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Joe Redifer
11-04-2004, 11:51 PM
Welcome to my own review thread, which promises to kick much ass. My review thread will be better
than the other review threads on this site, simply because the games are being reviewed by me.

There are some rules to my reviews that you should keep in mind at all times:
1 - These reviews are fact, not opinion. If you disagree with any of the reviews here, then you are not a true gamer.
2 - I am a Sega fanboy, therefore Sega gets preferential treatment. If you see a Sega game that is NOT getting preferential treatment, please notify me and the situation will be rectified as soon as possible.
4 - All reviews are final. If you don't like them, I recommend suicide (for you, not me).
5 - Usually all game screens are captured by me actually playing the game on the real system itself. Sometimes emulators will be required (and usually provide the best results), but rest assured they are screens of me playing the game myself, with the exception of the Space Harrier 32X and Out Run 2 reviews. I don't just grab screens from the 'net.

The Reviews:

Strider (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=156036#post156036) - (Capcom - 1989) - 8
Rastan (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=157338#post157338) - (Taito - 1987) - 6
Street Fighter (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=157609#post157609) - (Capcom - 1987) - 1
Shadow Dancer (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=158108#post158108) - (Sega - 1989) - 6
Laguna Racer (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162355#post162355) - (Midway - 1977) - 0
Devastators (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162529#post162529) - (Konami - 1988) - 4
Altered Beast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162976#post162976) - (Sega - 1988) - 7
Robotron 2084 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=167751#post167751) - (Midway - 1982) - 4
Thunder Force AC (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=208417#post208417) - (Technosoft - 1990) - 8
GI Joe (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=209706#post209706) - (Konami - 1992) - 6
Metamorphic Force (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=219587#post219587) - (Konami - 1993) - 4


Playstation 3:
Burnout Paradise (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=460459#post460459) - 9
Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=470116#post470116) - 7
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=505401#post505401) - 9
Demon's Souls (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=513268#post513268) - 8

Xbox 360:
Dead Rising (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=348020#post348020) - 9
Virtua Fighter 5 Online (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=449717#post449717) - 8
Test Drive Unlimited (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=457299#post457299) - 9
Bayonetta (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=517801#post517801) - 7.5

Nintendo Wii:
Wii Play (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=402619#post402619) - 5
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=440723#post440723) - 8
Super Mario Galaxy (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=453645#post453645) - 9
Mario Kart Wii (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=473023#post473023) - 6
Punch-Out!! (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=495163#post495163) - 7.3

Out Run 2 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=149764#post149764) - 8
Out Run 2006 - Coast 2 Coast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=297966#post297966) - 8
Halo 2 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=151357#post151357) - 7
Panzer Dragoon Orta (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=154948#post154948) - 8
Gunvalkyrie (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=160394#post160394) - 8
Super Monkey Ball Deluxe (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=180785#post180785) - 7
Shenmue II (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=191032#post191032)- 10
Spikeout Battlestreet (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=232363#post232363)- 6
Burnout Revenge (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=233231#post233231)- 9
Capcom Classics Collection (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=234679#post234679)- 6

Gamecube Nintendo:
Super Monkeyball (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=150312#post150312) - 10
Super Monkeyball 2 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=150554#post150554) - 9
Tales of Symphonia (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=151552#post151552) - 6
F-Zero GX (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=152238#post152238) - 9
Virtua Quest (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=161377#post161377) - 7
Shikigami no Shiro II (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=161924#post161924) - 8
Resident Evil 4 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=170627#post170627) - 9

PlayStation 2:
Katamari Damacy (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=150260#post150260) - 8
Def Jam Vendetta (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=176835#post176835) - 2
Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=179472#post179472) - 9
Tekken 5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=184705#post184705) - 8
Project Altered Beast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=209915#post209915) - 4
We Love Katamari (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=210370#post210370) - 7
OZ / Over Zenith (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=211191#post211191) - 8
Gradius V (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=224248#post224248) - 8
Urban Reign (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=232364#post232364)- 8
PC Genjin / Bonk's Adventure (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=239934#post239934)- 6
The Bible Game (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=242746#post242746)- 3

Sega Dreamcast:
The King of Fighters Evolution (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=150055#post150055)- 5
Daytona USA (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=159480#post159480)- 9
Shenmue (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=191031#post191031)- 9
Shenmue II (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=191032#post191032)- 10
Samba de Amigo (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=202298#post202298)- 7

Sega Saturn:
X-Men vs. Street Fighter (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=153366#post153366) - 9
Panzer Dragoon (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=154260#post154260) - 7
Panzer Dragoon II Zwei (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=154502#post154502) - 8
Panzer Dragoon Saga (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=154738#post154738) - 8
Battle Garegga (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162843#post162843) - 8
Night Striker S (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=173776#post173776) - 6
Segata Sanshirou Shinkenyugi (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=183458#post183458) - 6
Shinobi Legions (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=224549#post224549) - 7
Radiant Silvergun (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=225311#post225311) - 7
Shinrei Jusatsushi Taromaru (Psychic Killers) (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=232742#post232742) - 6
The King of Fighters '95 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=233909#post233909) - 7
Magic Knight Rayearth (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=393040#post393040) - 7
Princess Crown (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=424278#post424278) - 7
NiGHTS - Into Dreams (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=455587#post455587) - 5

Crash Bandicoot (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=150626#post150626) - 2

Sega Genesis:
Thunder Force II (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=151891#post151891) - 8
Wonder Boy in Monster World (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=152782#post152782) - 8
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=153953#post153953) - 4
Strider (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=156037#post156037) - 8
Shadow Dancer (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=158109#post158109) - 8
Altered Beast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162978#post162978) - 7
Granada (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=165057#post165057) - 8
M.U.S.H.A. (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=165213#post165213) - 8
Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=165917#post165917) - 9
Otsomotsu (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=207064#post207064) - 4
Herzog Zwei (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=238563#post238563) - 9
Monster World IV (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=257322#post257322) - 9
Phantasy Star II (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=193488#post193488) - 7
Phantasy Star III - Generations of Doom (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=262502#post262502) - 7
Phantasy Star IV - The End of the Millenium (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=258969#post258969) - 10
Panorama Cotton (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=275673#post275673) - 8
Twinkle Tale (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=295717#post295717) - 6
Zany Golf (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=308783#post308783) - 6
Beggar Prince (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=334499#post334499) - 5
Shining Force (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=444554#post444554) - 9
Shining Force 2 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=448447#post448447) - 9
Rambo III (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=460694#post460694) - 6
Ghostbusters (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=475182#post475182) - 8
The Legend of Wukong (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=541504#post541504) - 5.5
Pier Solar and the Great Architects (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=550930#post550930) - 9

Sega CD:
Batman Returns (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=151810#post151810) - 7
Soul Star (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=157907#post157907) - 6
Night Striker (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=173775#post173775) - 5
Road Avenger (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=218211#post218211) - 7
Lunar - The Silver Star (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=321938#post321938) - 8
Lunar 2 - Eternal Blue (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=329278#post329278) - 8
Popful Mail (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=383170#post383170) - 7

Sega 32X:
Space Harrier (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=149762#post149762) - 8

TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine (with or without CD-ROM):
The Legendary Axe (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=155242#post155242) - 7
Legendary Axe II (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=155364#post155364) - 8
Dracula X (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=156491#post156491) - 9
R-Type Complete CD (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=158460#post158460) - 7
Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162265#post162265) - 3
Blazing Lazers (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162695#post162695) - 6
Altered Beast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162981#post162981) - 5
Toilet Kids (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=164651#post164651) - 1
Devil's Crush (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=255486#post255486) - 8
J.B. Harold Murder Club (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=444235#post444235) - 8
Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=543105#post543105) - 7.7

Super Nintendo:
F-Zero (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=153147#post153147) - 8
Axelay (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=160707#post160707) - 7
Super Mario World (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=163815#post163815) - 9
Super Castlevania IV (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=168981#post168981) - 9
Super Adventure Island (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=426825#post426825) - 7
Chrono Trigger (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=430263#post430263) - 8
Super Metroid (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=442477#post442477) - 8

Sega Master System:
Phantasy Star (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=155729#post155729) - 9
Strider (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=156038#post156038) - 2
Rastan (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=157339#post157339) - 7
Black Belt (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=159456#post159456) - 7
Transbot (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=160625#post160625) - 2
Altered Beast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162979#post162979) - 4

Nintendo Entertainment System:
Strider (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=156039#post156039) - 5
Mega Man 2 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=161114#post161114) - 8
Altered Beast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162980#post162980) - 2
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=410109#post410109) - 4
Double Dragon II: The Revenge (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=430628#post430628) - 7
Rad Racer (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=471561#post471561) - 5

SNK Neo Geo:
Magician Lord (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=156284#post156284) - 8
Baseball Stars Professional (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=158868#post158868) - 7
Samurai Shodown II (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=426456#post426456) - 5

Road Rash (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=474508#post474508) - 8


Neo Geo Pocket Color:
Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=156873#post156873) - 7
Neo Turf Masters (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=304263#post304263) - 8

GameBoy Advance:
Sega Arcade Gallery (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=150789#post150789) - 6
Super Monkeyball Jr. (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=151260#post151260) - 7
Altered Beast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=162982#post162982) - 2

Nintendo DS:
Feel the Magic XY XX (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=155175#post155175) - 8
The Rub Rabbits (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=284045#post284045) - 8
WarioWare Touched! (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=172689#post172689) - 8
Kirby Canvas Curse (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=215781#post215781) - 7
Nanostray (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=222409#post222409) - 6
Nintendogs (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=224017#post224017) - 7
Castlevania - Dawn of Sorrow (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=239314#post239314) - 9
Castlevania - Portrait of Ruin (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=390244#post390244) - 7
True Swing Golf (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=276250#post276250) - 7
Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=280067#post280067) - 5
Brain Age (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=296626#post296626) - 7
New Super Mario Bros. (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=303898#post303898) - 6
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=357601#post357601) - 8
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=400544#post400544) - 8
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=453130#post453130) - 8
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=466711#post466711) - 8
Hotel Dusk - Room 215 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=402289#post402289) - 9
The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=448754#post448754) - 5
Retro Game Challenge (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=483843#post483843) - 8.2

Nintendo 3DS:

Super Mario 3D Land (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=571800#post571800) - 7.5

Sony PSP:
Ys Seven (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=540963#post540963) - 8.5

Virtual Boy: (Yes, Nintendo actually marketed this as a PORTABLE system)
Galactic Pinball (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=304480#post304480) - 8

Sega Genesis Nomad (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=187383#post187383) - 7
Sega Dreamcast (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=247919#post247919) - 6


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (featuring Wii Motion Plus) - Wii
House of the Dead: Overkill - Wii
North and South - Nintendo Entertainment System
Alien Soldier - Sega Genesis
Galactic Attack - Sega Saturn
Ghostbusters - Playstation 3
Out Run Online Arcade - Xbox 360
Rambo III - Sega Master System (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=495303#post495303)

Scribblenauts - Nintendo DS
Muramasa - The Demon Blade - Wii
Cotton 2 - Sega Saturn
Valkyria Chronicles - Playstation 3
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 - Playstation 3 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=503114#post503114)

Web Browsers on Video Game Consoles (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=464447#post464447)

Joe Redifer
11-04-2004, 11:51 PM
Space Harrier
Sega 32X

When I bought this box, I naturally assumed that a
32X version of Space Harrier would be inside. I was right!

Back in the day when Space Harrier arrived for the Sega 32X at my local WaldenSoftware store, I was MAJORLY excited. Never before had I played a version that was so close to the arcade. I didn't care what the game cost, I handed over a large sum of cash, accepted the change and headed for home. I still don't remember what the total was. Oh well. I played the game and was in gaming heaven. This made the purchase of the 32X completely worthwhile for me... until the Saturn Sega Ages version came out anyway.

Story: 3/10
The story is about a dude who flies through the air to save the land of dragons. There has never been a better story written in the history of all mankind. OK yes, it is lame. But who cares?

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are very colorful, exactly like the arcade except for a very slight loss of resolution due to the mandatory use of the composite video cable. I know of no one who plays their 32X in RGB or S-Video. The screen area is also slightly smaller than the arcade and Saturn versions and is letterboxed, but this does not detract from gameplay. The scaling is all there and I have not seen much, if any flicker. Lots of stuff on the screen and the inhabitants of this world are very well drawn. The Genesis is responsible for ONLY the backgrounds (multiple scrolling layers of mountains, etc. but NOT the smooth colors behind these layers), the ranking score text, the start/option text, and the option screen text. The 32X itself handles the rest of the graphics. This can be proved by wiring the Genesis directly to the TV via the composite cable instead of routing the video through the 32X first. Usually the 32X is barely used at all in most games.

Yes, the game is letterboxed. It helps the 32X
run the game a bit smoother, but still not 100% perfect.

Sound: 10/10
100% exactly like the arcade. All of the voices from the arcade are here. Normally people like to pick on the sound capabilities of the Genesis, but with the right amount of memory it can sound very good. All of the voices sound real, not like scratchy digitizations the Genesis is known for. I don't know if the 32X had a part in this or if it is the Genesis doing all of the work, but it sounds great! Of course, the voice used in Space Harrier II sounded completely real as well, and that was only a 4 Meg Genesis cart (this version is 24 Megs). The music is some of my favorite ever used in a game, but that's because it was some of the first videogame music I was ever exposed to. It basically has one long track with various sections. As the stages advance, the track begins from a different segment. There are a few different boss tunes as well as a bonus stage tune that is catchy.

Gameplay: 8/10
Fly around and shoot stuff! There is very little strategy required... all arcade skill! Not everything can be destroyed, however. And some things can only be injured when they open up or are in a certain position. When fighting the bosses, some of them will fly away if you don't beat them fast enough. But most of the bosses are especially designed for each stage, and they will stick around until you beat them. Unfortunately there is some slowdown that occurs quite often when the screen fills up. I had to deduct some points for this. The Saturn version eliminated this slowdown. Overall it is a fun game and I play it again and again, and I'm sure I will for years to come.

Wrap up:
Space Harrier for the 32X is a hit! If you have a 32X I highly recommend it. The Saturn version is slightly better, but you can't go wrong here. You don't get to play as a spaceship like in the Master System version, nor is there a final boss and extra music like the Master System version, but it still is a great arcade game!

