be confused, and have come here from one of those sites, be rest assured that you'll most likely find whatever it is you were looking for if you only search further. In fact, I'm sure the natural reaction most of these people would take is to indeed click through my downloads to pursue whatever it is they came for. Thus, the hotlink protection will actually make more people aware of the existence of this site. Somewhat like (free) advertising, if you will. So now the leeching sites are actually doing me a favor. Thanks, guys.

11/05/2005

All N64 ROMs after "Mischief Makers" are down. When will this be fixed? Whenever Bishi decides to allow me more disk space.

I've been informed that I should update the site more often. So... here I am. Recently I've been playing such fabulous titles as Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow and Shadow of the Colossus. Also recently, I've been replaying some classic Sonic games from the Genesis era. Ah, such a beautiful era that was. I sometimes wish we were all back there, in the 90s. The 90s... they were awesome. Some of the best games of all time were released in the 90s, and generally gaming was a much better thing back then. I call it... the golden age of gaming.

I've been playing all of these classic Sonic games on those Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Gems Collection games, which are compilations of various Sonic games, including some other games made by Sega around those times. Perhaps the most interesting game in these collections to note of is Sonic the Fighters, which is a Sonic game released for the arcades at some point (I hear it never made it to the states, but I read that the game has a U.S. name of Sonic Championship, so I am not certain of this detail). It featured 3-D graphics (the quality was around Sega Saturn graphics), the Sonic gang (including a few rare characters in the series, such as Fang the Sniper, Bean the Dynamite, and some other polar bear guy), and fighting. Essentially, it's a three dimensional fighting game, similar to SoulCalibur (by the way, SoulCalibur III is out and it's exclusive to the PS2 this time) only... it isn't similar to SoulCalibur. What I mean is, the movement is similar to SoulCalibur, in the way that you can dodge attacks by taking advantage of the fact that you can move in more than UP and DOWN directions.

However, the fighting is very, very different from SoulCalibur, or almost any other fighting game out there. To be honest, I didn't spend enough time with the game to "get" the fighting system. When I got to the enemies who actually attack you, I got my head handed to me. I only barely won the game (Metal Sonic had me sweating bullets). Apparently, I just don't get how the fighting works. I try mashing buttons, and I fail. I try dodging the attacks and being defensive, and I fail. I'm doing something wrong, and I don't exactly know what. Perhaps the moves employ a sort of "rock, paper, scissors" system or something, because my slow kicks almost always hit my enemy when he tries to punch. That's actually how I won; slow kicks. I didn't repeatedly use the same move, but that's the move I used to finish the battle, and it saved my life.

In any case, the game is actually surprisingly good. While the graphics aren't quite up to the expectations of most gamers of today, they certainly aren't too bad, and the wacky animations more than make up for it. The animations for all the characters, and the various moves they use in fights, are... bizzare, and entertainingly so. There is a move wherein your character stomps the foot of the enemy, which sends the enemy into extreme pain, and allows you for an opening for another assault. The spin dash is intact, and you can even use Sonic's jumping spin as well. Most characters vastly differ from each other in their wacky moves, some even border on the ridiculous. Bean the Dynamite, for example (he's an enemy character from Tails Adventure, a game released on the Game Gear starring Tails before he met Sonic); nearly all of his moves consist entirely of throwing bombs at you. He throws bombs in many different ways, and it's rather difficult to defeat him, though there is a trick: use your block. By blocking, you knock his bomb attacks aside, so he's then forced to use his few moves that aren't related to throwing thousands of bombs at you. Fang the Sniper has various rapid gun attacks, which can make you dead in seconds. His guns don't shoot real bullets; they shoot corks and make the traditional cork popping sounds. In addition to all of these downright disturbing move sets, the characters themselves are also animated in a very cartoonish way, specifically when they get hit. They get flattened, stretched, etc, similar to all of those common American cartoons wherein characters are constantly beaten in a very cartoonish manner.

Overall, it's these things that make this game really stand out. It's quite playable, though extremely short. Once you fight through the few characters the game has to offer, there isn't much else to do but try another character. Nothing to unlock, no extra super secret characters, and you can't use Metal Sonic (real bummer). It's still worth it to try this game out though, especially if you're a Sonic fan. I honestly wasn't expecting this game to be this playable or even good, so it exceeded my relatively low expectations and surprised me somewhat. One last piece of Sonic trivia: Fang the Sniper is actually called "Nack the Weasel" in a few of the U.S. released games. I assume this was done by the localization teams because they thought "Sniper" was too offensive. Though Sonic Drift 2 (a racing Sonic game for the Game Gear) was released in the U.S., and he is called Fang the Sniper there. So I guess they weren't too consistant with that.

Personally, I would love to see Fang make an appearance in another Sonic game, but considering how overly terrible most of the new generation Sonic games have been, I'm almost convinced that if Fang were to indeed appear again, he would be robbed of all his awesomeness. They did it to the Chaotix team in Sonic Heroes, so I'm sure Sega (or Sonic Team, specifically) can do it again. So assuming they'd ruin this character, I think it's for the better that we don't see Fang again.

I recently beat Sonic CD as well, again. I've lost count of how many times I've beaten this game. I'm thinking about altering the review I made, which is completely terrible and needs to be redone. I might alter the "scoring" system as well, because at the moment, I just throw out random percentage values anywhere without much thought. Heh, I guess you were expecting me to talk about Castlevania or Shadow of the Colossus, considering how I opened up this news post. There really was no way to determine I'd go on about some hardcore Sonic stuff. What can I say, though? I was a real big fan of Sonic back when he didn't suck (and back when Sega in general didn't suck). I'm still a big fan of that particular Sonic, and may continue to relive the memories of those days for ages to come.

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