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Review – Battle Arena Toshiden (GB)

1-2 Players

Fight to be the ultimate fighting master in this uh.. fighting game!  I haven’t played any other Battle Arena Toshiden Games, so I can’t really comment on how close this comes.

Graphics: 8/10
Super deformed anime characters all around plus the occasional cut scene sequence. There’s even a nice little animation of Ellis at the beginning.  It’s easy to tell your fighter from the other fighter and when a character fights himself the opponent is darker in color.  I haven’t played two players ever so I don’t know if the player controlling is always normal colored to themselves.  It’s also Super Game Boy enhanced with it’s own border!

Sound: 7/10
A good selection of music is nice, and the sound effects are pretty good.  No digitized voices or anything though, all blips and beeps.

Game Play: 7/10
Each character has strengths and weaknesses as should be expected for a good fighting game.  However like any good fighting game it can be repetitive as it’s the same thing over and over and over.  It’ not too hard though and is fairly easy to get to the later bosses, who are quite a bit more difficult.  The text speech between battles is cheesy. There are 8 normal fighters and at least two boss fighters (probably four).  I forget if there is a way to play as the bosses.

Overall: 7.3
This is one of my newest Game Boy games, I bought it so I would have a fighter besides Mortal Kombat 2.  I’d say it’s pretty good, if you need a Game Boy fighter I would recommend this game.

Tip: I have no tips for this.  I don’t even know any moves.

Review – Deus Ex (PC)

There was a short period in gaming time not too long ago where many hyped up games we released all around the same period of time. These include games like Oni, Deus Ex, and Shenmue, to name a few. These games all have one thing in common. All had mediocre everything with one amazing shinny new gimmick. In the end you get a game that more or less sucks except you still feel the need to play it because of this one gimmick. Oni had it’s whole weapons and hand to hand combat thing, Shenmue had it’s whole free range suckage going on, and Deus Ex is sort of a FPS RPG hybrid.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really play this game the “correct way”. I cheated right out at the start and beefed up my player to the max after failing the Liberty Island mission 20 or 30 times in a row. By “Liberty Island mission” I mean killing more than 5 guys and making it past the first 2 or 3 enclosed areas. That said, it also means I got to play a game that was nothing but pure game play, a game that consisted of everything else besides Deus Ex’s one gimmick, the experience level up system. Frankly after playing through without it I sure as hell don’t want to play through with it.

Even as an invincible combat god the game started to DRAG immensely by about halfway through. The plot in this bitch just goes on and on and on and on and on. By the end you won’t know what the hell is going on because the plot also changes completely every five minutes or so. It’s unfortunate that Tracer Tong’s ending was the worst one since he was the only person I could remember out of the supporting cast. After New York you think you’re done but no! On to Hong Kong. Then it’s back to New York, then to some gas station in the middle of nowhere. Then some undersea lab. Eventually you end up god knows where fighting some guy in a bubble. Whoop de shit. That is what I get after all that playing?

Really the plot isn’t the only thing that I didn’t like. Honestly the character models left something to be desired as well. Every person has the same weird bulgy stretchy look to them. Also the enemy AI was pretty weak to. Not really weak in that is was easy to beat, just weak in that it seemed like it was a computer AI and not a person trying to kill me. It was not good like say, Half Life. Though it was also not as shitty as say, Shogo. Shogo being the only game I can think of where a boss killed HIMSELF through no act of my own. I just stood there just after encountering him as he blew himself away.

Anyway, Deus Ex 2 is in the works, let’s hope they can put an understandable plot in this time. The graphics I’ve seen seem pretty improved, so that is one flaw down at least. Anyway, I literally had to force myself to finish this beast just so I could uninstall without ever feeling the guilty need to install it again.  

Review – The SIMS (PC)

The SIMS Site Banner


Some games you just love to hate. Or maybe it’s the other way around, you hate to love them. Then there are those you love and those you hate completely. I’m thinking The SIMS is just one I hate really, but I REALLY want to love it. This game is really easy to compare to Diablo 2. Both have similar play perspectives. Both have similar gameplay mechanics really. Both are games I really enjoy when I first start playing them but hate absolutely after about a week. Finally both are games I keep coming back to.