Joe Redifer
11-04-2004, 11:52 PM
Out Run 2

When I learned that Out Run 2 was a new game in the arcade, my first thought was "What the hellz? Arcades still exist? NO WAY!" Then I learned that Sega had built the game on Xbox technology, their Chichiro board (or something just as stupidly named) which is basically an Xbox with twice as much RAM and no DVD Drive. Then I saw the game screens. My thought after all of this was "Oh man dat's mad tight yo! I can'tz wait for da perfect Xbox version!" But there was no word from Sega on a home port of the game. Then it was announced that Out Run 2 would be ported exclusively to the PS2. That whole week I was on the toilet with constant explosive diarrhea. Sega finally came around and said "Hey man we were just f*ckin' with ya. Out Run 2 would look like ass on the PS2. It's coming to the Xbox fully intact, we've got our best sumo's on the project!". My diarrhea suddenly went away and I was all better. Fortunately the game arrived on the Xbox pixel perfect. Mostly.

Story: 37/10
The story in Out Run 2 is beyond belief. It makes crappy games like Final Fantasy 7 and Chrono Trigger pale by comparison. Those two games were written by Japanese nerds fresh out of high school. But the story of Out Run 2 was collaborated upon by the likes of Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Tom Clancy, Mark Twain, Charlie Kaufman, Yu Suzuki, and Agatha Christie. It simply does not get better than this. You will be immensed at every moment by the drama, suspense, thrills, and romance. The interpersonal lives of the game characters is an amazing tale to behold indeed.

Graphics: 9/10
If you are a graphics whore, and don't even try to tell me that you are not, then you will be very pleased with Out Run 2. The draw distance is amazing. It doesn't look real but it looks awesome. It's like a great painting that runs at 60fps most of the time. There are a couple of spots where the framerate drops briefly, but it's not too bad. The game isn't quite pixel-perfect to the arcade. "OMG! What are the differences?" you ask. I guess I'll answer that since you asked somewhat nicely. Keep that in mind the next time you ask me a question as well. Well the home game is capable of running in 16:9 widescreen, which lets you see more of the race area. The arcade does not run in this mode. So in effect, the home version's graphics are better if you have a 16:9 TV. This game also supports 480p. The slowdown I talked about earlier may be the result of running in widescreen, as I have noticed that games like Ninja Gaiden don't update the screen as smoothly when in widescreen mode, being that it has more to process. But I am too lazy to play Out Run 2 in 4:3 mode just to find out. Bottom line: graphics are very, very good. Much better than those of Burnout 3.

Out Run 2 has awesome graphics.
Check out the awesome drawing distances.

Sound: 7/10
This game has some really good music, and that can't be denied. But it also has some really BAD music. Tunes from the original Out Run were arranged years and years ago and were released on a CD. Sega has taken these exact tunes, changed them a wee bit (but not much) and included them in Out Run 2. There are also 2 new instrumental guitar-themed tunes that are pretty good as well. Then there are the 2 "songs". Listening to these will make you shoot yourself, rise from the grave and shoot yourself again just to be sure. They're that bad. Instrumental versions of these 2 "songs" can be unlocked in the Mission Mode. You can also unlock versions of the original tunes redone by Sega Europe musician Richard Jacques (no relation to Jacque Cousteau). Richy was responsible for the music in Sonic R, Sonic 3D Blast, Jet Set Radio (Present and Future) among others. But these "Euro Remixes" don't amount to too much in the way of new and different, but they are a nice change of pace. You can also unlock the original 1986 arcade chiptunes.

Musician Richard Jacques says "I once shared
an e-mail with Joe Redifer long ago". Yes, it's true.
You can believe him.

Gameplay: 8/10
I hate rating gameplay because it's the part of the game that nobody cares about. Oh well, I guess I should do it. The game is great fun, and most of the time you are racing aganst the clock. You don't drive around in circles forever (eg: lap races), but instead you need to make it to the checkpoint before your time runs out. That kicks ass. Most people downplay Out Run 2 because you can't tweak the differentials, shocks, or whatnot. Also you don't drive around in circles or do "takedowns". Out Run 2 has no desire to be Gran Turdismo or Burnout. It is a pure arcade racer. And that's why it shines. I am sick of games that take themselves so damn seriously. Out Run 2 also has an insane Mission Mode where you can unlock stuff like cards. Everyone love cards. It's usually either exceedingly easy or frustratingly hard. The Maximum Speed contests are the missions that hate me and my life the most. This is way tougher than anything in Burnout 3.

Included in Out Run 2 are a few tracks from 2 Sega arcade games that nobody knows about, Daytona 2 and Super GT (aka SCUD the Disposable Assassin). The tracks must be unlocked in the Mission Mode or via a password. It is definitely cool that these tracks are in the game, but they are certainly not meant to exist in Out Run 2's world. Since Out Run 2 controls like Sega Rally, which controls differently than Daytona or that other game, these end up not being very good tracks to race on. The graphics of the bonus tracks are about 59% of the quality of the regular Out Run 2 tracks. They almost look cartoonish and lack much detail. Unfortunately they did not include the music from the original game's tracks. Racing these tracks it's easy to see why Daytona 2 and that other game (whatever it's called) barely even made arcade appearances (I think only like 10 arcades in all the world got both games... combined) and also easy to see why they never showed up on a home console. Here's a hint: the tracks are rather... well... mundane. Neat to see additional tracks in the game though.

You can unlock the arcade version of the original Out Run
by beating all 5 tracks in the Arcade Mode. Controlling this game with the
Xbox controller really sucks big time. Stick with the Saturn version.

Yes, this game is Live compatible, if anyone cares (I really don't). Up to 8 racers can race each other, and the rooms have been full each time I've tried. It works pretty well, but the framerate takes a hit quite often (and quite noticably) in the online mode.

Wrap Up:
Out Run 2 for your Xbox is a must have, especially at 40 bucks. I would have liked to see an arranged version of the musical track that was exclusive to the Genesis version included, but no such luck. Regardless, it is a phenomenal game. I hope that the 15 new tracks of the Out Run SP arcade game is offered as a download. This game does support downloadable content, so I am getting my hopes up!

11-05-2004, 02:48 AM
Of course Space Harrier deserves a high rating; that goes without saying. You said that there are some rules to your thread, and then posted #s 1, 2 and 4. What's rule #3?

P.S. Your writing skills strike me as being sort of like Maddox's. Though his style is pretty easy to mimic, are you intentionally trying to sound that way? It's hard to argue otherwise with quotes such as this ~ "All reviews are final. If you don't like them, I recommend suicide (for you, not me)."

P.P.S. About freakin' time Joe! (These reviews sound a helluva lot different than your Annette Again review.)

Joe Redifer
11-05-2004, 03:26 AM
There has been more than one person who thought I was actually Maddox. I have had a similar sense of humor since high school (before Maddox was even accidentally conceived) and have written/talked that way since. But he gets all of the credit. Someday the world will be mine. If not, I'd settle for a piece of pie.

Rule #3 is not for public viewing.

11-05-2004, 03:44 AM
Even more reviews from different people, keep up the good work Joe. As for the Chihiro arcade system:

System : X-Box based configuration.
CPU : Intel Pentium III 733MHz (133MHz FSB)
Graphics : nVidia XChip 200MHz (based on the nVidia GeForce 3)
Sound Hardware :
1. Cirrus Logic CS4630 Stream Processor (20-bit DAC, programmable to handle 3D sound streams, 2D sound (including DLS-compatible MIDI), MP3 acceleration, Sensaura environmental effects, and other functions)
2. Other sounds may be generated by the CPU via software engines.
3. nVidia nForce (Real time Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding)
RAM : Upgradable Module, from 64MB upwards (Outrun 2 has 512MB)
Media : Sega GD-Rom
Polygons : 125M Polys/sec (Theoretical Maximum)
Rendering Speed : 4.0 G pixel/sec
Features : Programmable vertex and pixel shading, hardware Transform & Lighting engine, Quincunx FSAA, Anisotropic filtering, bump mapping, hardware lighting, particle effects, other standard 3D features).

Source: www.System16.com

11-06-2004, 12:36 AM
Oh no!

Hey how bout some fighting game reviews?! ;)

Joe Redifer
11-06-2004, 05:22 AM
Much obliged.

The King of Fighters Evolution
Sega Dreamcast

The packaging isn't too shabby. The manual is even in color.
That guy wants your body. Bad.

This was a discount title released for the Sega Dreamcast here in the US. It was priced at $20 brand new right when it came out, so I figured I couldn't do too wrong, since I at least marginally enjoyed past King of Fighters games on the Sega Saturn.

You can select the order of your characters before each match.
That's about as much depth as this game offers.

Story: 1/10
Once again invitations have been delivered to the fighters throughout the world. But this time, something seems a bit peculiar... blah blah blah... who cares?

This game has a feature called "Graphics" which enables you
to see what you are doing when playing the game.
A television is required to utilize this feature.

Graphics: 3/10
The graphics in the King of Fighters series of games have never been thought of as "great" or "cutting edge", even back when they were brand new on the Neo Geo. The graphics here are all Neo Geo quality with the exception of 3D backgrounds which were added for the Dreamcast. It seems that SNK/Agetec went out of their way to turn OFF the anti-aliasing feature built into the Dreamcast, because the jaggies are here big time. But the low resulution doesn't help, either. That's right, this game runs in 240p on your NTSC or PAL TV. If you play it on an HDTV, it converts the 240p to 480i, which makes the game look even WORSE (re: blocky)! The game does not support the VGA box (no 240p games do). So playing the game on a regular TV will give you the best results, and it does utilize progressive scan on any TV (except HDTVs). The 3D backgrounds are somewhat interesting and do add a little flavor. The sprites look the same as they do in almost every other King of Fighters game. Mai "bounces", but it is a bit unrealistic. She is still hot for a video game sprite, though. But overall the graphics are pretty ugly. But it's KoF, what did you expect? The display can be moved around in the option screen, and you can position the score and the striker bar as far up or down on the screen as you like. A nice feature indeed.

You can call in your striker to help out in an obvious
attempt to rip off some of the VS Capcom fighters.

Sound: 7/10
Typical arranged "CD-quality" King of Fighters fare here. Some of the music is really good. Some of it is pretty bad. But mostly it is "just there", so to speak. The voices are all present and sound fairly clear, as do the hits and special movies, etc. The game is featured in stereo. There's not too much else to be said about the sound or the music.

The screen can get crowded when both characters have their strikers on the screen.
This is the most exciting moment that has ever happened to me in this game.

Gameplay: 6/10
I've always preferred the Capcom series of fighters over any of the SNK fighters. King of Fighters has fewer attack buttons, stiffer control, and less-than-exciting gameplay. This game brings all that with it. But this game lets you select up to 4 chaaracters, each fighting one round (or more if they win). The fourth character is used as the "Striker", the person who comes in when you call them and sometimes they will help fight for a brief amount of time. Kind of neat, I suppose. Plugging in a Sega Saturn controller makes the gameplay so much better. Buttons X, Y, A, & B are used for punches and kicks. Button C is used to taunt (why? this is a stupid feature in almost all fighting games) and Z is used to call in your striker to help you. There are a few different gameplay modes, but there really isn't a whole heck of a lot of variety here. Oh well. I am getting bored writing about this game now so I will try to stop.

The winning character comes on after each match and says something nonsensical.
It's almost as if the developers of the game actually believed that gamers would care.

If you record the game onto a videotape and play it back,
you can fast forward through the boring parts like shown here.
It helps when you are trying to do screen captures for a review.

Wrap up:
Not too bad for a $20 game back in the day. But still, don't get your hopes too high, as this game will spend most of it's time sitting on the shelf rather than being played.

11-06-2004, 05:24 AM
I should buy a GB Player and play my KOF 95 on it with the Hori pad...

review Contra:Hard Corps :cool guy:

11-06-2004, 05:57 AM
I should buy a GB Player and play my KOF 95 on it with the Hori pad...

review Contra:Hard Corps :cool guy:
KoF 95's comin out on the PS2 next year, Jap sadly.

5/10? Well, if that's what you think of it its' fine by me :).
OK, so some of the victory quotes suck, I agree with that! Really SNK should get someone with good english (not japanese) to do their dialouge!

Nice, keep up the good work.
Hey can you review SvC Chaos?

Joe Redifer
11-06-2004, 07:53 AM
I can review Contra Hard Corpse, but it'll be awhile as I'll need to borrow it from Vic Viper, and he has it stored away since he is currently buying a new house. I can't review SvC Chaos because I don't have it, but come January I might rent it and review it.

I also want to review some lesser known titles that people overlook, like Granada and Thunder Force II for the Genesis. I also want to do imports, like King of Fighters '96 for the Sega Saturn and the like.

11-06-2004, 08:01 AM
KoF '96 was good but I kinda liked '95 better. Anyway, pretty cool review. Now MagicBox has review power x2! EGM who? IGN WHO???

11-06-2004, 02:36 PM
Those are great reviews Joe..... Viewtiful Joe!? :)

11-06-2004, 07:20 PM
hehehehe, very good joe. i think you should shamelessly premote your self some more.

anyways, you should do a review of some really bad NES game just for kicks.

Joe Redifer
11-06-2004, 07:27 PM
i think you should shamelessly premote your self some more.
OK I will try, but Sega gets priority for the shameless promotion, though.

Joe Redifer
11-07-2004, 12:07 AM
Katamari Damacy
Playstation 2


Oh. My. God. Leave your heterosexuality at the door, as it won't be needed here. This game is enough to turn any straight man gay. Besides that, it is a very interesting and fun off-the-wall (to say the least) game with simple controls, no combos or anything stupid like that, and lots and lots of pure wackiness. The world needs more games like this. But perhaps just a little less gay would suffice. But it does add to the humor.

The cows flee as The King of all Gayness attacks!

You play as the Prince of all Gayness.

