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Why Did I Play This? Episode 11: Capcom Fighter Power Stick

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When it comes to retro arcade sticks there are a few which everybody knows about, the NES Advantage, Super Advantage, Sega’s Genesis Stick & Saturn Stick, and then the Capcom Fighter Power Stick. But, it has been 20 years since this bulky controller has released so does it hold up?

You’ll just have to stay tuned and find out!

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Why Did I Play This? Episode 10: Stargate

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The series returns with a nice look at one of the many ignored movie licensed games of the 16 bit era. Stargate was made by Acclaim and released for the SNES and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive in 1995, but not all was well in this land of milk and honey.

What happens when your low class nametag goes away and you can’t use it anymore? Well it looks like you just have to use your own name and hope nobody notices and ignores such MEDIOCRITIES!

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Why Did I Play This? Going Biblical

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A nice way to end the year would be sitting down, watch Die Hard once or twice, play some good games, visit friends and family, and enjoy the time off from work. So I decide to do none of that for now and instead do everything in my power to cause myself pain.

Today we look at The Bible Game, a late life Xbox and PS2 budget title that is a game about the Holy Bible. I am joined by a close friend, but only sharp eyes will be able to notice his appearance!

If, like me, you crave for a longer experience then have no fear! Episode 10 will hopefully be out a month from now, and will be a full review of an ancient RPG. Until then keep your eyes posted on my blog, Twitter, and Facebook, and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Why Did I Play This? Total Recall

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Movie licensed games are almost always bad, even moreso when they’re for the NES. I’m not even upset I played this game though, not one bit. Why? Total Recall is one of those very, very few bad video games that manages to cross over into ‘so-bad-its-good’ territory. There are countless movies and old campy TV shows like this, but not so much video games. A bad movie can be made enjoyable by a stellar, albeit cheesy performance from the actors, like if I see Christopher Walken in a bad movie I’m still going to watch and enjoy it.

I’m still surprised there’s a movie licensed NES game that LJN had nothing to do with.

A bad video game being enjoyable though? How is that different, and how is it similar? Well bad games are always marred by technical issues, loose controls, bad graphics and music (for its time), and inconsistent and asinine level design among other reasons. But, if a game isn’t entirely horrific in those categories, just has some weaknesses across the board then we end up with a good candidate for an enjoyably bad video game. Total Recall is the poster child of awesomely bad games because of this.

As soon as the game starts the player is already confused and just runs to the right where they’re pulled into an alley to fight purple clothed dwarves. But it gets better, what makes Total Recall so enjoyable for me is just how ridiculous everything looks. The graphics are terrible, and because of this a wall that is supposed to be people punching through holes ends up looking like… well I like to call it The Great Wall of Gloryholes.

What puny little cocks you all are.

 

There is a cool X-Ray effect in the second level (I think its level 2, none of them are labeled). So this shows that the programmers actually knew how to do a few things, just that the level designers were terrible. It seems like this giant X-Ray machine unlocks after a time limit , then Arnold is allowed to work his way through a very confusing subway system. Around this point the game takes on the typical bad video game syndrome, the absurd fun being sucked away by now.

Arnold can also crouch down and punch to the side he’s facing, because of the height of many enemies on the main screen this ends up looking the player is making Arnold punch the enemies in the privates. Real classy Acclaim. Its still hilarious to me that a game that can so easily be sexually construed ended up with a Nintendo Seal of Quality. I guess that is just a way to see how little Nintendo actually cared about game quality, and were more concerned with censorship. Oh well, the past is past for a reason.

BOOM! Right in the gonads!

 

Why Did I Play This? Episode 8

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I used to have a bunch of toy Crash Dummies! Oh man I have so many ideas of how to make this a good game, but where to start? Oh screw it, let’s just jump right in and see if this game is everything I hope it could be!

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Why Did I Play This? Episode 7

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Due to delays episode 7 was unable to make it out before its originally scheduled Halloween release. But here it is, ready for everybody to take in and digest. Today I pull out an old classic, Sabrina the Teenage Witch: A Twitch in Time. So now we only have a couple questions to ask ourselves.

Was this worth my time?
Why did I play this?

Why Did I Play This? Classic Edition 3: Final Fantasy II

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The third edition of Why Did I Play This is a look back at one game from a major series that is instantly recognizable. Back in the day I was a massive young Square fanboy, huge into Final Fantasy, and anxious to see the release of every new game, whether it was the major releases on PS1 or the remakes and re-releases the company did as well. The PS1 with its loading times was my first experience with such classics like Final Fantasy, FF4, FF5, FF6, and Chrono Trigger. Notice how one specific game is missing from this list that only comes from 3 different double releases from Square on the PS1.

