Saturday, October 18, 2014

#123: Spider-Man & X:Men: Arcade's Revenge

Does whatever a X can!
I vaguely remember playing this game as a kid, and I remember watching a speedrun of it in one of the marathons I watched this year, so I knew what I was getting into. It's a platformer where you get to choose which character you want to play. Not so you can use the right abilities to beat a level as each character has their own level to play tailored to them. So no interesting choices, really, you just get to pick what order to play in.

The game opens with a comic style intro, which is awesome. I like when a game tells me a little about what is going on. Even when it's as little as 'garbage truck has been eating X-Men, Spider-Man watched from above and is going to help out'.

My spider-senses are tingling...
You know how I said I watched this game in a marathon? It was during a block of AGDQ where they switched what the A stood for. Most of the week was 'Awesome Games Done Quick' but for a chunk of time they instead did 'Awful Games Done Quick'. This game was Awful. And it still is. The controls are bad, and the level design is terrible. Spider-Man had to backtrack through his level 4 or 5 times to collect all the items in order to open the door. All the enemies are killed off on the first pass... Blerg!

It looks like a cool enough game. But it plays awfully. 5 different characters, 5 different platformers, 5 different sets of controls... All bad. Still a playable game, so better than some of the dreck I've played, but really not any good at all.

Rating: D

Saturday, October 11, 2014

#122: Road Runner's Death Valley Rally

I grew up watching Looney Tunes cartoons, and this game really captures the feel of those cartoons. It has the right sounds. It has the right music. The intro video did the whole 'pause the screen and use fake latin to describe the characters' thing.

Coyote so hungry!
You play the role of the Road Runner in this game and you play a Sonic style platformer with the twist that you need to avoid the Coyote and whatever crazy contraption he's put together to try to catch you. I never really played Sonic games so I don't know if it had the same problem this game had, but I found I was moving way too fast to possibly react to incoming obstacles. I'm sure if you played the game a lot you could memorize the locations of all the spikey plants and scorpions and the like but I kept running into them, losing my speed burst, and getting annoyed.

They managed to make use of lots of buttons on the SNES controller, in particular by making R be a taunt button where the Road Runner stuck out his tongue and L be a taunt button where the Road Runner pulls off a BEEP BEEP sound effect. It made the game feel a lot like the cartoon, where Road Runner would often stick out his tongue or BEEP BEEP at Wile E Coyote after some plan backfired on him. In this case the wheel of his steamroller detached and is about to loop around and crush the poor dejected Coyote.

Now, I need to be honest here... I always hated the Road Runner. I identified with the Coyote. He's a smart guy with lots of cool outside the box ideas who keeps getting taunted by others for his failures. The Road Runner is a bully! I wanted the Coyote to catch him and eat all his delicious bits. The feather that tastes like banana... YUM! Anyway, that makes a game where I have to take the role of the bully not one I really want to play. You wouldn't want to play a Back to the Future game where you're Biff Tannen, would you?

The game has good music and sound and controls and feel. But I didn't like the protagonist and I didn't like the game/level design with being forced to run into obstacles the first time you meet them. But I could see this being a game people could like, so I can't dock it too much.

Rating: C+

Saturday, October 4, 2014

#121: Road Riot 4WD

Down with roads!
I was expecting a race game from the name, and then from the title screen I was expecting a bad racing game. I'm not sure why TENGEN makes me shudder a little, but it does. THQ is one of the worst rated licensees so far for me, and I've never felt like Atari was a good SNES developer either. But maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised?

Nope. Not even a little bit. These are definite Atari era graphics. I'm really starting to hate bad ports of older games on my SNES. Which is a little odd since I gave both of the last two games S- ratings and they were both ports of older games. I guess the difference is those two games were really good games initially and a random arcade racer isn't apt to be really good? Maybe it's just the genre? But I've played some racing games built for the SNES explicitly (F-Zero, Super Mario Kart) and those were both really good. Eh... All I can really say for sure is Road Riot 4WD is terrible.

Elvis Presley is probably copyrighted. I bet no one will notice if we rename him Elvis Vegas!
The sound is bad. The controls are bad. You have two buttons, go fast and shoot your gun. Go fast is B. Shoot your gun in R. What? GRR!

I don't think we rented this one back in the day, and we didn't miss anything.

Rating: F