Story: 8/10
The story basically revolves around how the King of all Cosmos accidentally destroyed all of the stars. And he is so lazy that he makes you fix it all. You roll crap up and the crap becomes stars. Who could want a better premise than that? Not me. But there is an ongoing story within the game about a family who is going on a trip to meet their dad or some such nonsense. The little girl "feels the cosmos" and freaks out whenever you create a constellation. The little boy is very observant and pays attention to the super detailed reports on the news about the missing stars. The mom is an obnoxious bitch who doesn't believe a single word coming out of the kids' mouths. She is the type of person who would probably be hit by a bus for neglecting to look both ways before attempting to cross a street. The story is told in cutscenes that last anywhere from 10 seconds to about 45 seconds or so. They always end with a cliffhanger and are "to be continued...." which makes you want to complete the next stage even more so you can find out "what happens next"! What does this have to do with the game itself? Absolutely nothing at all!

Even the Queen is not actually a "she". That's right!
Notice the giant white erection "she" has as "she" stares
at the King from behind.

This crazy panda admires his own ejaculation puddle
as a GIANT MARIJUANA LEAF hovers above him!

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics really suck, but that's what makes them so great! Very simple polygons are used. Much detail went in to making sure that lots of gayness shines through. There are a ton of cool objects to roll over and collect. I think the pictures here in this review speak for themselves. Unfortunately this game does not support either 16:9 widescreen nor 480p (progressive scan). It's the PS2, so I guess I should expect it not to support cool things that that very often.

The game includes a trip to Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.

The King gives off instructions as
his son stares at his giant bulge.

The sounds are cool with people screaming as you collect them and the like. But what really shines in this game is the music, which is off-the-wall crazy goodness! Some of the songs are in pure Japanese, but you won't care. But usually the tunes are unusually catchy. Your friends would point and laugh at you if they caught you listening to the soundtrack. No problem, just let them play this game. The game will help them accept and embrace homosexuality just like it did with you, and now you'll be able to have "fun" with your friends in ways you never thought possible! Plus they'll all like the music as well.

You get to roll up tons of stuff including videogame systems
like the one straight ahead. It is a combination of an 8-bit
Famicom, a Sega SG-1000 system, and a Playstation 2.

You can eventually collect things like cats, cows, homes, and even tall buildings!

Gameplay: 8/10
All you really have to worry about here is rolling your ball around and trying to make it bigger by rolling over stuff and adding it to your collection. There are other things like presents you can find, but who cares? Not me, and neither do you. The first 6 stages plus most of the constellations are pretty easy. But by the 7th star, it gets pretty damn hard. They give you a short amount of time to grow your ball all the way to 6 meters from about 50 centimeters at the start. Damn hard! There are only 9 stars to make, plus the moon and some constellations and the like. Once you complete a stage, the King is displeased because he always wants things BIGGER than they are. Always always always. Hmmmm... Anyway, the controls are intuitive, but still not all that great. It's hard to control your ball in a precise manner since you must use both analog sticks at the same time, like in Super Monkeyball (a game whose controls absolutely DESTROY the controls in this game). So the controls can be a bit frustrating at times. There are a few moves like dashing and jumping that you'll have to use here and there, but mostly you'll probably forget that you even have these abilities. This is an extremely fun game to play, and can be quite addictive. It can also cause motion sickness if you play for too long. It's only $20, so that makes it a must buy!

After you complete a level, the King attacks you with a giant rainbow
that he shoots from his mouth. Gee I wonder what that means.

This game is FABULOUS!!!!

Wrap up:
If you can get past all of the gay innuendo (right-wing conservatives need not apply), then this is a really great game. The quirky fun will have to laughing the whole way through. Buy it. Now. And hope for more quirky and ingenious titles to come to the US.

11-07-2004, 04:13 AM
Wow, I never would've imagined how ?ber-gay Katamari is by those other reviews out there. I know how much you love your Super Monkey Ball Joe, so when are you gonna review it?

Joe Redifer
11-07-2004, 06:18 AM

Super Monkeyball
Gamecube Nintendo

Hell yeah! The best Gamecube game ever!

When my friend Dave (fellow forum member Vicviper) first got his Gamecube Nintendo, I stood with him in line outside of EB before it opened. There were about a dozen other people there I believe. This was back when everyone just called it the "Gamecube" and not "Gamecube Nintendo" (those were the days). But since people refer to it as "GCN" I MUST refer to it as "Gamecube Nintendo" since that's exactly what GCN stands for. I can be a total retard just like people who say "GCN" instead of "GC" (including Nintendo). Just please don't ask how Nintendo refers to the GameBoy Advance or else we'll all go to hell. Anyway, when Dave finally got to the register to pick up his purple Gamecube Nintendo (the only color available much to his dismay), he also bought three games that were, coincidentally, compatible with his brand new system. Imagine that! He bought Luigi's Mansion, Waverace 64, and of course Super Monkeyball. We drove all the way back to his house and powered up Luigi's Mansion. We turned it off before the Gamecube Nintendo logo even finished drawing itself on the boot sequence since the game was so boring. Either that or the game was just really, really short. Then we plugged in Waverace 64. It was an awesome update of ummm, Waverace 64. Waitaminute... Waverace: Blue Storm is the Gamecube Nintendo version! Yeah, that's right. Anyway after that we powered up Super Monkeyball, and that's when other friends of ours started coming over (they could smell the fun from their homes and naturally gravitated to where this game was being played). What a great, great day indeed. I was totally impressed with the new Gamecube Nintendo due to this new game. And what a great game it was/is. The memories of that day still linger in my head every time I play this game. Fond memories kick ass. I knew right then that this would be the best Gamecube Nintendo game ever made, barring the possibility of a superior sequel.

Story: 5/10
You are trapped in a ball. You must get to the goal. If you get through all of the goals, you are rewarded with tons of bananas. What more could a monkey want? This story simply kicks ass. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings suck compared to the Super Monkeyball story. We'd have to wait until Super Monkeyball 2 to get a better story.

Try not to fall off the edges or hit a bumper!
This game truly kicks an amazing amount of ass!

Graphics: 8/10
Very sharp graphics and a constant 60 fields per second make for a very nice looking game indeed. Lots of color and well used reflections iron things out. Sega really seems to like the "checkerboard" style of grid, as it was taken straight from Space Harrier. I certainly don't mind that. This game has lots of visual style in the main game and all of its minigames as well. The backgrounds look nice and are well designed, and the DOLE logo is represented in it's true form. Everyone loves Dole. We learned about Dole in high school from our ultra-radical/conservative religion teacher, who was trying to teach us that Dole was evil just because they steal land from poor farmers in foreign lands. Who cares? Everyone does that! Dole is cool and poor foreign farmers are not. Would you rather see a Dole logo plastered all over Super Monkeyball, or the face of a poor foreign farmer? Dole wins! Hooray Dole! Boo Ms. Gacnik, our radical religion teacher! Boy was she ugly. She even had kids, if you can believe that. Her husband must have been blind or she took a trip to the sperm doner clinic or something. But at least the graphics in Super Monkeyball make up for her extreme ugliness! Unfortunately the game does not support either 480p or widescreen. Hopefully the Xbox version will remedy that.

One of the easy stages in the game.
All of the stages are ridiculously fun!

Sound: 8/10
The music in this game is great. Very catchy and appropriate. Of course you expect the music to be great since it was made by none other than T's Music of Japan. T's music also provided the fantastic music for Lords of Thunder for the TurboDuo. And of course let's not forget the great music of Dungeon Explorer 1 and 2, for the TurboGrafx-16 and CD, respectively. You also get to hear the monkeys make tons of noise as they roll around in their little prisons. They scream as they roll really fast or wobble on an edge. Great stuff! The baby's whining can get a bit annoying at times, but it is never as grating as that horrible sound in that Yoshi's Island game or whatever it was called for the SNES with the insipid little baby Mario. That game was audio torture! This game most certainly is not.

Gameplay: 10/10
The gameplay is where this game truly shines. The single player main game is simply awesome. You roll around trying to get from start to finish. That's it. But getting to the goal is not always easy... well it is for me but not for most players. Each of the skill levels has unique stages of their own. It's best to start out on easy and work your way up to the hardest. I can beat any of them any time now, and I still love going through the main game. Occasionally there are bonus rounds where you must collect all of the bananas before the time runs out. Every 100 bananas you collect gets you an extra monkey, but other than that, the bananas are completely meaningless. Still though it's fun to try and grab them. There are no buttons to worry about pressing during the game, just the single analog stick is all you need, and control is more than superb, it is downright perfection! Pressing the giant red button on the Gamecube Nintendo controller will zoom in your map or zoom it out, but it does not affect gameplay. Sega has made a game of everything, even inputting your name when you get a high score. I love that! When you beat the game, you try to collect as many bananas as possible as you avoid the falling letters from the name of the people who made the game. Yes, you even play during the credits! Classic stuff. Then there are the really cool minigames like Monkey Race, Monkey Golf, Monkey Bowling, Monkey Fight, Monkey Target, etc etc. All of these games are fun, some more than others, and all are multiplayer. Monkey Fight is a 4-player beat 'em up that is just random chaos, but fun chaos. Monkey Target is one of my favorite minigames as it adds strategy and requires super-precise control (plus has great music). It's always a battle for the highest score, and some amazing things can be done to get it. This game has TONS of replayability value and it's one of the most fun games I have ever played in my life. I purchased a Gamecube Nintendo solely for this game and I do not regret it even one iota. No other game this generation can compare. Yes, it's better than Halo, better than Metroid Prime, better than Grand Theft Auto Vice City. This game has way more polish and is way more fun and replayable than ANY game released this generation. Period. Remember, my reviews are fact, not opinion.

Monkey Target is one of the best minigames in the game.
You fly around and try to land on the spot that gives you
the most points. You can marathon with this game.

Wrap up:
This is the best game that has been released in a good 5 years or so and remains uncontested in that position. Leave it to Sega. Super Monkeyball is right at home on the Gamecube. Unfortunately with the game coming out on the other 2 systems, it takes some of the exclusivity away from Nintendo as well as some of the appeal of the system itself. If you don't have a Gamecube Nintendo, be sure to pick up Super Monkeyball when it comes out for your system! I'll be back really, really soon with a Super Monkeyball 2 review, and I'll compare the games in depth... or at least as deep as I want to go.

11-07-2004, 12:22 PM
I remember that day also..............the day when I picked up my purple GC! I cried purple tears because it was so ugly yet it was so beautiful all at the same time.

Anyways, for me Monkey Target was where I spent most of my time with this game. I garnered such a high score as not to be beaten by anybody ever!
Joe you should try the GBA version of Monkey Ball! I played it and the port is actually really well done and quite playable.

11-07-2004, 03:35 PM
KoF 95's comin out on the PS2 next year, Jap sadly.

5/10? Well, if that's what you think of it its' fine by me :).
OK, so some of the victory quotes suck, I agree with that! Really SNK should get someone with good english (not japanese) to do their dialouge!

Nice, keep up the good work.
Hey can you review SvC Chaos?

No but I will

Joe thinks he knows so much about graphics but he's just full of hot air

Joe Redifer
11-07-2004, 07:54 PM
I know more about graphics than you do.

Vic, glad to hear you played the GBA version. I was wondering about that since I'd have to use the digital control. If you say it is pretty good then I will have to say it is pretty good! And since I can do GBA screen caps, I should review it as well! But first I must find a store that still sells it.

11-07-2004, 08:03 PM
I know more about graphics than you do.

Vic, glad to hear you played the GBA version. I was wondering about that since I'd have to use the digital control. If you say it is pretty good then I will have to say it is pretty good! And since I can do GBA screen caps, I should review it as well! But first I must find a store that still sells it.

No you don't you don't even know how to do Manual Anti Alasing on any console

Joe Redifer
11-07-2004, 08:10 PM
LOLOLOLOLOL x 1000! I've done manual anti-aliasing on the Amiga, and it would be the same method on any console. Unless you have personally programmed graphics for any of the consoles, you should not speak. Any posts by you on this subject (in this thread at least) will be ignored by me.

11-07-2004, 08:44 PM
LOLOLOLOLOL x 1000! I've done manual anti-aliasing on the Amiga, and it would be the same method on any console. Unless you have personally programmed graphics for any of the consoles, you should not speak. Any posts by you on this subject (in this thread at least) will be ignored by me.

Because you know I'm right

11-07-2004, 08:50 PM
Redifer, I just bought Monkey Ball jr at Target. They have them for $14.99
Mind you the control isn't AS good as GC but it's still very controllable. More like Marble madness now.

Joe Redifer
11-07-2004, 11:59 PM
Now is a great time for:

Super Monkeyball 2
Gamecube Nintendo

If you see this box at a game store,
BUY IT IMMEDIATELY! Do not question the price
or anything else. You will not regret it.

Story: 3/10
This version actually has a story mode, unlike the original Super Monkeyball. This time Doctor "Bad-Boon" (yeah, awesome ain't it?) is trying to take over the world, and OBVIOUSLY only you monkeys can stop him. He leaves diabolical traps (the game stages) for you that you must get through to stop him. There is even voice acting in "chimp language". It's pretty bad. And pretty tough. You can unlock a lot of cinemas and the like by playing through story mode.

The great graphics return and are even better this time around.
Switches are one of the new concepts that have been added to the game.

Graphics: 10/10
The graphics here are a step above the original Super Monkeyball. There is more detail in everything you see, from the playing field itself to the lively backgrounds. Tons of color will greet your eyeballs. This game also gets it right by offering 480p and 16:9 widescreen. Super Monkeyball is one of the few games in existence to get 16:9 done right. None of the menus are stretched or anything like that. Truly a great experience! Everything animates at 60 frames per second (as opposed to fields per second like the first game which did not offer 480p) and there is never a moment of dropped frames or slowdown. A great looking game with excellent visual design.

Check out the difference between the normal (4:3) mode on the top,
and the wide (16:9) mode on the bottom. Thank you Sega for including this!

Sound: 8/10
Right at first you may think that the original game had better music. You'd be right in a sense... the original game throws good music at you right away. So does Super Monkeyball 2, just not quite as good right away. But some of the upper stages have outstanding music that fully fits the game and is very enjoyable to listen to. And yes, once again T's Music is responsible for the tunes. The sounds are pretty much the same as the previous game, with the monkey voices as you progress and the like, but the voices in the story mode are pretty annoying and make you ashamed to listen to them. The disc curiously labels the game as supporting Dolby Digital 5.1, but the Gamecube is incapable of that, so I must assume that's a misprint until a special digital audio cable is released and I am proven otherwise. Overall I'd say it's a pretty good sound package, though!