To keep in the comparison of Diablo 2, the gameplay consists pretty much of clicking on a thousand things for hours on end. Unlike Diablo 2, the things you click on aren’t little imp things of one color or another. Instead you get to control a person as this person lives their daily life. That’s pretty much it, I honestly don’t know how or why this game ever became so popular really. I mean an in game day typically consist of waking your Sim up, having the Sim cook himself breakfast, take a shit, take a shower, watch for an hour go to work, come home from work, cook supper, watch more TV, shit again, then sleep. Its like having some sort of clingy pet really. The Sims can’t function in anyway on their own. As an experiment I once let “Bob Newbie” run on his own for about an hour. I came back and found he had been fired from work and had been doing nothing but stand around in his kitchen crying because he was depressed and lonely. It should be noted the kitchen was soaked in urine and covered in dirty dishes. It seems that instead of keeping up his hygiene and going to work, poor Bob Newbie had decided to instead sit around all day burning all his money on potato chips. A similar result occurred with the Goth family, their child ended up getting shipped off to military school.

Now what is entertaining about this game? I’ll have to guess it’s the social system really. When your Sim isn’t bitching about being hungry again because he just spent an hour on the toilet you can interact with other Sims in the neighborhood. If you’re lucky you could even make your Sim become married to one of them. Then you get the fun task or trying to juggle two people’s lives at once. Just some advice, unless you plan on cheating, don’t even think of trying to juggle 8 people (the maximum for one family) at once. If you’re lucky you’ll get two satisfied ones, another who has been cleaning everything for all eternity and the rest will just party 24/7.

Anyway, about the time you’ve been playing for about two week’s you’ve got maybe 2 regular normal families going, and another couple party families that you’ve cheated on and given them all the riches they will ever need. There is a good chance you’ll need a new way to entertain yourself. Then you’ll come to the “Mass Murderer Simulator” part of the game. First select a kind of creepy looking guy and build him a nice little place to live, then befriend everyone you can. Then one by one court and marry all the other Sims in the neighbor hood. At the same time, as you grow tired of the earlier partners, build them into doorless rooms and wait about an in game week or two. Or maybe you’d like to let them take a swim, then remove the exit ladder for the pool. A person permanently swimming in the pool would make a nice art-deco life sculpture for the front yard. Then there is always death by fire. Make sure you don’t have any cooking skill or a fire alarm then start grillin’ burgers till the flames start roarin’.

Now that your fantastic and beautiful homes are all vacant, take a moment and reflect back on all the time you’ve spent doing the same things YOU do every day only for some computer simulated version of yourself. Now realize how much of a waste this game really is, especially since Maxis didn’t take into account the full potential of killing off the Sims. I mean come on, where is my torture rack? Or maybe a guillotine. Maybe the fight sequences could break into a Capcom fighter where you battle to the death with supernatural fireballs and such.

On one final note, I’ll say that I really like the customizability in this game. You can find new models and skins for all sorts of objects and characters. You can put shortcuts to MP3s in the music directory and get custom radio stations. You can build the characters and homes anyway you want. That’s probably the best part of the game really. Seeing what sort of crazy combinations you can come up with.  

Review – King’s Knight (NES)

King's Knight Site Banner

1989 Squaresoft | 1 Player

Graphics 6/10
So so graphics.  They are OK, but this is for NES standards.  It is a Square game, and
they tend to have pretty good graphics for their games when they are released, and this
is one of their first games so it’s pretty early.  Some of the monsters are easy to tell
what they are supposed to be but others seem like random blobs.

Sound 3/10
I don’t remember anything that really stands out in this game and being an early NES game
this area isn’t too great.  Nothing spectacular or too memorable like some of Square’s
later games.

Gameplay 6/10
Kind of fun and interesting gameplay.  Thing “really slow overhead shooter”.  The screen
scrolls along and you walk along up the screen shooting enemies and blowing away trees and
such.  All the characters have ranged weapons and there are four characters.  I don’t have
the instructions so I’m not sure what everything does.  You get four lives, and when one
character dies you come back as a different one on a different level.  I’m not sure about
how these characters intertwine or anything, I really wish I had some instructions for this

Overall 5/10
Nothing great, about the only reason really to get this (and the reason i got it) is if
you are a Squaresoft completionist.  It’s probably one of the harder to find Square games
since it’s such an early one.  I found mine used at Babbages (where I’ve bought my last
several games).

