Monday, October 31, 2011
I’ve been dying to use this picture (b-dum disssh)
Now I have a special treat for you, it’s a ghost story about a haunted game that has been passed around from place to place to place until it finally reached my ears and I deemed it up to your (the readers) standard for Halloween scary stories. Now I cannot safely vouchsafe for the validity of this story as I myself have not stumbled upon such a “unique” game, however I leave it up to you, the readers, to determine its ultimate credibility.
Well Lets get this party started then, here is the story of a man and his obsession with collecting obscure Pokemon game’s.
“I’m what you could call a collector of bootleg Pokémon games. Pokémon Diamond & Jade, Chaos Black, etc. It’s amazing the frequency with which you can find them at pawnshops, Goodwill, flea markets, and such.
They’re generally fun; even if they are unplayable (which they often are), the mistranslations and poor quality make them unintentionally humorous.
I’ve been able to find most of the ones that I’ve played online, but there’s one that I haven’t seen any mention of. I bought it at a flea market about five years ago.”
Here’s a picture of the cartridge, in case anyone recognizes it. Unfortunately, when I moved two years ago, I lost the game, so I can’t provide you with screencaps. Sorry.
“The game started with the familiar Nidorino and Gengar intro of Red and Blue version. However, the “press start” screen had been altered. Red was there, but the Pokémon did not cycle through. It also said “Black Version” under the Pokémon logo.
Upon selecting “New Game”, the game started the Professor Oak speech, and it quickly became evident that the game was essentially Pokémon Red Version.
After selecting your starter, if you looked at your Pokémon, you had in addition to Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle another Pokémon — “GHOST”.
The Pokémon was level 1. It had the sprite of the Ghosts that are encountered in Lavender Tower before obtaining the Sliph Scope. It had one attack — “Curse”. I know that there is a real move named curse, but the attack did not exist in Generation 1, so it appears it was hacked in.
Defending Pokémon were unable to attack Ghost — it would only say they were too scared to move. When the move “Curse” was used in battle, the screen would cut to black. The cry of the defending Pokémon would be heard, but it was distorted, played at a much lower pitch than normal. The battle screen would then reappear, and the defending Pokémon would be gone. If used in a battle against a trainer, when the Pokéballs representing their Pokemon would appear in the corner, they would have one fewer Pokéball.
The implication was that the Pokémon died.
What’s even stranger is that after defeating a trainer and seeing “Red received $200 for winning!”, the battle commands would appear again. If you selected “Run”, the battle would end as it normally does. You could also select Curse. If you did, upon returning to the overworld, the trainer’s sprite would be gone. After leaving and reentering the area, the spot [where] the trainer had been would be replaced with a tombstone like the ones at Lavender Tower.
The move “Curse” was not usable in all instances. It would fail against Ghost Pokémon. It would also fail if it was used against trainers that you would have to face again, such as your Rival or Giovanni. It was usable in your final battle against them, however.
I figured this was the gimmick of the game, allowing you to use the previously uncapturable Ghosts. And because Curse made the game so easy, I essentially used it throughout the whole adventure.
The game changed quite a bit after defeating the Elite Four. After viewing the Hall of Fame, which consisted of Ghost and a couple of very under leveled Pokémon, the screen cut to black. A box appeared with the words “Many years later…” It then cut to Lavender Tower. An old man was standing, looking at tombstones. You then realized this man was your character.
The man moved at only half of your normal walking speed. You no longer had any Pokémon with you, not even Ghost, who up to this point had been impossible to remove from your party through depositing in the PC. The overworld was entirely empty — there were no people at all. There were still the tombstones of the trainers that you used Curse on, however.”
“You could go pretty much anywhere in the overworld at this point, though your movement was limited by the fact that you had no Pokémon to use HMs. And regardless of where you went, the music of Lavender Town continued on an infinite loop. After wandering for a while, I found that if you go through Diglett’s Cave, one of the cuttable bushes that normally blocks the path on the other side is no longer there, allowing you to advance and return to Pallet Town.