Gameplay: 9/10
Gameplay remains remarkably similar to the first game in most respects, and in that area it most definitely exceeds. To add some strategy the designers added warp gates and switches. The warp gates will (obviously) warp you to another area in the stage. The switches can do anything from speeding up the motion of a stage, slowing it down, or even pausing it. Messing with the warp gates and switches is fun, but it's not as fun as pure unadulterated Monkeyball-ness, so I had to subtract a point because of that. There are tons upon tons of stages in the story and challenge modes (same concept as the main game in Super Monkeyball 1), but now there are twice as many minigames! You have Monkey Shot which is a rail shooter and you must shoot down various objects that threaten the universe. Old favorites like Monkey Race and Monkey Target return with all new stages. Monkey Target is a bit different than the first outing, and the strategy takes a different approach as well. Still Monkey Target remains my favorite minigame and is tons of fun to play. Once again Sega has polished everything, but entering your name is nowhere near as cool as it was in the first game, and the game you play as the credits roll is about 1/5th as fun as the original game. Oh well, it's still beats sitting there watching the credits and doing nothing. The control remains perfect for the main game and awesome for the minigames. Anyway as you can probably tell, this game is incredible!

The new version of Super Monkey Target
has a mode where you can use 5 monkeys at once.
You can also play as a single monkey like in
the original game, and that method is more fun.

Download a Quicktime video!
To see how much fun this game is, download the Quicktime video (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/SuperMonkeyball2.mov) and check it out. Don't be fooled, it is not as easy as I make it look, but it is every bit as fun. The video is 4.3 MB and only 34 seconds long. I apologize for the large size, but being that everything moves so quickly in this game, it is difficult to get good compression. Quicktime 6 is REQUIRED.

Wrap up:
Though not *quite* as good as the first game, this game should still absolutely be purchased several times by every individual on the planet at full price. What a great concept this game and the original are! More Sega, MORE!!!!

11-08-2004, 12:02 AM
Have you unlocked the hidden stages of awesomeness for beating expert in SMB2 without continuing?

I had such awesome replays that I deleted in that game due to memory card 59(well I saved a couple). :crying: I like the second more than the first.

Joe Redifer
11-08-2004, 12:04 AM
Yes I have unlocked everything!

11-08-2004, 12:08 AM

Anyhow how the hell do you balance on the those incredibly small walkways(or shall I say the smallest) in that one circle stage in the first monkey ball that gives you more points the smaller the walkway you go on(you know what I'm talking about)? I'd sure like to see you record it because I honestly don't think it's possible(without breaking all your GC controllers from frustration).

Joe Redifer
11-08-2004, 12:39 AM
The best I can do is the 0.2 track. I can only get about 1/4 of the way around on the 0.1 track.

11-08-2004, 01:53 AM
Hey review a Crash B. game!

Joe Redifer
11-08-2004, 01:56 AM
Good God! OK I will try.... ug.

Joe Redifer
11-08-2004, 05:47 AM
Crash Bandicoot

Look at the expression on this little wretch's face. He looks
like he's extremely constipated and someone is paying him to smile.
Or maybe both happy and angry at the same time, if that's possible.
If you see this box in your collection, burn it!

Story: 5/10
Why do I even review the story? Who cares? It only matters in games that have actual character development. This game has none. So in subsequent reviews, there will not be a "story" category unless the specific game calls for it. Suffice it to say, the story in Crash Bandicoot sucks just as much as the game itself! The character of Crash is simply a stupid concept. They were trying to capitalize on Sonic the Hedgehog so they gave Crash tons and tons of 'tude. All great videogame characters have 'tude, right? Not Mario. Crash looks awkward and unappealing as well. What a super-lame character. I can't believe he is still starring in (discount) games to this day! He keeps getting passed from developer to developer, so that should tell you how crappy this character is.

Graphics: 7/10
I'm being pretty generous with the graphics score here, but that's taking into account the time it was released and the system it was released on. When I first got the game, I thought it looked pretty good. Lots of colorful polygons (for the day) and they moved smoothly either back or forth. The graphics seemed better than they really were since there wasn't much in the way of actual 3D movement, and all of the power could be dedicated to what is actually being shown on the screen at the time. Like all Playstation 3D games, Crash is extremely grainy and dark. Sony must have had a mandate to all developers saying "Thou shalt use thy X-Treme grain filter on thy 3D games as well as make them dark, so that Joe Redifer may henceforth project vast sums of vomit any time he looks at one of our games". I can think of no other reason that PS1 games were so grainy. Saturn 3D games weren't grainy... they just looked bad in their own special way.

Ahhh, the map screen. This is where you
choose to take your horrible journey next.

Sound: 4/10
The music is far from decent. It's not horrible, it just barely exists. It kind of reminds me of the music from Kid Chameleon for the Sega Genesis in terms of both composition and sound quality, only not quite that good. Good music would have made this game much more enjoyable. The sounds are average fare. The only sound you will remember is the sound of smashing boxes, because that's all you do in the entire game!

Crash has tons of 'tude. Who can like a game character that
doesn't have 'tude? 'Tude rules. It is essential. Behind
Crash are boxes he can smash, and that is his sole reason
for existence. It sucks to be Crash, but it sucks
even more to be the player!

Gameplay: 2/10
Believe it or not, there is some actual gameplay in this game! Here's what you do: Move around, smash boxes, and get to the goal. THAT'S IT! That's all you do! Sometimes the developers with put a hole in the ground and you will have to (get this) jump over it! That most certainly adds to the gameplay. But the developers went all out on this game. Some levels have you in a typical side-scrolling environment, only with piss-poor dark polygons. Smash the boxes and get to the goal. WOW!!!! Playing this game is the equivalent to plucking all of the fibers out of your carpet one by one until you get 100%. Ug!

Run forward Crash, run! Jump if you need to! Go!
Personally, I'd rather have a rusty nail in my eyeball.

Wrap up:
What a horrible, horrible game! Sony should be ashamed.

11-08-2004, 09:47 AM
I love this game, in fact, this is the best Crash game ever, however I havent been able to play this game for the past 5 years, my little niece broke it. It still works but it eventually freezes, so it also doesn't work.

11-08-2004, 10:24 AM
I sort of disagree with your score on Crash Bandicoot, although it didn't offer anything original, but it is a solid platformer title on PSX, which it was lacking at the time being. It does have some interesting elements like in some stages Crash runs toward you, instead of the standard side scroller.

Joe Redifer
11-08-2004, 11:15 PM
Sega Arcade Gallery
GameBoy Advance

The game even comes in a box!!!

Ah yes, 4 Sega games all on one GBA cartridge. Actually according to Nintendo (and this is true) the GameBoy Advance is not to be known as the GBA. Instead, Nintendo calls it AGB. They call the GameBoy Advance SP the AGS. True true true. Yes, they only hire morons over at Nintendo, and if their IQ is above 65 they can't have the job. At least this explains the über-retarded "GCN" when referring to the Gamecube, eh? Anyway, with this cheap game you get After Burner, Out Run, Space Harrier and Super Hang-On all on one cartridge! They are all games designed by Yu Suzuki, except for the ones that aren't. Yu had nothing to do with Super Hang-On. He did, however, create the vastly inferior (and not quite super) "Hang-On". Let the games commence!

Holy Hell!
Not only does this cartridge have 4 Sega arcade games on it,
but there is a screen which actually lets you select whiich one
you want to play! This raises the score one whole point!

Out Run

Graphics: 6/10
You can't ask too much from the AGS, so the graphics aren't even half as good as the real arcade games, but they come close on the AGS's super low-resolution screen. Most of the games are chunky looking, with odd-sized sprites and some weird stuff going on. However all of the games run at a nice 60 frames per second, so the motion is (mostly) smooth.

Out Run:
Out Run probably has the best graphics of the quartet. Lots of stuff is missing from the arcade, but all of the motion is very smooth, colors are good and generally it looks just like the arcade. Good job!

After Burner:
After Burner is the weakest of the 4. The landscape is scarce, enemy missles are obstructed by your large plane, movement is awkward, and everything is just generally ass-tastic.

Space Harrier:
Space Harrier looks pretty good. Everything seems quite a bit smaller, though, and much blockier. The scaling is fairly smooth for the most part, but I just can't shake the feeling that I'm playing a "kids version" of the game.

Super Hang-On:
This game has both good and bad aspects of the graphics. The good is that this is the first home conversion of the game to actually use real scaling hardware. The bad news is that the scaling is a bit chunky, especially on the checkpoint gates. Also, there is a weird after-effect thing going on with some of the imagery on the side of the road (see the Super Hang-On picture towards the bottom of this review and notice the trees).

After Burner

Sound: 7/10
The sound and music is generally pretty good as a package. The main gameplay music generally sounds just like it did in the arcade. The incidental music (name screen, title screen, etc) usually sound a bit different and much wimpier. As with all games on the AGS, the sound quality is very hissy and scratchy. In Space Harrier, instead of saying "You're doin' great!" when you clear a stage, it just says "Great!". Apparently the AGS hardware cannot handle the phrase "You're doin'" without a meltdown. It is just asking too much of the system.

Space Harrier

Gameplay: 6/10
The gameplay remains pretty good for the mist part, but the AGS's digital controller doesn't exactly help things. Lots of the movements tend to be exaggerated, meaning that when you press left for example, you go too far to the left.

Out Run:
Plays well with pretty much the same difficulty as the real arcade game. Not too terribly much to complain about here.

After Burner:
Horrible. Very difficult to control, nearly impossible to do a full barrel roll, and just feels completely awkward. Also this is a port of After Burner, not After Burner II. After Burner II added bonus stages and other cool things. In this collection, this is definitely the worst of the bunch.

Space Harrier:
Not too bad. Being a huge Space Harrier fan myself, this version leaves quite a bit to be desired. For some reason a timer has been added to the game. I'm not sure what that's all about. The game is linear and it's not like you can't beat a stage "on time". Also, no matter how you have the controls set (either "A" or "B") when you press down, you go up, exactly the opposite of every other Space Harrier game ever made. It is quite hard because it is really easy to run into things.

Super Hang-On:
This one is really unbalanced. I was able to complete the 3 hardest courses with ease. But the easiest course is completely IMPOSSIBLE!!!! Ug! I am glad that there is finally another home conversion of this game, because it is often overlooked. What a great game with great music. Could have been better on the AGS though.

Super Hang-On

Wrap up:
Not a bad li'l package for a cheap price (about $15 or so). Don't expect arcade perfection, just "arcade similarness" if there is such a thing.

Drunken Savior
11-09-2004, 12:08 AM
I sort of disagree with your score on Crash Bandicoot, although it didn't offer anything original, but it is a solid platformer title on PSX, which it was lacking at the time being. It does have some interesting elements like in some stages Crash runs toward you, instead of the standard side scroller.

I liked hog riding... :sweat:

11-09-2004, 12:20 AM
Not to mention that Crash Bandicoot must be the HARDEST game to ever finish with ALL GEMS & BOTH KEYS!
I remeber reading something about this game that went like: "If you can collect everything, then you must be a god" or something like that. Seems they're right, we got to Cortex using a password!
BTW I have Crash Twinsanity, and the game's hilariously funny!

Paper exe
11-09-2004, 03:21 AM
Not to mention that Crash Bandicoot must be the HARDEST game to ever finish with ALL GEMS & BOTH KEYS!
I remeber reading something about this game that went like: "If you can collect everything, then you must be a god" or something like that. Seems they're right, we got to Cortex using a password!
BTW I have Crash Twinsanity, and the game's hilariously funny!
I finished Crash Bandicoot 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 %100 it is not that hard :annoyed:

11-09-2004, 05:18 AM
I finished Crash Bandicoot 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 %100 it is not that hard :annoyed:
Wow you're good bro!

11-09-2004, 06:15 AM
Crash Brandicoot is just a shallow platformer that offers nothing worth mentioning. The only reason it got super-high ratings was because of the graphics. Gameplay-wise, well, it just blows. Hard.

11-09-2004, 07:33 AM
Crash Brandicoot is just a shallow platformer that offers nothing worth mentioning. The only reason it got super-high ratings was because of the graphics. Gameplay-wise, well, it just blows. Hard.
So just because a game is hard it shouldn't get a high score?

11-10-2004, 06:55 AM
No, it has nothing at all to do with difficulty (and btw, I've played through far more difficult titles). It's just that running around spinning through boxes and running from boulders isn't my idea of a legendary platformer.

11-10-2004, 11:21 AM
No, it has nothing at all to do with difficulty (and btw, I've played through far more difficult titles). It's just that running around spinning through boxes and running from boulders isn't my idea of a legendary platformer.

No, but it is fun to some extent.

Joe Redifer
11-10-2004, 10:12 PM
Super Monkeyball Jr.
GameBoy Advance

Most people throw away their box for Nintendo games.
That's because boxes for Nintendo games suck ass.
This will finally change when the DS comes out.
Oh wait... the US Gamecube has nice boxes...

They've taken the mega-awesome Super Monkeyball from the Gamecube and put him on the AGS (Gameboy Advance SP, for those of you who are not cool enough to be "in-the-know" about how Nintendo refers to its systems. I will never refer to it as the "GBA" until people stop referring to the Gamecube as the "GCN"). You control a monkey who is in prison for being a serial killer. But it isn't a jail like you probably know it (being that's you've been to jail, you lawbreaker), but a monkey's prison is being trapped inside of a little ball forever and ever. One day the wardens were bored and decided that if you can make it through a whole bunch o' obstacles, you will be released and you'll be free to murder again! This game should appeal to all of the Gran Theft Turdismo Vice City enthusiasts out there for it's mega violent nature.

Grab the banana, little monkey.
Or Peter Gabriel will SHOCK YOU!

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics aren't amazing, but I've got to give it credit because it's pushing 3D polygons on the AGS! You couldn't do this on the SNES, not without the Super FX chip. The Sega Genesis SVC chip could probably run it a little faster though, so there! Anyway, the graphics are fairly decent when this is considered, and along with those polygons comes scaling sprites (something else the SNES could not do) as well as scaling backgrounds/"mode 7". There is even some transparency in certain spots of the game, like during the credits and also the Monkey Bowling mini-game. Not too bad considering the system it is running on.

