Saturday, May 25, 2013

#50: Top Gear

Not the UK show.
How could a game called Top Gear be anything but a racing game? The game opened with lots of track selection and difficulty options I couldn't use because you need a password to unlock the later stuff. I was stuck racing in Vegas, presumably on a real track.
Pitstop? Is that you?
The game itself had a very questionable control scheme. Manual gear shifting is annoying but I understand why they put it into games. My big problem is that the #1 button on the controller, the B button, went unused. And the accelerator button was actually X! The least used button in most games was the button I had to hold down! My thumb does not have the muscle memory to do that properly.
I thought I did a reasonable job in my first race. Especially since I used up 2 of my 3 nitro boosts early on when I was trying to figure out the controls. The game starts you at the back of a pack of 20 cars and I managed to make it all the way up to 8th. The game then awarded points to the top 10 of 20 finishers (I earned 3 points for 8th) and followed that up with a game over screen. WHAT? How are you giving me race series points and then saying I didn't finish high enough to keep playing. Why is 8th worth 3 points if 8th is also a DQ?

The music was annoying. The game was not very interesting. The controls sucked, and the scoring system was flawed. There's pretty much nothing good going on with this game that I can see, except maybe if all the tracks were real tracks. That might be pretty cool if I was a racing fan. But I'm not, so I don't care.

Rating: D-

Saturday, May 18, 2013

#49: Super Adventure Island

Sounds fun!
I can remember playing an Adventure Island game in the arcade as a kid. Funky little island dude auto-running to the right, jumping on a skateboard, throwing hammers, and dying a lot. Looking on Wikipedia it turns out the arcade game I'm thinking of was actually Wonder Boy! It would seem Sega owned the rights to the name and the characters but not the game itself or something, so their partner went to Hudson Soft to make a series of clones starting with Adventure Island on the NES.

Lucky dude...
This game doesn't have the auto-running feature from Wonder Boy, but it certainly has the dying a lot down in spades. This idea was prominent in arcade games to convince the player to put in more quarters. On a console with limited continues it's just frustrating.

The game isn't terrible. It only uses two buttons which makes me sad, and you have no hitpoints which results in lots of deaths. The music repeated through the first three levels and was starting to get pretty tedious, but then the boss fight had pretty cool music. I could see renting this game and not being too disappointed which is sadly a step up from many of the recent games played. But I don't want to play it again now.

Rating: C

Saturday, May 11, 2013

#48: Rival Turf!

Oh good, a Jaleco game.
Rival Turf started off by asking me to pick if I wanted to play as a pretty white boy or a more brawly looking black dude named Oozie Nelson. I went with Oozie! The game didn't show me the plot, but a quick look on Wikipedia indicates the pretty boy's girlfriend was kidnapped by some thugs and he enlisted the help of his police officer friend Oozie. The game itself is a beat-em-up.

This game is pretty much identical to Final Fight. The plot is the same. The character choices are the same. The buttons are the same. There was a dagger I could pick up and throw, just like in Final Fight. There was a trash can to break with a food health boost in it, just like in Final Fight. The game sucks, just like Final Fight.
Except this game is slightly worse. There are fewer moves to do when grappling. The first boss seemed really hard, because he had a sword that he'd drop. While he had the sword I could easily beat him up. But when the sword fell to the ground my attack button became the 'pick up the sword' button and he'd kill me while I was bent over picking up the sword. It was frustrating. if I wanted to play Final Fight, I'd go play Final Fight. Not the bad clone. You suck, Jaleco.

Rating: D-

Saturday, May 4, 2013

#47: Raiden Trad

I had never heard of Raiden Trad. Or of Toei. Or of Micronics. Or of Electro Brain. This doesn't bode well.

The game turns out to be a scrolling shooter with pretty much all the flaws of the other scrolling shooters. It has power-ups, but they all go away when you die. And there are multiple different options that aren't compatible. I was doing fantastic, but then I accidentally replaced my heat seeking missiles with something that just went in a straight line. And then I couldn't damage anything on the sides. And then they shot too many bullets and I died.

And then once I was dead I was down to normal bullets and no missiles of any kind and couldn't possibly survive. Too many bullets, guaranteed dead. I did not miss anything by not playing this game as a kid.

Rating: F