Upon entering your house and going to the exact tile where you start the game, the screen would cut to black.
Then a sprite of a Caterpie appeared. It was the replaced by a Weedle, and then a Pidgey. I soon realized, as the Pokémon progressed from Rattata to Blastoise, that these were all of the Pokémon that I had used Curse on.
After the end of my Rival’s team, a Youngster appeared, and then a Bug Catcher. These were the trainers I had Cursed.
Throughout the sequence, the Lavender Town music was playing, but it was slowly decreasing in pitch. By the time your Rival appeared on screen, it was little more than a demonic rumble.
Another cut to black. A few moments later, the battle screen suddenly appeared — your trainer sprite was now that of an old man, the same one as the one who teaches you how to catch Pokémon in Viridian City.
Ghost appeared on the other side, along with the words “GHOST wants to fight!”.
You couldn’t use items, and you had no Pokémon. If you tried to run, you couldn’t escape. The only option was “FIGHT”.
Using fight would immediately cause you to use Struggle, which didn’t affect Ghost but did chip off a bit of your own HP. When it was Ghost’s turn to attack, it would simply say “…” Eventually, when your HP reached a critical point, Ghost would finally use Curse.
The screen cut to black a final time.
Regardless of the buttons you pressed, you were permanently stuck in this black screen. At this point, the only thing you could do was turn the Game Boy off. When you played again, “NEW GAME” was the only option — the game had erased the file.
I played through this hacked game many, many times, and every time the game ended with this sequence. Several times I didn’t use Ghost at all, though he was impossible to remove from the party. In these cases, it did not show any Pokémon or trainers and simply cut to the climactic “battle with Ghost.
I’m not sure what the motives were behind the creator of this hack. It wasn’t widely distributed, so it was presumably not for monetary gain. It was very well done for a bootleg.
It seems he was trying to convey a message; though it seems I am the sole receiver of this message. I’m not entirely sure what it was — the inevitability of death? The pointlessness of it? Perhaps he was simply trying to morbidly inject death and darkness into a children’s game. Regardless, this children’s game has made me think, and it has made me cry.”
Is it real, could it possibly be untrue? Some would believe that it lacked validity. However no one person can deny the existence of hacked Pokemon games. They can be easily found, so who is there to say that one cannot be hacked into being a nightmare? Hacks are prevalent all over the internet(and the Mexican border), it is obviously not to far-fetched to believe that someone who is either clearly demented, a brilliant man, or even a vengeful spirit may have created this horror of a game. I believe in it, do you?
Friday, October 28, 2011
I bet PETA was enraged at this title.
Tiger-Heli is the first game developed by the now defunct Toaplan (and published by Taito), and originally was an arcade game with a great deal of popularity in Japan. Acclaim later published a port of the game onto the NES. Surprisingly the NES port is incredibly faithful to the arcade game, though this is because the arcade version lacked any sort of story so all they had to do was redo the levels for playability on the NES. I personally have a fondness for this game as it was one of the games I played in my younger years that I thoroughly mastered, and yet I can’t seem to get the knack for it now. (╮°-°)╮┳━┳ ( ╯°□°)╯ ┻━┻
At first glance they look pretty similar, non?
Anyhow The game is fairly simple an straight forward, you play as a helicopter pilot who is tasked with destroying the opposing enemy forces who for some reason lack any air support. Tiger-Heli consists of only 4 stages and upon completion…
The game repeats only harder. That’s right this game theoretically never ends until you run out of lives. This game is a pick up and drop shooter, you can come to it at any time and you can even play other games instead of it; Tiger-Heli will never get jealous.
The controls are simple, you can move in eight directions to any point on the screen, you also have at your disposal an unlimited supply of missiles and a limited supply of bombs. The missiles are your standard weapon thoroughfare that can be upgraded by grabbing floating you receives periodically so that’s pretty normal; it’s the bombs where things get fun, the bombs will destroy everything on screen (including enemy shots!) so if you use them right you can get through stages pretty easily. Another weapon you can find are these tiny helicopters which come in two flavors Grey, which shoot forward with the same attack power of your current missile attack, and Red which fire sideways with the same attack power of your current missile attack. Both mini-helicopters can take a hit for you serving as both an additional weapon and insanely enough, body armor.