If you're smart, you can figure out shortcuts.
If you're dumb, you'll just fall off and die.
That's what happened to me in this pic.

Sound: 7/10
Most of the sound is taken straight from the Gamecube version of the game, like many of the voices. Not all of the voices would fit on the cartridge, though. Some of the music was digitized from the GC version as well. Other music was just "redone" from the GC version using the AGS's built in synth. They sound OK. The worst part of the music is the name-entry screen, which is original music for this version provided by BITS or whoever actually programmed the game. God it is awful! But I score the sound high due to the faithfulness to the original game and copious amounts of voice.

The Master level in this game is impossible.
Due to the pop-up, you can't even see the rest of the stage.
And I have only 24 seconds to get to the goal! Yeah right.

Gameplay: 7/10
The game runs at about 2/3 the speed of the Gamecube version, but the clock runs at the same speed which can make things more difficult. And there is no analog control. You have your choice of one of 8 directions at any given time, instead of 360 like the GC version. But this version does try to compensate somewhat by letting you press the "B" button to tilt softer and the "A" button to tilt harder. This helps you be a little more precise in spots, but it isn't that intuitive. The main game consists of 65 stages across 4 classes of difficulty. It takes a bit to get used to the control, but once you do, you shouldn't have too much of a problem getting past most boards. If you can beat a difficulty level without using a continue, you get a few bonus levels which you can play. The game you play while the programming credits are shown is really fun, perhaps the most fun thing about the game. I'd love to see 40 stages just of boards like this. You can unlock minigames, extra continues, and an extra difficulty class (Master). The master difficulty only has 5 stages, but that's because it is impossible. They give you only 30 seconds to go across huge and complicated boards. GOOD LUCK! The minigames are pretty cool for the most part. You have Monkey Fight, which is almost exactly like the GC version. Then there is Monkey Bowling which is probably the best portable bowling game in existence! Finally there is Monkey Golf, which is just as bland as the GC version. You can unlock another 9 holes to have a total of 18 holes by playing the main game. I have unlocked everything there is to unlock in this game, of course. The game provides some good fun for the most part.

Monkey Bowling is the best minigame offered here.
It's better than real bowling, that's for sure.

Wrap up:
A good portable version of Super Monkeyball. Play this for awhile, and then go play the real thing on your Gamecube. WOW what a difference!

11-10-2004, 11:04 PM
Damn foo! You've only owned dat game for 24 hours or so and you've already beaten it?
You crazy! But I'm glad you like it and don't complain too much about the AGS version.

Joe Redifer
11-11-2004, 01:30 AM
Yeah well the game is pretty short because of the cartridge format. There are also multi-player modes that I didn't review that we'll have to try, but I did consider their existence in the final review score.

Joe Redifer
11-11-2004, 06:49 AM
Halo 2

I opted for the unlimited edition of Halo 2.
The Limited Edition costs $5 more.
Why would I want limitations?

Ahhh, the looooong awaited Halo 2. Halo 2 has been more anticipated, talked about and hyped than the second coming of Christ. With 3 years in the making, it should be absolute perfection in every single way possible. How is it really? Read on.

Story: 6/10
I lost interest in the first Halo before I completed it, so I never saw the ending. I guess this one continues from that. A normal looking alien gets punished right in the beginning. I guess everything that happened in Halo 1 was his fault. But the story itself isn't tremendously involving or anything. There are twists and turns just like you'd expect (thus negating any intended "twist" since it was expected). This time around, everyone speaks English, even the aliens. I can't recall, but I don't think the aliens spoke English in the first game. Regardless, most of their comments are just exhibition of 'tude, especially coming from the Marines. "You're even shorter than I am!". Nothing but elitism. Oh well. None of the characters are tremendously engaging.

The game offers a screen where you can spy on your
online friends and see exactly what they are doing at
any time. It will even tell you if they are fiddling
with a menu or some such thing! Kiss your privacy goodbye!

Graphics: 6/10
The graphics are only barely improved from Halo 1, which wasn't amazing in any fashion itself. The biggest improvement made over its predecessor is the inclusion of the much-appreciated 16:9 widescreen mode. 480p is also supported. However there are many graphical bugs in the game that bring it down significantly. The game does not run at a consistent frame rate, and frames really drop at times, especially in the cut-scenes. Also textures on objects are quite glitchy. As you approach certain objects that are in the distance, they will remap themselves with new textures as you get closer, and it is not done in a smooth fashion. There are lots of glitches in the cut-scenes as well, including the aforementioned frame drops and texture glitches. Sometimes characters will just pop in from nowhere after a scene change. The Xbox is rendering all of the cut-scenes itself. Then there is the 480p glitch. When the game is run in progressive scan mode, it moves all of the HUD objects to the very edge of the screen, and some TVs even clip off parts of the HUD. When the game is in interlaced mode on the same TV, the HUD is fine. Bungie messed up big time there. Maybe we should call them "Bungle" instead? It would be appropriate. Also, the HUD appears stretched in 16:9 widescreen mode. Other than that, the game looks pretty good and moves fairly well most of the time, but it in no way looks as nice as the "screenshots" that Bungie has been sending out over the last 3 years.

Here I blast forum member Gearhound as he drives
one of those things and tries to run over me. He missed.
And so did I.

Sound: 8/10
The game is presented in Dolby Digital, and the positioning of the sound make it easy to identify where an enemy is. If he is behind you, you will hear him from behind you, and you'll know to turn in his direction quickly. All the sounds are of high quality. Going out into space on the first level muffles the sound and it is a great effect (though I thought it was a glitch at first). Unfortunately there is no discrete subwoofer in this game, so it is only 5.0 and not true 5.1. I have heard of users reporting that they have had the sound cut out on them during the game, but I have not experienced that yet myself. I wouldn't be surprised being as how glitchy this game is. The music is fantastic for the most part, and really gets you into the game. Very thematic, well composed, and superbly performed. My favorite track is called "Heavy Price Paid" which is performed at the title screen 50% of the time. Unfortunately horrible bands like Breaking Benjamin, Incubus, and Hoobastank have "contributed" to the soundtrack. I have not run into their tracks in-game yet, but I'm sure they'll bring the quality of the game to it's knees. I have the Halo 2 soundtrack and the tracks provided by those bands are mediocre at best (the ones without lyrics) and horrible at average (the ones with singing). But for the meat of the soundtrack, Martin O'Donnell & Michael Salvatori did excellent work!

You can get in a lot of cool vehicles in the main and
multiplayer games. I don't know here Gearhound was trying
to go here, but he will go to the grave instead!

Gameplay: 8/10
Gameplay is remarkably similar to the first with a few additions and changes made. It is a wee bit faster and it plays kind of like they added a bit of "Unreal" to the game. The campaign mode is the heart of the game, and it's by far the best part in my opinion. The things you have to figure out and do can get pretty crazy, and it is damned fun. There is always a way to get past a certain spot, even if it doesn't seem like it. And because I don't want to include any spoilers, I won't talk about other aspects of the gameplay that come along in the game. But it's pretty cool. The enemies you fight against don't vary much. It'll seem like you're fighting against 2 different enemies for most of the game (short aliens with a high voice and tall aliens with a faux-deep voice), and even later on the new enemies look fairly similar to the ones you were fighting at the beginning. But in games like Medal of Honor, you only fight against one enemy: humans. So I guess I shouldn't complain too much, even though they all have the same voice. You can take the game multiplayer by going split screen, but everyone hates split screen and President Bush has signed a bill outlawing it, so we will not speak of it here. You can hook up to 16 (!) Xboxes together at a LAN party. That would be pretty sweet, especially if you knew everybody. Then there is Xbox Live. The way the online mode is setup in this game can be a bit quirky. When you create a party for your friends to join, there is no way for other people to randomly pop into your room, which sucks. And the optimatch mode is bizarre and full of menus, so I exited out of that quickly. But your typical game modes are here, and it can be fun for awhile. But when it comes right down to it, it's basically just like playing any other first person shooter online. You try to kill others, capture the flag, etc. Nothing groundbreaking here. I will admit that I suck ass online in FPS games. I don't know why, but people can always kill me in 5 shots or less, and it takes no less than 500 shots from me to kill other people. I can strafe them as they run along, and I can see that I am hitting them, but they turn around and kill me with one hit. As such, the online portion of the game is more frustrating than anything. It's not as fun as Out Run 2 online, and nowhere near as good as Crimson Skies online. The online option adds slightly to the overall package, though. If you can fill a room with lots of people that you personally know from someplace other than Xbox Live, then I imagine I wouldn't care if I only got 1 kill per session while others get 20. Oh well.

Here is what the HUD looks like in interlaced mode.
Note the position of the radar especially.

And this is what the game looks like in progressive
scan on the same exact TV! Notice that the radar is clipped
off of the screen, and other HUD items have been moved towards
the edges as well for no reason. One of the many bugs in this game.

Wrap up:
This game may have been an 8 if it weren't so riddled with bugs. I guess Bungle can't be bothered with inane things like beta-testing. I really have lost a lot of respect for them due to this, as they had tons of time to actually get things right. There is no excuse for their ineptitude. Perhaps now players will realize that Bungle is not God of all game developers. But regardless, this game is worth purchasing, but it's not worth waiting in a line of more than 3 people deep for.

11-11-2004, 11:58 PM
yeah you think with all the zillions of dollars Bungle(Bungie) made from the 1st Halo they would have been able to hire a beta testing staff, or maybe a bigger beta testing staff. But I guess Porches and huge houses are more important then quality work. I hope there plumbing sucks in their huge mansions so they know what it feels like to buy something you really want only to find out it isn't as expected.
On the other hand the game is fun as hell and as far as FPS go it's up there.

Joe, when I see you next we will have to try some of the multiplayer games in Monkey Ball jr.

11-12-2004, 12:51 AM
Yay, I just got it today (and have yet to play it). I hope I'm not in for a dull linear 20 hour ride full of repetitive killing because I loathe that sort of thing. By the way, that pic of you killing Gearhound had me shedding tears from the laughter! Good one!! :cool guy:

P.S. I'm really enjoying your reviews Joe. Great job.

Sinful Sam
11-12-2004, 01:53 AM
By the way, that pic of you killing Gearhound had me shedding tears from the laughter! Good one!! :cool guy:
Same here I found it hilarious. Nice review Joe.

11-12-2004, 03:04 AM
"I will admit that I suck ass online in FPS games. I don't know why, but people can always kill me in 5 shots or less, and it takes no less than 500 shots from me to kill other people. I can strafe them as they run along, and I can see that I am hitting them, but they turn around and kill me with one hit. As such, the online portion of the game is more frustrating than anything."

Funny as hell. :lol:

Good review.

Joe Redifer
11-12-2004, 05:32 AM
Tales of Symphonia
Gamecube Nintendo

This box holds 2 discs.
And lots of boredom.

Tales of Symphonia is one of like 3 maybe 4 RPGs on the Gamecube system. As such it is worshipped by Nintendo fanbois as being one of the best RPGs ever. This would be considered average at best on a system with an abundance of RPG's like the PS2. Well, the graphics would be considered damned good if they were intact on the PS2.

Story: 4/10
As with most RPG's, the story here is pretty lame and geared towards children and pre-pubescent teens. As always, the fate of the entire world(s) falls onto the shoulders of a group of whiny teens, just like in most other RPG's. The story is almost somewhat interesting at first, but it gets old and tiring fairly quick due mostly to the lack of decent writing or characters. Then it tries to throw twists at you with members of your party actually turning out to be evil and leaving you, but then joining you later in the game because they were only pretending to be evil, etc etc. The characters like to whine a lot, especially the main character Lloyd, who is about as dumb as many of the kids who frequent internet message boards these days. That's why he needs YOU to control him, because he sure as sh!t can't figure out a damned thing on his own. One thing about this game is that the story keeps going and going and going. They don't know where to end it and it becomes tiresome and dreadfully boring similar to a Kevin Costner movie or something else that is too long for its own good. Ug!

The animated intro is one of the best things about the game.
Lloyd looks like a bad-ass here ready to pound some skulls in!

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are surprisingly good for the most part. Everything in the towns, dungeons and battles moves at 60 frames per second and looks incredibly detailed. But when you go wandering on the map, it drops to 30 frames per second for some unknown reason and everything looks simple and ugly. All monsters are represented by black slugs crawling or walking around. Touch one and you go into battle. The characters are made up of cell-shaded polygons and they look alright, nothing exceptional. This game does not support either 480p or 16:9 widescreen, so that's a knock off in the graphics department.

Unfortunately Lloyd looks like a little baby
in the actual game. He acts like one, too.

Sound: 7/10
The music was done by Motoi Sakuraba (Baten Kaitos, Star Ocean, El Viento, Granada, Shining the Holy Ark, etc) and most of the music is quite good. Typical Motoi. The sound effects are OK, and there is a lot of voice. The voice acting is a bit stiff at times, and Lloyd just loves to overact, that bastard. All of the characters get really chatty in battle as well, and I have never before heard such awfulness. It sounds incredibly bad, with overlapping voices and the tone certainly does not fit the action. Fortunately you can turn off the battle chatter. If that was not an option, the sound score would be 3/10 easily since the battles are frequent.

Battles are quite plentiful, and you can control
your character yourself, instead of via boring menus.

Gameplay: 6/10
Typical RPG for the most part, with your party wandering around, buying crap, equipping crap, battling for experience, cash, and goods, etc. What is somewhat unique is the fighting. It plays more like an action RPG in that you can actually control one of your party members as if he/she were in an action game and damage the enemies yourself. That brings things up a notch. There is also a lot of dungeon crawling, and each dungeon requires a puzzle to be solved. In fact, this game could be described as a puzzle game with a story. Besides fighting, solving puzzles is pretty much all you do, and it gets old real fast. Some of the puzzles are cool in their concept, but many are just annoying and kind of boring, actually. Expect to spend at least 45-50 hours with this game, probably more (if you want to play all the way to the end instead of finding something better to do, that is).

Lots of dungeons with lots of puzzles
to solve gets old very quickly.
At least the puzzles change.

Wrap up:
A puzzle game with a story and lots of battles. If that sounds like your game, well then, go buy it. There is also a PS2 version, but the graphics are far inferior.

11-12-2004, 12:05 PM
Maybe I should write my ToS review, but then again the outcome will be exactly the same. Both you and Icarus point out the same things that I do, the plot sucks, the characters really suck(except Zelos), and it's overrated.