Final Fantasy II

Oh man. Black sheep of classic RPG gaming franchises, you got your Phantasy Star III, the grand ocean faring Suikoden IV, *cough* Dragon Warrior VII, umm Ultima II, and not last nor least, Final Fantasy II. Now I’m not talking about the American FF2, or as we should all know, really FF4, oh no that’s a good game. I’m talking about the Japanese Famicom FF2, or rather the first release it got in America.

Oww, even the original logo hurts.

Now at one point in my life I was a Final Fantasy FREAK. I had gotten hold of my second gaming system ever after much parental persuasion, the Sony Playstation. And back when going to Blockbuster to rent movies and games were cool, I tried out many recommendations from friends that also had the system, of which a shortage did not exist. I rented Final Fantasy VIII, yes I was a bit late, but still to this day I’ve never bought a system at launch, and actually loved it for the time. Looking back I could actually be typing up an entire blog post about FF8 myself, but I chose the earlier entry as I could not stomach it back then, and still cannot now.

Time to get owned.

So we all know that Squaresoft was on its last legs when Hironobu (The Gooch) Sakaguchi saved the company with a little game called Final Fantasy for the Famicom and NES when it came stateside. But they opted out of releasing the second and third entry of that series in the USA. So my first introduction with this game came with the Final Fantasy Origins pack for the PS, as I was at that age where I ate up all of those FF games. I went back to buy FF7 and was blown away like many youngsters were, buying my own copy of FF8, then looked forward to FF9 (which is still my favorite in the series.) Then my first real game hunt began as Final Fantasy Anthology was nowhere to be seen in my locality until we got a couple used games stores open up in the area. I bought the first copy I could find, then waited anxiously for the release of Final Fantasy Chronicles, then Origins.

Amano = Awesome

Imagine my surprise, when after I beat Final Fantasy in the Origins pack and go to fire up the second game for the first time and start my epic quest following Firion, Guy, Maria, and Leon… and get my backside beat up and down the first battle screen. Then I get saved by a random badass Princess Hilda, minus Leon, the only decent character out of the four! The Emperor is actually quite the sinister villain, even poisoning an entire city’s water supply. This act was so awesome, so intense that it was in fact copied by fan favorite villain Kefka!

So you just run around, fighting the oppression of the evil Empire of Palamecia, going dungeon to dungeon with a random plot based fourth character, some you wanted to keep but were not allowed to, you had to get Leon back in your fighting group. Finally you reunite with Leon after the party and him meet at the Palamecian castle and watch the Emperor turn into El Diablo himself and summon a new home up from the pits of Hades to help him devour this world! Quickly stop him!

El Diablo noooooooo!

For the time this was actually a well thought out, very well executed storyline given the technological limitations of the NES. The game was prettied up for re-release after re-release starting with Origins so it was quite easy to look at with pretty, well detailed sprites that barely made the PS even try to think very hard. But this game suffers from such crippling gameplay flaws that I could not even force myself to sit through the story, I kept hitting a brick wall because of something so important to an RPG being completely broken and random half the time!

Yes that’s right, leveling is completely broken in this game. In the 8-10 hours I managed to torture myself by playing this game I had no idea how to level up stats, then it finally hit me, you level what you use! But how do you use HP, which all my characters seemed to never have leveling up? You take damage, a lot of damage. I ended up having half the party get killed off during random battles because their HP was so low they would get one shot! The only two worth anything in the game were Firion and Guy because of their high strength to do massive melee damage. Maria literally went half my playtime without once getting an HP boost. What the hell? I think I got as far as the Dreadnought because I kept getting owned and no amount of grinding was helping me. No matter how high your healer’s magic score is it does not matter when she literally has 40 HP and gets hit for 60. Even if Guy and Firion are overpowered they will eventually get overwhelmed after I run out of items trying to escape the dungeon.

Much prettier, but I’ll still die.

The broken leveling was such a deal breaker and let down for me that I have yet to pick up FF2 since I put it down, as my PS2 days came along I went for trying almost any RPG experience I could get my hands on, and I wish I still had them all but hey it gives me future goals of rediscovery. Anyway in conclusion FF2 suffered the problem that many second entries were infected with during the NES days, too much experimentation, cool ideas that could only be poorly executed, all while keeping the overall feel of the original source material. It featured a great story that was bogged down with literally endless grinding as you hoped that you took that extra point of damage or did that extra damage to get your individual stat boost. The most important feature of the game was royally messed up during the experiment of Final Fantasy II, and no amount of nostalgia can save the game as there is literally none for the NES young ones, or even those like me who had a horrible gaming experience on the PS Origins release during the younger years of existence.

Until next time. I might even go back to a game I’ve long forgotten sometime on this blog and remember how awesome it is.

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