They will totally die for you, that’s FRIENDSHIP!
The enemies in the game are tanks, artillery and battleships peculiarly enough the enemy forces have no planes or jets or anything. Don’t let this lack of aerial attackers fool you, the enemy tanks will give you more trouble then anything else, as they don’t play games. Enemy tanks will fire on you the moment you are in their sights and will not rest until they are off screen or destroyed, the same goes for the Artillery and Battleships though unlike tanks they cannot move.
They will not hesitate to murder you.
The game is incredibly simplistic and as such doesn’t require to much investment, it’s a play and put away game, which is for the most part one of its most endearing traits. Tiger-Heli is in my humble opinion one of the best top-down shooters for the NES I’d say its only possible rivals are that of 1942 and Skyshark. For those who like shooters, and people who especially like games that can be picked up and played without an assault of story this game is definitely for you. The best part has to be that the game is relatively inexpensive, so grab a copy!
I love the smell of 8-bit explosions in the morning.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
No TV’s were harmed in the making of this Review.
Money! Women! Cars! Toasters! These are what you’re working for in the game show game SMASH TV! This particular version of the game is a port from the Arcade version which was highly popular in the 90’s. The game also received ports to the two major systems at the time the SNES and Sega Genesis along with the Sega Game Gear and several home computers like the Amstrad CPC, and Atari ST. This particular port was of better quality than that of the Game Gear and the home computers but only paled in comparison to its 16-bit cousins the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis (Twice removed). The game is played from a top down perspective and it’s a shooter in its purest form. You blast enemies while trying to avoid their attacks all while grabbing fabulous prizes.
Off to kill hundreds to thousands of goons, tanks, and robots for fabulous prizes!
The game has no real story, but that’s easily forgiven based on its addictive gameplay, and surprisingly catchy soundtrack. The premise of the game is that you are a man who has been accepted to participate on the game show Smash TV, you must plow your way through hundreds of faceless goons, tanks, and strange machines to obtain the prizes and women you so desperately seek. The game comes in two flavors, Single Player and Multiplayer, exclusive to this port is the ability to use multiple controllers to control the direction you fire in instead of alternating between button A and B. You essentially use the control pad of a second controller to decide where you want to shoot, this makes it a lot easier to change firing direction but unfortunately demands the need for a multitap of sorts if you want to play with someone else.
“I’d buy that for a dollar!”
You are generally given free choice of what room you wish to go to as at the beginning of each level you are provided with a map with the layout of the rooms which tells you where the boss and treasure rooms are. The game only has three levels but don’t let the small number of levels fool you, they are each quite difficult and dying is incredibly commonplace.This isn’t a negative aspect as the difficulty of the game easily adds to its replay value. As only through replaying can you find the secret room and encounter the surprising final boss.
He prefers to be called a Mutoid American.
Graphics-wise the game is decent for a NES game. With some power-ups it’s hard to distinguish what they are on the ground, but after a few levels of blasting you’ll know what each one does. If you’ve been looking at the screenshots (See above and below) they are what to expect when playing this game. For the graphical purest this is not a game for you and is more for those who like games for they’re playability rather then their graphical capacity. However those who are fans of graphics need only look towards the SNES which has a version of it which is graphically superior.
I just finished slaughtering people and destroying robots and now I’m going to Disney land!
All in all I’d highly recommend this game as it’s a tough, fun and all-around rewarding game to have. If you don’t like its graphics then pick up the SNES port of it which is the exact same game (I am being so totally serious right now) only with better graphics. I personally find this to be the greatest shooter in the entire history of shooters, its simple, fun, and addicting (as a shooter should be), my friends and I like to play this and take turns to see who can get the farthest without dying. This is one of those games which is fairly inexpensive but contains hours of enjoyment which easily outweigh its relatively low price.
