20 July 2013

Rally Bike

So it’s time to talk about that NES motor cycle game!

Yeah...This one.
Now before I start, I should let you (the reader) know that I like ska. I like a lot of ska bands, one of which is Reel Big Fish (you might not have heard of them…they were big in the 90’s). On their album Candy Coated Fury, they have a rad song called Everyone Else is an Asshole.
 (you can listen to that [here] and if you like it go buy one of their CDs! Probably NSFW...just use headphones) This song, has probably one of the most pertinent titles in relation to this game.
This is what 20 years of Ska looks like

So Rally Bike.
Dude has the NY skyline painted on his visor 
I did beat this game, but I have to admit…I had to do it on an emulator and be a total cheater and cheat my way to victory. (I never said I couldn’t cheat). This game is a port of a 1988 arcade game of the same name. It’s meant to take your money, and boy does it.
 If this game were a schoolyard bully, it would kick you in the butt while you were at the urinal so you would not only get your clothes all ruined, but would smack your wiener against the toilet, then it would take all the money you had in your pocket.
Sorry that was a little gross.
But seriously, if someone can beat this on the NES with one life, I would be seriously impressed…it’s not just about quick reflexes, but also about memorizing the entire course and being able to adjust to the other asshole racers.
 Your hitbox is pretty deceptive, mostly because it doesn’t conform entirely to the cycle, but instead an actual square box around the entire sprite. This leads to a lot of frustration because you’ll clip obstacles (usually asshole riders) and die..frequently.
Speaking of asshole riders, your competitors are dicks. They will purposely turn into you and making you crash and die a horrible death. Seriously, I couldn't count the number of dudes that wouldn't get out of my way, or would turn into me. It's infuriating. To make maters worse, if you go slower to dodge an obstacle or something and one of these shits is behind you, they will beep their horn at you. Gane devs, that's not fucking cute, it pisses me off. I wanted to go in there and punch every rider in the face. (it also reminded me of this Reel Big Fish song...also probably NSFW)
There are four different levels that are all incredibly difficult (you might have to take my word on this one because without emulating I could only get to level two) and each level you have to come in a certain place to continue. You also have to make sure you don’t run out of gas, otherwise you die. So if you manage to get to the end of the four levels, you have to do it again. Yes. All of them. No there aren’t any continues. Yes it’s faster and more difficult.
Once you get to the end, the fabulous prize you get is a small little shot of New York City’s skyline wonderfully rendered in 8 loving bits (though not as nice as Punch-out!!’s) and a black screen that says game over. You don’t even get a gosh dang trophy!
Other than the frustratingly annoying difficulty, the game is pretty fun. Just know that you will only beat it with a lot of luck and a lot more practice. The music is pretty catchy, which is good considering how you will hear stage 1’s music a lot, and the others a lot less. The controls work, but again the hitbox is such that it makes it frustrating when you die by clipping the one pixel of the other rider. 
It’s not Excitebike…that’s for sure.
You don't get this. This is Excitebike. Loser.

+Fun to play…until it starts to piss you off
+I got to listen to Reel Big Fish while writing this
-Everyone Else is an Asshole
-Fucking arcade ports
 -What a shit ending!
-it’s not Excitebike.
Anyway…on to the next one.

17 July 2013

Ice Hockey, Tetris, and Updates

Ice Hockey and Tetris
Alright, it’s time to take a break and play some games that aren’t story driven.
So if you look at the list, you might notice that Tetris comes after Mario Bros 2 and Dragon Warrior. There is a reason why I’m skipping both of these right now, and they are as follows.
  1.            I don’t really feel like playing Super Mario Bros 2 right now – Sorry I was playing it, got all the way to the final boss twice and died both times, I have it on Mario All-Stars, so I will play it then. It’s just better in every way on the SNES and I have to review All-Stars anyway for both SMB 3 and Lost Levels so why not just review it then.
  2.             Instead of just doing two separate reviews for Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy, I’m going to do a thing where I look at both of them together as they’re not only two of the biggest franchise in Japan (or the world), but also the cornerstones of typical JRPGs. Plus I was writing the review for Dragon Warrior (I’ve already beaten it) and found myself wanting to compare it to FF anyway, so I’m just going to make it easier on myself.