Tip: I can’t think of anything really.  The up arrows heal you, the down arrows hurt you,
I had to figure this out since I didn’t have a book.

Review – Zero Wing (Genesis)

Zero Wing site banner

      It should be being to be well known that I are an fan of the dying game genre
sometimes being called “Shooters”.
    No, I do not mean First Person Shooter, though those be generally pretty well
good as also, I refer myself to side scrolling or upwards scrolling space fighter
games where there is being the general point is to see how much large of a score can
rack up. The best console type examples of this type of console game are including
Life Force, Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie, and Bangaio (there be many others, these
be just example, don not flame me for not mentioning what is YOUR personal favorite).
      Anyway, Zero Wing are just being that type of game. The humans be under attack
by aliens or under attack by whomever and it are YOUR job to be fly alone through
swarms of aliens for chance to kill their leader’s time. At least this game is sort
of being to manage to explaining why you is alone fighting aliens, it happens to be
that your Throat Sea Urchin. explodes at the beginning of the game and you is just
barely managing to be able to escape. So you go are going off on to a personal
vendetta on to avenge your crewmates. At least it are being a bit more of an
exposition than Life Force is being to have, which is consist of no into story and
simply thrusts you directly into combat.
      It is unfortunately lack of a having story is Life Force belonging only
disadvantage to this title (NOTE: Life Force is essentially the Shooter version
of Contra in every way). Being on the more than negative side, Zero Wing has is
having decent music. Well at least the one track I got to hear is going to be
being decent. After trying for like one half time of hour to be trying to kill
the first boss I having been gave up on trying to be want to finish this game,
shame too, since you are being to getting unlimited continues (always a plus)
and I are think there is being only 4 levels to this game with only four levels.
    On with the bad parts to get on with. For started time, the game is having
been made painful difficult by there having slow speeds of the ship. Considering
this was being have been on the same console that giving us Sonic 2, I don not
wanting to believe that processor energy had been had to be anything to have to
be do with it. I am suppose it may could be that I was been trying to play this
game through means of using a keyboard, but still being, repetition should have
come to be me good enough to be able to at least be able to finish the first
boss. Also there is being much much overuse of “burst fire” is happening when
the enemy is fires at you in an burst usually during being in this game’s
belonging to case in an 8 direction star burst. This is not been too difficult
to be in itself to have to dodge but every time there be will also also be an
straight shot approaching to you ship right at you right during the spot you
have to need to be to avoid the burst shot. This could have been somewhat
remedied by providing freely the ship more speed. More speed is happening it
are easier to be able to move dodge out of the way. Life Force occurred slow
ships too but at least you were being able to get upgrades to being able to
fix that.
      Oh yes, upgrades. While being that upgrades are not having been necessary
essential to having a shooter type console game, it is helpful to been having
some decent ones when you are having them. The one that is seems to being the
easiest one to acquire is being to be the helper drone upgrade. This is been a
nice warping as usually the helper drone upgrade are the hardest to acquire.
Next we are having lasers, which are pretty much suck in during been ALL
shooter/action game since they is required to be have uselessly slow YOUR fire
speed due to the extra power. Also they are being have to BASEically required
to be follow the path of the gun barrel is which is makes them to be hard to
be aim while you are trying to be dodging. What should you ARE to be doing?
Continuing to be stick around during the path that BELONG of that bullet so
the laser will be a hit or do are you have to being TO dodge out of the laser
of it’s path? The last upgrade occurring to be a bit USeful and is being a sort
of guided missile weapon while it have a pretty high rate of fire, the missiles
are seem to been making a pretty half assed trial to actually be hitting their
      So unless you are starved for a shooter to play, go find something else.
There are quite few very good ones on The Underdogs. (NOTE: We No longer support
the due to their excessive pop up advertising.) Just don’t bother
with this pile of shit.