Onimusha Warlords is one of those games for the PlayStation 2 that flies off the shelves quickly at launch and then finds itself at the bottom of the bargain bin later. Onimusha Warlords was an early PS2 title released way back in (insert spooky voice) 2001. The game originally received fairly favorable reviews in the 8/10 margin and sold over (insert spooky voice here as well) two million copies worldwide. Onimusha despite its original favorable ratings over time began to feel dated to most people. A lot of people compare it to Resident Evil and some go as far as to say the game is Resident Evil only with Samurai instead of S.T.A.R.S.
D̴̬̞̲͈̰̿̇ͩ͋̾̆͞i͙͔̣̙͉̺͖̾ͪ͒̽̅d̼̖̘͚͕̣͎̻̑͗̈́͑̏́ͩ̇́ ̲̫̼̖͔̖̐͑̀̀̎ͫ̚s̜͍͍͔̑̃̐ͨͬͅo͌͂ͩ̎̀҉̵̲͈m̷͈̪̳͔͖̝̼̒ͅe̵̟͖̯̬͔ͬͥ̏̋͑̿̄͂ọ̶̮̼̖̫͒ͤ̏͠ň̤͉̻̿̓̈͋ͅͅe̊̒̾̒͐͌͠͝҉͔̥ ̷̷͉̤̭̻͆̄͋̚ş̛̰̮̙̺̺͐ͨ͞ͅa̢͓̤̘͖̘͓̥ͩy̵͇̤̳̜̘̱̳̟̞͛͒̄̍̔͗ ̦̘̟ͥ̉ͪͭ̕S͈͕͋̿̉̎ͥ̊̿̀̕.ͯ̎̈͂̐̏͏̰͙̦̜T̨̪͉̲̱ͬ͐͗̈́͋̀ͭ̉.̢̺͙͙̙̥̍ͣ͌A̲̗̞̭̦͈̰̳̝̾̈́̇̾̇̏̊̀.̸̬̟̊̉̓͢͝Ṙ͎̞̗̐͛̉ͬ͑͑̇ͨ̀.̳͓͓͉̠̩̜̺̑ͦ̊͟S̴̐̎ͬ́҉͈̫̥̥͇̘̺̤?̛̰̣͕̮͈̭̻̈̅͡
Onimusha and Resident Evil do share similar qualities though, that is undeniable, they both are survival horror games and they both use the same static camera angle which makes killing your enemies occasionally awkward. That’s about where the similarities end.
Onimusha takes place in the late 1500’s where you play as Samanosuke Akechi of the Akechi Clan, who is currently at war with the Oda. For those who are not familiar with history, Nobunaga Oda had a general who he trusted greatly, his name was Mitsuhide Akechi, one day he up and decided to betray Nobunaga and he ambushed him in Okehazama. This game takes place after this event, however Mitsuhide is captured and killed in the battle and Nobunaga is shot in the throat instead of being forced to commit to suicide. However that isn’t the end for Nobunaga as he mysteriously comes back to life to wreak his revenge on the Akechi clan. However it isn’t just soldiers Nobunaga employs, demons have sprung up all around the Akechi territory and are slaughtering everyone.
Samanosuke receives a letter that is several weeks old as he returns to Japan after a journey of discovery, the letter is a plea from his cousin to come and save her from what she believes to be some creature which has been stealing away all the servants and soldiers from around the castle. Samanosuke transforms and rolls out o go and save her with his ninja friend who is possibly the worst ninja ever. Seriously she wears orange, orange!
You know what, no she’s way better then that.
The game focuses around the main character who is attempting to save his cousin and prevent Nobunaga and his demon army from taking over the world. You adventure around the castle searching for Yuki and battle your way through hordes of demons while utilizing the power of the Ogre’s (Oni in the original Japanese version and in subsequent sequels). Aforementioned Ogre’s give you the power to destroy the demons, along with some nifty elemental swords you can unlock along the way.