In addition to these things, part one of the story has been started…I’m probably going to only post that every once in a while, depending on how much I write, (the only little bit of info you’re going to get from it is that Chapter 1 is called “A Strange New Kingdom”), so look forward to that. Hopefully I will actually do some work on it and get the full chapter done.
I also purchased a number of games on the Steam Summer Sale (fucking all of my money is now gone…) so I have to update the game list eventually…also I need to update it with the downloaded games on my Wii, PS3, and Xbox360.

Anyway on to the reviews…

Ice Hockey

Aisu Hokkē
I’ll start with Ice Hockey because that’s first on the list, and I feel like less people have played this one.
Ice Hockey was released originally for the Famicom in January of 1988 and then ported to the NES later that year in March. As anyone with a brain might be able to guess, it’s a game, where you play Ice Hockey.  Now I’m not going to explain all the rules of hockey or really go into much about the sport because that’s not the point of this game. It’s not like the current NHL games, hell, it doesn’t even have the proper amount of players on the ice. This game is all about fast paced 20 minute games that you can grab a few beers, grab a few friends and have some fun for a couple hours (or if you’re not old enough to grab beers, and if you don’t have any friends you can play against a computer which is also kind of fun, but for a significantly less amount of time).
The controls are actually more complex than one might initially assume, seeing as there are only two buttons on the controller. B shoots the puck while A passes and changes characters. In addition to whoever you’re controlling you also command the goalie. These simple controls make the game easy to understand, but hard to master.  This means when you’re playing with your friends, it’s a whole lot of fun.
There are six teams, which vary depending on if you’re playing this game in Japan or elsewhere in the world. You can control the USA, Sweden, Poland, Canada, Czechoslovakia, or the USSR (in Japan, the USA switches with Japan and Sweden switches with the US).
This means you can play the USA vs. USSR, and re-enact quite possibly the single best moment in all of sports ever, The Miracle on Ice. If you don’t know what that is, please go watch Miracle, or look it up, or both.
Each team consists of four players of which there are three different types of players: The Normal Guy, who is of average everything, speed, shot strength, faceoff quality, beard length, and checking, The Skinny-Ass Guy, who is faster, but not as strong, nor is his facial hair of quite the same quality, finally there’s The Fat-Ass Guy, who you would think would be American, but in fact is actually Czech according to this game (They start with 3 fatties and a normal guy). The Heavy guy is really strong, but skates a little slower. Once you pick your nation and team, you finally get dropped on the ice and the mayhem starts.
This is why I love old Nintendo games, they’re just about the fun. I like story and menus and being able to make shitty versions of sports jerseys that don’t really look like anything I would actually want to wear as much as the next person, but sometimes you don’t fucking need that shit. Sometimes that’s just too much…
I had two problems with the game. The first was that without a manual, I had no idea how to play this game. Luckily with only two buttons, I could sort of figure it out, but I had to look up the actual controls online to really get a sense of what was going on.
I did that here : Ice Hockey Wiki
It’s a great wiki, and does a nice job of explaining what the fuck to do.

Huh? There must be a joke I'm missing.
The other problem I had is that the colour scheme. Like…On the title screen there are three guys that have different coloured uniforms…so why is Canada green? The uniforms could have been different colours and that would have given this game just that much more. The way it is, it doesn’t really matter what country you pick…at least with other colours it would give a little bit more differentiation.
But yeah fun ass game

+Fun game, double fun if you have friends, triple fun if you have beer.
+Addicting and super competitive
+Able to re-enact the Miracle on Ice
-How does one “Ice Hockey”
-Why is Canada green? Seriously?

It's fucking Tetris
So unless you’re too young to read this, or have been dead since 1989, you have no excuse to not have played this game. Seriously, you’re probably on Facebook or some shit, just go. 
Go play.
There’s so much information about Tetris and how it fucking awesome it is. 

+Go play Tetris
-How have you not played Tetris??
-NES version doesn’t have Korobeiniki as a song

Russia I assume...

Ok, break over.

On to the next one.