Joe Redifer
11-14-2004, 12:34 AM
Batman Returns
Sega CD


A few months after the release of the much-ballyhooed Sega CD in the US, we were graced with one of the first games to take full advantage of the new machine's graphical capabilities, and that game was Batman Returns. Originally slated to be just a cool driving game, Sega of America thought it would be a good idea to throw in the cartridge version that was released long before the CD as well. As is usually the case whenever Sega of America thinks, it was a very bad idea. The music was upgraded along with some of the sound effects in that portion of the game. The platform and driving games were intertwined, meaning that after you beat a platform mission, you'd move on to a driving mission, then back to platform, etc. Fortunately you could turn off the platform game completely and only play the driving portion, which was why everyone bought the game anyway.

The first level is pretty easy. Destroy EVERYTHING
you see on the road, even innocent traffic like Jeeps!

Graphics: 9/10
The graphics in the driving portions of Batman Returns are spectacular considering that it is a 16-bit game. The graphics in the platform portion suck ass. They are REALLY bad and have next to no animation. Stick with Sunsoft's Genesis Batman if you like platform. For the sake of this review, we'll just assume that the platform mode is always turned off! Anyway, the scaling and rotating graphics are truly a site to behold. The SNES brought us scaling backgrounds (Mode7), but the SNES could not scale sprites at all. Just about everything you see in the Sega CD Batman Returns is a scaling sprite, but the game also has scaling and rotating backgrounds (like the continue screen, etc) as well as perspective scaling backgrounds (ala Mode 7) which are used for the street. Some of the scaling objects are way larger than the screen. This goes way beyond the NeoGeo in terms of scaling capability, as the NeoGeo simply couldn't do perspective scaling nor could it handle true rotation. So Batman Returns even has the NeoGeo beat in that department! The artwork is also excellent, with contrasting gradients to the images and a very gothic look and feel. When you blow up an enemy vehicle, it's parts go scaling and rotating all over the screen, landing on the road creating all sorts of cool rubble.

The platform portion of this game looks like
ass and plays even worse if you can believe that.

Sound: 8/10
Some of the sounds were upgraded from the cartridge portion of the game (but that's always turned off, remember) and all of the sounds in the driving portion are new and well recorded. The explosions have a fair amount of bass in them and they sound great. When you blow up and enemy and its wreckage falls, you can hear each part hitting the pavement. The music is for the most part outstanding. There are a few "blah" tracks. It was composed by Spencer Nilsen, the guy who did Ecco the Dolphin CD (his best work). The music has nothing to do with the Batman Returns movie music by Danny Elfman, and many may view that as a large disappointment. Personally I don't mind, as the stuff here is good stuff!

Even objects way in the background have
rotation applied to them. Ooh yellow snow!
Even Batman can't hold it forever.

Gameplay: 7/10
As said before, the platform portion of this game sucks badly. It is one of the worst games ever created. It is nearly uncontrollable and is not fun in any way. The people who made this certainly weren't gamers. The driving portion is much, much better. It's actually fun! But it is also very, very hard. Your goal is to destroy a predetermined number of enemies driving around before the timer runs out. There are 6 stages in each level. Stage 3 is always a mid boss who can be just as tough or tougher than the end boss. But some of the end bosses are really cool. For example, at the end of the first driving level, the boss is a giant fire truck who sprays fire at you and tosses bombs. Every once in awhile ladders on both sides of the vehicle flip open, each with 3 little guys tossing bombs at you. You must ram into the ladders, knocking all 6 guys off one by one before you can actually cause damage to the truck itself. Crazy but fun! You don't play each level in the Batmobile, though. On two levels you are cruising the sewers of Gotham in your Batski which is powered by human turds. The first level you just race against obstacles and time. The second you fight enemies. Just be sure to collect enough human turds to keep your Batski movin'! The game will then give you a very lame ending. The fact that the platform game is here and more wasn't done with the unique driving portions does decrease from the overall rating.

Plenty of obstacles are in your way in
the sewer levels. The SNES couldn't do this!

Wrap up:
A great game for the Sega CD especially considering it is 16-bit. Turn off the platform portions to increase enjoyability 100-fold! This is the best console version of Batman Returns by far. Yes, even better than the SNES version, though this would be even better if the platform portions WERE the SNES version!

Download the exciting Quicktime Video!
1 Minute, 20 Seconds. 10.4 MB
Quicktime 6 REQUIRED!!!!!
Click Here (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/BatmanReturns.mov) to download a Quicktime video of Batman Returns for the Sega CD. Witness the better-than-NeoGeo scaling and great soundtrack. Notice how fun the game is! The Sega CD wasn't just about crappy full motion video. Watch as I play and even destroy innocent people driving to the store in their Jeeps! That's what they get for being on the road when I am. Watch as I fly through the sewers! Then watch it all again and again!

Joe Redifer
11-14-2004, 07:42 PM
Thunder Force II
Sega Genesis

The box art was completely different
than the artwork on the cartridge, which
was actually taken from the Japanese box.

Thunder Force II marked legendary developer TechnoSoft's entry into the home console market. Thunder Force and Thunder Force 2 were games for a Japanese computer system back in the day, and when the Mega Drive was released there they reprogrammed the second game and it became Thunder Force II MD (the "MD" was removed from the title for the US release, but if you know some tricks, you can get it to pop up on the Genesis). The game mainly concentrated on overhead free-flying shooting scenes, but also has typical side-scrolling action intertwined within. This is one of the most overlooked Genesis games, in my opinion. When people talk about Thunder Force, they never go back further in time than Thunder Force III. Well, we will here today.

The overhead stages were the bane of some
people's existence. I personally enjoyed them.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics in Thunder Force II were good for it's time since it had multiple layers of scrolling and well drawn and designed enemies. But the side scrolling stages do lack a lot of detail. Most of the graphics detail went into the overhead maps, where you will see little glowing lights (like in stage 3) and lots of really cool design. The graphics get better as you progress, and the final side scrolling stage looks pretty cool. Everything is presented for you in 240p 60 frames per second.

The side scrolling stages were pretty
cool. Each stage had at least one midboss.

Sound: 8/10
The music is one of the best, if not THE best aspect about Thunder Force II. If you listen closely, you'll find that it is amazingly detailed. The music simply rocks, and it was the first 3rd party Mega Drive game to be produced in stereo, and the first video game I have ever heard in stereo myself. When I got it, I was playing with my Genesis hooked up with the RF modulator. When played this way, the Genesis only sends the right sound channel as a mono signal to the TV. In order to hear stereo, you need to plug into the headphones jack. Well one night a few days after I got the game, I did. And I was absolutely amazed not only with the music and the fact that it was in stereo, but all of the sound I was missing listening to the game through the RF connection as well! At the time game reviewer and editor Ed Semrad said in Game Player's magazine that this was the best music he had ever heard in a videogame (he worked for EGM at the same time). At the time, he was 100% correct. The sound effects are pretty much standard stuff, but they have a TechnoSoft unique-ness about them. Then there are the voices. In the game there is a bitchwhore who announces the weapons and power ups as you get them. She is the same bitchwhore used in every Thunder Force game, though it sounds like they added some filter or effect to her voice in this one. Most people cannot understand what she says, but I can. When she says "Breaker System On" when you get the invincibility shield, people go nuts trying to figure it out. Also the "destroy" weapon is pronounced "des-troy" and so on. Unintentionally funny. And whoever can figure out what is said (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/TF2.mp3) at the beginning of the game should win a prize. I can decipher "Good Luck" and that's it. What the hell?
Red-Cell believes the voice says "If you think you need it, luck, good luck."
Some other interpretations of the startup voice include:
The president of Sega orders soup from the Sega company cafeteria. The chef, who is partly deaf, doesn't understand the presidents cry for help as the steaming hot soup burns the flesh off the top of his mouth.

"This is extra heated!" cries the president.
"Louder" the chef says, but then realizes that the president is probably asking about the flavor of the soup. "Good Duck." he says, knowing that Campbells would want him to say the full name printed on the can.
"This is Extra Heated!" "Louder... Good Duck."

"Now you need defeat the.... HARBOR.... good luck!"Oh no! This game was programmed in Japan... is the first stage a futuristic Pearl Harbor??!!!

I'm still not sure.
Any other takers?

As you can see in this picture here,
the music is absolutely fantastic!

Gameplay: 8/10
I can't believe how much they crammed into a 4 megabit cartridge. That's 512K. That's smaller than the size of this single review once all of the images are loaded (not counting the Quicktime or the MP3 file you can download)! The side scrolling stages are pretty much what you'd expect from a Thunder Force game. They're good, fun, and a bit tough at times. You cannot adjust speed in this game like you can later in the series. But you can cycle back AND forth with your weapon array. Most people hate the overhead scenes because it is not a straight up shooter. It is very confusing at first, but I grew to love 'em. You fly in your choice of 8 directions, and you are ALWAYS in motion. You can't stop or slow down ever. Your goal is to search for and destroy the 4 large bases in each stage (except for the last stage where you must destroy a large ship). Once you are done that, the game progresses. If you learn where the bases are, it is really easy. Check out this 5.3 MB Quicktime 6 file (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/ThunderForce2.mov) of me playing through stage 3, an overhead stage. Look how easy and fun it is! The game begins and ends with the overhead mode, and I can see why that would annoy people. TechnoSoft ditched the overhead mode in all of its sequels. This game offers several hours of gameplay before it can be beaten. Once you have learned all you need to know, you can probably get through the game in less than 45 minutes. But it's the learning that's so fun!

Portions of this stage were paid homage in
the Thunder Force Arcade game, also known as
Thunder Spirits on the Super Nintendo system.

Wrap up:
Thunder Force II is a great and very underrated game. Hell, it's worth it for the music alone.

11-15-2004, 01:59 AM
I haven't played TFII in quite some time. It's quite amazing to think that the review itself requires more size than the game itself. I've never played Batman Returns for Sega CD, but I've played ol' Spiderman. I used to think that CDs were the new frontier, that developers would use them in the future (now) for hundreds of stages and a thousand enemies. :o They have all that memory capacity, all that technology, and what are we left with...? FMV and CD-quality audio. Of course I realize that in order to hold all the textures and stuff in today's games there needs to be a lot of ROM and such but.... wouldn't it be nice if memory was used for expanding the games themselves instead of simply pushing 3D graphics further and further technically? Most of the best-looking games aren't even 3D. Heck, they're not even new: Sonic CD has pristine detail and clarity (sans the bonus stage, but it's still nice), Super Castlevania IV is gorgeous from an artistic viewpoint, and Earthworm Jim is still a great feat.

I guess that my point is that I value artistry over technical brilliance. I wonder if other members feel the same way.

Paper exe
11-15-2004, 03:16 AM
If you want to know I value artistry over technical brilliance :cool guy:

Joe Redifer
11-15-2004, 03:26 AM
The only graphical problem I had with Super Castlevania IV was the orange first level. It just looked like ass. Why orange?

11-15-2004, 05:15 AM
Maybe it was their way of making the area look corroded or something. Either that, or Konami just hates you. :P

Paper EXE, nice to see. However, there was no need to quote my entire post seeing as it's above yours. ;)

Joe Redifer
11-15-2004, 05:32 AM
I demand that everyone download the Quicktimes for Super Monkeyball 2, Batman Returns CD, and Thunder Force II and give me their opinions!

11-15-2004, 11:57 PM
I wonder why they don't work?

Joe Redifer
11-16-2004, 12:30 AM
What doesn't work? You need Quicktime 6 because they are 3ivx encoded (MPEG4). You MIGHT try to relable them as AVIs to see if they work first. I didn't enable pure MP4 enoding which would have made them "AVI incompatible".

11-16-2004, 02:09 AM
I see. All I have to do is download them and they'll play just fine. It's because they're such huge files that it took forever to play. Batman Returns does indeed sport some smooth scailing, though that sewer level doesn't look terribly fun. TFII brings back memories.

Joe Redifer
11-16-2004, 02:42 AM
Ah you must still have dial-up. Sell your PS2 and get broadband! :) Anyway because they are videogame files and everything moves so damn fast, the files tend to be big compared to regular video.

11-16-2004, 02:55 AM
I have Cable so everything loads up rather fast. I remember having dial-up connection. Man, that thing was slow. But those were the "good ol' days" of online, back when you could look up sites which actually had downloadable music and other cool stuff that they've more or less cracked down on over the past couple years. A lot of the cool sites, such as the old wrestling theme music sites, were so awesome, yet now look at what they've become--mere shells of their former self. All they have now are MIDI versions of their themes. How stupid is that?

Anyway, what good would it do for me to rant? I wonder what the first Saturn game you'll review will be.... :cool:

Joe Redifer
11-16-2004, 03:16 AM
There will be a bunch... in time... but now it's time for:

F-Zero GX
Gamecube Nintendo

Made by Sega and censored by Nintendo!

Nintendo made an awesome SNES game and it was called F-Zero. Definitely one of the better games on that system. We got a decent N64 version, but the graphics on that system made it hard to look at without vomiting (something that plagued 99% of all N64 games). But for the Gamecube, Nintendo decided that Sega should program the game, since Sega is frighteningly astonishing, and Nintendo has ALWAYS known that. And Sega did nicely indeed! What did you expect? Alex Kidd in F-Zero World?

Nintendo and Sega on the same videogame screen?
I always have to clean up after I see this.

Graphics: 10/10
This game arguably has some of the best graphics of any home game anywhere EVER. The frame rate never drops. The detail is absolutely superb. You can only see pop-up (fade in, actually) if you really look for it. The game moves extremely fast and never slows down. 480p is supported. 16:9 widescreen is supported. In fact, this game is one of only 2 games (the other being Super Monkeyball 2) that gets 16:9 perfectly right. There are no stretched menus. No stretched HUDs. Nothing is stretched. It is 100% true anamorphic 16:9. There aren't too many games that even approach this level of graphic goodness, and as of right now, only Rallisport Challenge 2 on the Xbox surpasses it, but this game has way more style. Sega has done an outstanding job, and they know to use the Gamecube hardware much better than ANYONE else, including Nintendo (who has never even made a 16:9 widescreen game in its existence). Easily one of the best looking games out there, bar none.