Now this game has tankish controls similar to that of resident evil where you have to turn before you can go forward, once you get used to it the controls things will start to get easier (assuming you haven’t already mastered them after years of playing Resident Evil games). Samanosuke has three types of weapons he can use throughout the game, his trusty Katana (and its variants), a bow and arrows, and finally a rifle each of these has their own uses but for the most part you will spend the game using your sword.
The sword controls are fairly easy to learn and once you get the hang of them you can eventually one-hit kill any minor enemy. At your disposal you have a regular slashing combo, a downward stab for enemies that have fallen to instantly kills them, and finally a quick time move called Isshu which allows you to instantly kill any minor enemy attacking you by pressing the attack button right before the enemy hits you; at your disposal is also a guard which blocks attacks coming at you from any side, guard often, trust me, this game doesn’t play around. Oh, you also have a kick, this kick can be used to attempt to break guards and knock enemies over.
You can upgrade them as well.
Naturally being that this is a survival horror game, health pick ups and ammo for your non-sword weapons are incredibly scarce, so not getting hit is very important as its one of the few ways you can avoid dying. Enemies in this game do not play around, they can guard, and they will attempt to swarm you and murder you.
They seem to have an odd sense of fashion.
Iconic of any Capcom survival horror game this game has both puzzles and fetch quest. The puzzles come in the flavor of timed puzzles like trying to avoid being burned alive by columns of fire while exiting a room, and treasure puzzles which involve rotating numbers so they are in order, and ones that involve knowing symbols and inputting the right ones. Fetch quests though make up the largest amount of the game though as you will wind up running from one side of the castle to the other looking for the key to the next door, or the silver plate you need to open the door to get the golden plate.
One thing to note about this game, is that the game was originally slated for being released on the original PlayStation but due to the PS2’s release being so close and the game being only 50% done at the time the original game was scrapped and it was instead redone for the PS2. The graphics for the game are not the greatest but for the time in which it was released and compared to other games released at the beginning of the PS2’s lifetime Onimusha has great graphics. Though compared to later games they are fairly shoddy. The game utilizes static backgrounds like that of the early resident evil games, which are fairly attractive compared to the sprites.
Onimusha is one of my favorite games for my PS2 and one of those reasons is that the soundtrack for the game was composed by a deaf composer, soak that in for a second.
I bet his hair was pretty rockin’
Onimusha is a fairly inexpensive game no matter where you look, and well worth the price. The game is fairly short, it can probably be beaten in anywhere from 4-16 hours; amount of time to play the game isn’t a negative factor as the game has a lot of unlockables which can typically only be attained through repeated playing of the game. So go to your nearest lukigames and pick up a copy of the game, if you are a fan of survival horror of games reminiscent of Resident Evil this is the game for you. Oh and just so you know it has two sequels! Which means once you’re done with this you should grab those as well!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Another version of the game was released some years after titled “Punch-out” Ol’ Mike had been experiencing a hard time and jail sentences and Nintendo wanted to avoid putting a person who was in trouble with the law on their games. Punch-out is nothing more then a direct port of the arcade game where you fight all the boxers from the arcade game and instead of Mike Tyson you have Mr.Dream at the end. For those who are price conscious Punch-out tends to be the cheaper alternative to Mike Tyson’s Punch-out though for the sake of this review you can safely infer that everything I’m about to say applies to both games with the exception of Mike Tyson being exclusive to his own game.
The graphics for the game are very good for a mid-life NES title, each character has a decent amount of detail to them and displays a range of facial expressions during any particular match. Another interesting thing of note is that prior to the first round starting the opposing boxer will perform an silly animation to accompany their song.
Mike Tyson’s Punch-out is a very solid and fun game that I personally would recommend to any fan of NES games, it’s a game which you can pick and put down and once you’ve played it and mastered it you will never forget how to play. The game is a metaphorical bicycle, my father was the one who had me play this game during my younger years, and he himself after not having played the game for over a decade sat down with me to play it and did something that I still haven’t been able to do, he beat Mike Tyson. Long story short you should get this game, it is easily worth the money and if you aren’t a fan of gaming by yourself this is the perfect game for passing the controller around with your friends to see who can get the farthest without being knocked out.