Goodness gracious me! F-Zero GX sure iz da
phiggidy phat mad tight bomb yo! Fo' shizzle!

Sound: 9/10
There is a lot to like about the extremely racist sounds of F-Zero GX. You don't hear much from the cars themselves during the race, but the music, for the most part, is absolutely splendid. There are a couple of tunes that are kind of boring. The game is quite racist, however, and it stands to chance that the game hates YOUR ethnicity. For instance, when you are racing on the track called "Lightning", a robotic voice constantly says "Deigo wop!" as an insult to the entire Italian community. Also in the selection screen where you pick your racer, you can hear a robotic voice at the beginning say "The Japanese will rule!" which is a warning that Japan intends on conquering the world and making slaves of us all. We must act now, fellow Americans! WE MUST! Actually since we Americans are pretty lazy, we can act tomorrow instead. Sega's racism department worked overtime once again and they get a 10! In the meantime we can listen to the many many cool tunes for F-Zero GX, which is also presented in Dolby Pro-Logic 2 for your enjoyment. Some people say that they don't like the music because they are used to listening to techno when playing futuristic racing games like WipeOut. Those people are not only wrong, but they are boring as well. They should be burned alive for our entertainment.

Hitting the jumps can send you soaring.
Naturally, you can still steer in the air.

Gameplay: 9/10
Oh man! Is this game ever fast! Control is great, and you can pick from many many different types of racers, all with their own unique feel. You may be required to do a little fighting during some of the upper levels, as knocking opponents off of the track is literally the only way to win. If you're good enough, you can even unlock all of the arcade tracks as well (as seen in the F-Zero AX arcade machine down at your local Chuck E. Cheese). But be warned... this game is DAMN HARD! I mean daaaaamn! I literally twisted a Gamecube controller into pieces due to this game. It will take you at least a couple of tries to beat this game entirely. The story mode is extremely hard as well. That mode pits you up against certain challenges and then laughs at you as you lose. Beat the story mode and then you can try it on hard. No problem, sign me up! You can also buy parts for your racer and build a custom machine in the garage, and even design logos for it. That mode is pretty cool and adds a lot to the gameplay. Don't expect Gran Turismo or anything, this game is an arcade racer pure and simple. It has no desire to be Gran Turismo or WipeOut. It is F-Zero, and this game will own you. Despite the extreme difficulty, there is still something very addictive about this game. I play it all of the time. It calls to me. I can't put it down. And neither should you.

You can even create your very own emblems!
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator ain't got nothin' on this!

According to my research, this screen seems to mean that the race is over.
You are left feeling sad when this happens because the race is so fun.
But fear not, as another stage approaches. If you made the cut, that is.

Wrap up:
One of the best racers out there, and the pinnacle of Gamecube graphics. Leave it to Sega!

11-16-2004, 03:44 AM
Joe, can I please make a request?
I dont know if you have played it, but Id love to see your review of
Panzer Dargoon Orta or Saga

Joe Redifer
11-16-2004, 04:36 AM
I will try to do both in the future, as I have them both.

11-17-2004, 12:42 AM
Cool, my fav game series of all time =D

11-17-2004, 01:34 AM
?If you think you need it, luck, good luck.? Is what the title audio form TF2 that you provided sounds like to me. Thanks for the Reviews by the way, it seems that I always get sidetracked and forget about finding a game I liked a while ago until someone reviews it. Then I go out and buy it with more money I don?t have, but it?s worth it in the end :bigsmile:

Joe Redifer
11-17-2004, 02:08 AM
I updated my review to include what you think it says. Any other takers want to try the "decipher the Thunder Force II voice" game?

Sinful Sam
11-17-2004, 02:39 AM
I don't have a clue what it says. Is it even english?

Joe Redifer
11-17-2004, 03:17 AM
Well, kind of... at least.

Joe Redifer
11-18-2004, 07:05 AM
Wonder Boy in Monster World
Sega Genesis

Check out the HORRIBLE box art!
No wonder the game didn't sell well.

The Wonder Boy Legacy
Wonder Boy games by Sega usually mean you're going to be in for a good, addicting time. The first Wonder Boy game was not set in Monster World. It was exactly like Hudson's Adventure Island for the NES. The next Wonder Boy game was called "Wonder Boy in Monster Land" and took on a completely different style of gameplay due to the copyright issues with Hudson Soft over the first game. You had to buy armor and weapons and solve puzzles like the Sphinx asking you which game he has been playing recently (either After Burner or Missile Defense 3D). There were no save points and the game could be beaten in one sitting if you knew what you were doing. Then came "Wonder Boy III: The Dragons Trap". Also set in Monster World and a direct sequel of Monster Land (in fact this game let you play a simplified version of the last game's final level as a prologue), this game had you changing into different creatures with different abilities and is widely regarded as the best in the series. It added a password save function. It is also known as "Dragon's Curse" on the TurboGrafx-16. Then there was "Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair" for the Japanese Mega Drive which was also known as just "Monster Lair" on the Turbografx-16 CD-ROM. That game barely counts. It's little more than a quick diversion at best, and does not take place in Monster World. Instead it is a very weak side scroller/shooter. And here we go again back in Monster World with the aptly titled "Wonder Boy in Monster World" (also known as "Dynastic Hero" on the PC Engine), this time with battery back-up save (though with only one save slot) and Wonder Boy's first appearance on the Genesis. Wonder Boy 4, but Monster World 3. There was a Monster World 4 in Japan that was awesome, but it didn't have Wonder Boy in it. Also it is fun to watch Wonder Boy's hair color change over each game. The first 2 games he had yellow hair. The 3rd game he had green hair. And finally in this game he gets blue hair. He's just so stylin' he can't make up his mind!

Check out how Wonder Boy has progressed over the years in this gigantic composite!

Graphics: 8/10
Wonder Boy in Monster World looks pretty good, with lots of nice colors and very well drawn locales. The enemies take on the typical cartoony Monster World style and it works here again, and the human characters all have a sort of super-deformed anime look to them. In fact you'll even see cameos of creatures from past Wonder Boy games such as a large fish which was a boss in Monster Lair (Mega Drive/TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM). This is the first time in the series we get multiple scrolling backgrounds (if you don't count the Mega Drive version of Monster Lair, that is). The "HUD" that provides information at the top of your screen takes up a HUGE amount of screen real-estate unfortunately. I wish it were smaller. There's not to much else to say about the graphics except I really like the style that most of the backgrounds are drawn in, and again the use of color is superb.

Nice, colorful graphics with
typical Monster World enemies. They
are cute but deserve to die anyway.

Sound: 6/10
The sound effects all pretty much take their cue from the Sega Master System version of Wonder Boy III, and sound exactly the same here on the Genesis. Not that it's a bad thing. Some of the new original music is mostly boring, but there are a few tunes that'll have you humming. The game does dip back into the series' past games to pull a few tunes from. Most of the earlier boss battles (and the final boss) all have their music pulled from Monster Land's boss theme. A couple of bosses towards the end get the cool Wonder Boy III: Dragon's Trap's boss music, and even one tune is pulled from Monster Lair. This may come as a disappointment after the masterfully scored Wonder Boy III on the Sega Master System, which had all good music. At least it has more than 1 or 2 repetitive tunes unlike the very first Wonder Boy game. Good God that got annoying! Here we also get stereo for the first time in a Wonder Boy game (that is if you don't count the Turbografx-16's Dragon's Curse which was in stereo).

This is a sign near the very beginning of the game.
Nice of the monsters to welcome you to their world!

Gameplay: 8/10
This game has some RPG elements to it like collecting cash and buying weapons and items. As you progress new areas will open up for you to explore. This can get kind of addicting when you're trying to power yourself up as much as you can just to defeat that cool boss at the end of the cavern. The Sphinx is in this game as well, but he is not in humanoid form like in Monster Land and you never have to fight him. Also the questions that he asks don't elude to Afterburner, Missle Defense 3D or any other Sega games. :( Mostly it is pure side-scrolling charm with wonderful control. The magic and item usage is a bit weird. You can equip two spells or items at any given time. In order to use them you must press and hold the A button and then left or right on the D-Pad, depending on which item you want to use. Once you get used to this it's not that bad, though. You can equip different items for different occasions and even shrink down in size to enter small doorways and crevices. When you do this you bear a more-than-striking resemblance to the mouse character in Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap. It packs a lot of stuff for just 4 megs, but mega-super length isn't on that list. The game is probably around 6 hours long (a bit more if you want to make sure you have EVERYTHING), maybe more (I didn't time it) and is quite rewarding. The game is never overly difficult and shouldn't frustrate you too much, but it does provide a decent and fun challenge. You probably won't want to start a new game right away once you finish it, however. You'll just be happy and put the game on the shelf, proud that you've beaten it and saved Monster World for now.

Oh noes! Wonder Boy is mega-stoned and
he sees walking 'shrooms in the town!

Wrap up:
A nice addictive 2D journey back into Monster World is always a good thing. After you're done with this one, go and get your hands on Monster World IV for the Mega Drive!

11-18-2004, 11:27 AM
My brother beat this game a while ago. And then later I beat Monster World IV which was just lovely. To my knowledge, this is the best of the side-scrolling adventure game series, and this is a genre which I'd love to see more work put into by Sega and others.

Joe Redifer
11-18-2004, 07:46 PM
Do you have the Monster World IV cartridge or did you beat it via an emulator?

11-18-2004, 11:01 PM
The Turbografx CDROM version of Wonderboy III Monster Lair is a much better version that the Genesis one, the music tracks kick ass, and much better animation.

I still have the WOnder Boy V Monster World Genesis cartridge at home, I never finished it because I was stuck half way in the game....

Do you guys know that these WonderBoy games were NOT developed by Sega? They were all developed by a company called Westone. That was the reason why all the WonderBoy games also appears on PC-Engine / Turbografx because Hudson Soft bought the copyrights from Westone.

I believe there is yet another WonderBoy game after this, do you know the name?

11-18-2004, 11:05 PM
Yes it's called WonderBoy VI Monster World IV


Anyone played this game?

11-18-2004, 11:43 PM
OMG!!! YOU ONLY HAVE 2 WATER AND 1 SAC!!!! n00b!!!!

Joe Redifer
11-19-2004, 12:20 AM
That is Monster World IV, but Wonder Boy is not in it. It is pictured in my legacy diagram in the review. Where did you get an English version?

Westone developed the Monster World games, and Sega reprogrammed them and put Wonder Boy in them. in Japan Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap was simply called Monster World II. Westone had nothing to do with Monster Lair nor the original Wonder Boy.

11-19-2004, 09:21 AM
There's no official English version, you can only find it for emulator.

Is that Wonder Girl in Monster World IV?

11-19-2004, 09:50 AM
Yes Joe, I played through a Japanese emulated version of it (I don't have a Mega Drive nor a converter for Genesis, though I have one for Saturn with a ton of imported software). MWIV is an absolutely incredible adventure, and was amongst my earlier reviews.

Joe Redifer
11-19-2004, 07:21 PM
Super Nintendo

Nintendo felt that cardboard boxes represented
their high quality standards the most. Cardboard
is the new "space age" and is the wave of the future!

Remember waaay back in the day when Nintendo used to program their own games? Yes, it actually did indeed happen once upon a time. One of those games was the legendary F-Zero for the SNES. One of 3 games available right at the system launch, F-Zero remains as the best racing game ever to show up on that platform.

Graphics: 7/10
F-Zero was a great way to showcase the system's much-ballyhooed "Mode 7" graphics, an effect which allowed the SNES to scale, rotate, and perspective-distort the background screen. This game does all of that nicely and at a constant 60fps, and provides a new and innovative way to present a racing game. The artwork style is futuristic and cold. The scaling is grainy. What more could you ask for? Well scaling sprites would certainly have been nice. Instead, enemy racers approach you without getting any bigger until they reach a certain point on the screen, then WHAM they are completely redrawn in a bigger size. There are probably about 5 or 6 sizes for each vehicle. The backgrounds look OK and scroll horizontally in multiple layers, but they look basically just like a mess of pixels and not much more. But hey, the colors sure are nice!

Wheee!!! It's The original Mute City!
As the track rotated, the gradients stayed horizontal.

Sound: 8/10
Next to nothing in the way of sound effects here, at least nothing that really stands out in any way. But there are some classic tunes like Mute City, Port Town, and especially Big Blue. This game is a good way to showcase your brand new SNES's stereo sound capabilities as well. Certainly not the best the SNES was capable of, but considering that this is just a 4 meg cart, it is more than acceptable.

Gameplay: 8/10
Here's where the meat of the game lies, in it's very addicting gameplay! It is very addicting (didn't I just say that?) and at times almost challenging. You can't adjust each and every part to the Nth degree like you can in Gran Turdismo, but who cares? No one cares about Gran Turdismo, especially since it hasn't even been invented yet, being as how you just got your brand new SNES and it's 1991 and all. Sometimes there are magnetic tracks on the side of the road and the use of the LEFT and RIGHT shoulder buttons can be used to negate their effect. Way too fun. A few different "cars" (for lack of a better term) are available to choose from, but real men use the Blue Falcon exclusively. Just be careful on the windy track, which tries to blow you around. There are also "pixel messes" on the track which will slow you down if you run over them. I guess jumbled, grainy pixels have a detrimental effect on your futuristic racer. Then there are the blue "pixel messes" which act as ice. Even though you are hovering above ground, you can still apparently slip and slide. The game is short and mega-easy on all class levels and tracks, but don't let that deter you. Well actually Fire Field can be pretty tough on the advanced difficulties. But when it all comes down to it, it's just a purely fun arcade racer and in that area it most certainly excels!

Big Blue was a cool track with great music.
It wasn't very big. But it was, in fact, blue.

Wrap up:
The best racing game on the SNES with some cool music and neat-o Mode 7 graphics. You can't go wrong!

11-20-2004, 01:05 PM
Whatever happened to that hardcorps review? Anyhow it be cool if you reviewed Hybrid Heaven(N64-Konami) a game I enjoyed a lot in my youth.

I like how you capture your own screens for your reviews. :cool guy:

Joe Redifer
11-20-2004, 06:34 PM
Hold yer horses on that Hard Corpse review. It'll come someday. I have never heard of the N64 game you mention. If you want to let me borrow it for review and then I'll send it back, we can do that.

I capture the video using a Sony DVMC-DA1 media converter, which converts the image to DV and sends it to my computer via firewire. I then either edit what will be the Quicktimes in Final Cut Pro or I export still frames into Photoshop and resize them there.

Joe Redifer
11-20-2004, 06:38 PM
X-Men vs. Street Fighter
Sega Saturn

The game comes with the 4MB RAM cartridge!
Or maybe the 4MB cart comes with the game?
I dunno. I'm confused.

Back in the 32-bit wars, one thing true gamers would argue about is how close home fighting games were to their arcade counterparts. The games on the Saturn would almost always beat out the games on the PlayStation in this respect. But even still there were a few missing frames of animation here and there in most Saturn fighting games. Even though the Saturn had more RAM than the PlayStation as well as native 2D graphics, it just wasn't *quite* enough. Suddenly Capcom had this new game in the arcades called X-Men vs. Street Fighter which allowed 2 selectable characters per player as well as on the fly switching between them. That's 4 separate characters that have to be handled now instead of just 2 which could barely be done before. How the hell would home systems handle this? Load between character switching? Now way, you don't want to slow down the action like Mortal Kombat for the Sega CD. Ditch the second controllable character altogether except for when you use your super move? That would be incredibly lame and a piss-poor compromise, not to mention destroying everything the game is all about. Enter the 4MB RAM cart for the Sega Saturn. The game could now run in all of it's arcade glory at 100% on a home system. Capcom pleaded with Sega of America to let them bring the 4MB RAM cart to the US for this game as well as others, but Sega of America, having been burned by the Sega CD and the 32X, shunned the release for fear of the same type of backlash from people. Sega of America has never been smart. That's why people import games for their Saturn!

Stages also scroll vertically which is a feature
brought over from the Capcom X-Men arcade games.

Graphics: 9/10
Arcade perfect. That's the only way to describe the graphics. And the arcade game featured excellent graphics. The characters use a style of art that is almost identical to the Street Fighter Alpha/Zero series being that the characters are all portrayed as being very young. The X-Men characters are drawn in the Marvel Comics style with ink-shading and the like, but blend in quite well with the Street Fighter characters. The backgrounds all feature multiple layers of scrolling and sometimes multiple areas you can do battle in. For example if one member of each team dies on the crime scene stage or of there are a lot of throws happening, you will fall through the street and continue the fight in the sewers below, all with no extra loading. The animation is excellent as well. You can have two Juggernauts (the biggest character in the game) on the screen at the same time with zero slowdown or flicker. The Saturn is a very powerful 2D machine indeed. The screen often flashes with sparks and power adding to the overall presentation.

This'll teach Juggernaut to eat all of the cookies!

Sound: 8/10
You've got great sound here, and each character's voice comes through crystal clear. Smacks and punches sound perfect, and you'll be hearing them quite a bit. The music is great as well. It definitely sounds like Capcom, with the synthetic guitars constantly wailing in the background. Each character has his or her own theme music, with many standing out, particularly that of Cyclops. The music is presented in stereo for your enjoyment.

What's up with Dhalsim?
It looks like someone just shoved
a hot coal poker up his ass.

The final boss Apocalypse is a
cheap bitch on the hardest difficulty!

Gameplay: 9/10
This game is just too fun. It's one of those games that absolutely demands that you play it on the highest possible difficulty setting, which I always do. Switching between characters on the fly is brilliant and adds a touch of strategy to the game because when one fighter is offscreen, he/she can heal a certain amount. The control is perfect, especially with the Saturn pad. Just be careful when going crazy not to accidentally switch your characters! The game loads really fast and you'll always be on your toes. It loads a bit slower in 2 player mode, but not much. No matter what, just be prepared for a wild frenzy of a good time. Using complex finger-folding maneuvers, you can bring both characters onscreen at the same time to pull off an extremely powerful finishing move... that is if both of your characters are still alive (yes, they actually DIE if they lose a match. Dead. Forever. OK not really). Otherwise this game is pretty bare-bones and only offers arcade and 2 player matches, nothing like the later games in the Capcom fighting series'. But that's A-OK with me. What this game does it does well. And the roster only features 17 characters to choose from, and many people will be pissed that it doesn't offer the 443,659.4 characters like the later Capcom Vs. games. Oh well. Sucks to be those people, but I'm more than happy right here with this game!

You start battle on the street, but
as the battle rages you will fall into...

...the sewers! Is that smell... human excrement?
No! It's Ryu getting his sh!t ruined by Magneto!

Wrap up:
An arcade perfect must-own game for your Sega Saturn. Stay away from the far inferior PlayStation version!

11-20-2004, 09:32 PM
I bought this game plus the 4MB RAM Card for my old Sega Saturn, it was awesome back in its days. Too bad I couldn't get the SNK games to work on the 4MB RAM Card, despite SNK games only requires 1MB RAM storage. :(

Joe Redifer
11-20-2004, 09:46 PM
Did you have the official 4MB RAM cart, or a 3rd party offshoot? All of the SNK 1 Meg games work on the official Sega/Capcom 4MB RAM cart that came with X-Men vs. Street Fighter (though there was a version of the game that didn't come with the cart). The only one that does is KoF '95, which had it's own ROM (not RAM) cart.

11-20-2004, 10:39 PM

You'll have to go out and rent it like I did, Joe.

Joe Redifer
11-20-2004, 10:42 PM
I added a couple of other people's interpretations of the startup voice to my Thunder Force II (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=151891#post151891) review on page 4.

I know of no place that rents N64 games, especially Japanese N64 games. If Power Play Games was still in existence around here, they'd probably have it.

11-20-2004, 10:53 PM
It's not an import title. It got a 65% from gamerankings just to add...

You have to capture some screenshots for me in Baten Kaitos,Joe. That game is gorgeous. Best looking game ever.

11-20-2004, 11:48 PM
Did you have the official 4MB RAM cart, or a 3rd party offshoot? All of the SNK 1 Meg games work on the official Sega/Capcom 4MB RAM cart that came with X-Men vs. Street Fighter (though there was a version of the game that didn't come with the cart). The only one that does is KoF '95, which had it's own ROM (not RAM) cart.

I bought the offical Capcom 4MB Ram cart with Xmen vs SF for Saturn! The SNK games load and run with the 4MB RAM Cart, but the problem is that they all have broken graphics (distorted sprites) with the 4MB RAM cart. I guess if I bought the bootleg / 3rd party RAM cart I may have a better chance running those SNK games.

Joe Redifer
11-21-2004, 12:13 AM
Hmmm... all my SNK games look fine with the Capcom cart. I think I've only used my 1 Meg RAM cart once or twice since I got the the Capcom 4MB cart.

Vert1: You posted a Japanese box cover of a game I've never heard of. Also isn't Baten Kaitos all pre-rendered?

11-21-2004, 12:40 AM
Yes that is correct. The art in this game and the music...very nice. This game is supposedly Chrono Cross 2+. I actually stopped playing Prime2 because of how fresh and great this game is.

What N64 games do you own,Joe?

11-21-2004, 12:42 AM
Hybrid Heavin did infact come out in the US, and Baten Kaitos is the 'epic' rpg that the gcn was needing, so yes, it does have prerendered graphics, it's a standard in todays rpg's. Hybrid Heaven also got bad ratings and I also concur, it was ass, I rented it back in the day. The best rpg's for the n64 are Paper Mario, Doubutsu Mori, and Custom Robo Version 1+2. That ain't sayin' much though since all those games can be found on the gcn, in the US even. Joe, don't waste your time, now as for the 4meg ram cart, I want to get SFZ3 with the 4meg ram cart, but it goes for like $200 on ebay.

11-21-2004, 01:56 AM
Good choice for your first Saturn review. It's hard to think too much about what Capcom has become as of late. Where are all those glorious 2D outings? No Street Fighter 4. No Darkstalkers 4. No NOTHING. Just lame ports and bad collections. The one good thing they did over the past couple years as far as their 2D fighters are concerned is that Street Fighter Anniversary Edition, even though that's still just ports with a few extras.

Please don't die Capcom.

Joe Redifer
11-21-2004, 02:20 AM
Well I'll be sure to review the Saturn version of Street Fighter Zero 3 in the near future. In the meantime I have 2 more Saturn and 1 Genesis game coming up.

11-21-2004, 11:43 AM
when are you going to compare and contrast Tengen Tetris to Nintendo's Tetris?

11-21-2004, 02:31 PM
Tengen(Atari Games) is a port of the arcade Tetris. Tengen Tetris has better gameplay and is more balanced. It also has a two player vs. mode. The Atari 8-bit(400/800/xl/xe) version of Donkey Kong is also better than the NES version as well. These are all facts, whatever Joe says is just fanboyism. :lol:

Joe Redifer
11-21-2004, 07:52 PM
I don't need to compare and contrast because AtariX has already done so.

11-21-2004, 09:17 PM
It would be awesome if someone can do a port of the arcade version of Tetris on PS2 or GBA, its better than those other Tetris games on either systems IMO.

Joe Redifer
11-23-2004, 03:16 AM
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Sega Genesis

Look at this box. Just look at it!
Imagine that sitting on the shelf staring
at you while you are trying to sleep. You
can tell Alex is a hit with the ladies!

Alex was a favorite game of some people on the Sega Master System. I never really understood why. It was a good game, but not great. The jump and punch buttons were ass backwards on the controller, and you couldn't switch 'em! Alex Kidd starred in more games like Lost Stars, Hi-Tech World, Shinobi World, etc, but none of them played even remotely like the original game. Not until the Genesis came out with Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, anyway. This game restores most of the original's gameplay. And yes, this is a 1 meg game, only 128K, same size as the original!

Alex can punch innocent commuters into nothingness!
Alex is a terrorist and he does not reason with anybody!

Graphics: 4/10
Considering this is a one meg game, the graphics aren't too bad... considering. A second layer of scrolling was added to give the game at least some perception of depth, but the background scrolls almost as fast as the foreground, offering little separation and thus little perceived depth. There isn't much in the way of sprite animation and most characters look as if they were designed for a kiddie game, which Alex Kidd pretty much is. Alex himself sports some hardcore sideburns, which must be all the rage on planet Paperock. If you want to admire Alex, I advise standing still and taping the punch button again and again. Only his arm and eyeballs move back and forth. This will enrage you and make you want to digitize yourself into the game just so you can murder Alex.

Although you are only betting on the pogo stick,
you are still asked if you will bet your life.
Perhaps the pogo stick is Alex's reason for living?
I know I couldn't live without mine

Sound: 4/10
The original dippy tune from the first game shows up here, and it is only marginally improved by the Genesis' sound chip. Most of the music is fairly poor, but the tune in the forest level is oddly bouncy and happy, all the while characters that resemble Jason from Friday the 13th are trying to axe you down (hmmm...). There is actually a pissy voice sample in the game when Alex is playing Janken (paper, rock, scissors) which I can only decipher as "Jan-Ken-Bet!" Nothing much to talk about here.

You can ride a motorcycle, helicopter and other such nonsense
in the game. You can even brutally murder bald eagles just for fun!

Gameplay: 4/10
The gameplay of the original returns, but there are far more Janken matches in this game. You collect coins and money bags (gold baum), but you never use them to buy anything, but still you feel you must collect all you can find simply because it's there. Instead you use the gold baum to bet on Janken matches. The Janken gets old very fast, believe me. The controls are OK except you seem to have a lot of momentum which makes avoiding enemies difficult at times. The B button punches, while A or C jump. This let's people who were used to the ass backwards controls of the original as well as normal human beings "enjoy" this game. The one-hit death system is restored from the original game as well, which will make any gamer happy as everyone loves one-hit kills without exception! You also can collect a variety of items that let you do things such as read the minds of your Janken foes (all they think about is paper-rock-scissors, never any nudie images going through their brains. For shame.) or fly around in a pedi-coptor. Yee haw.

The game lets you swim underwater at one point, and Alex never needs to
come up for air since he stores oxygen tanks in his gigantic sideburns.

Wrap up:
Well it is kind of fun but gets old quickly. But the box cover does double as a fact-acting laxative just by looking at it!

Joe Redifer
11-23-2004, 10:29 PM
Coming soon: Panzer Dragoon. All of 'em.

11-23-2004, 11:04 PM
Coming soon: Panzer Dragoon. All of 'em.

Ya! Can't wait to read it. You and Icarus are machines when it comes to reviews.
:cool guy:

Bounty Hunter#1
11-23-2004, 11:32 PM
Good Review man. :cool guy:

Joe Redifer
11-24-2004, 04:34 AM
Panzer Dragoon
Sega Saturn

Believe it or not, the US
box art is slightly better than
the Japanese box art, if you
can get past the GIANT boxes
they used for US Saturn games.

I recently played through all four Panzer Dragoons, wrote up reviews and will post them in chronological order once a day for four days straight. So let's start with the first game! Panzer Dragoon was one of the games that surprise-launched with the Saturn. I was there on launch day and picked up my Saturn, Daytona USA, and Panzer Dragoon. Panzer Dragoon had been in development alongside the Saturn as it was developed. It's a straightforward (mostly) action game, and is the only game in the Panzer Dragoon Series to not have a save function of some kind. For shame! But it does have the Segaman (http://pixelcraze.film-tech.net/reviews/segaman.mov) polygon character which was meticulously crafted by the legendary Kentaro Yoshida, and that is worth owning 5 or 6 copies of the game just for that!!!!

Graphics: 5/10
Yeesh. Most of the graphics look pretty bad. You've got warping polygons, blockiness galore, and lots of pop up, not to mention some pretty drab looking colors here and there. So why did I give the graphics a 5 and not lower? Well for one this is one of the first Saturn games ever made, and I am quite impressed with what they were able to do with the game given the time it was released. You even have a teeny bit of polygon transparency in the dragon's homing lasers, you have cool looking reflections, and not to mention the wonderful futuristic/ancient design of the Panzer Dragoon series which was already in full force here. The FMV is small and grainy, but the intro was the very best game intro ever at the time, and stands out as one of the best intros still to this day. The graphics chug along at around 20-24 frames per second most of the time, and there is some clipping that rears its head. But the creature and ship design is awesome, just like in every Panzer Dragoon game. Who can forget the two worms of stage 2 who jump in and out of the sand while attacking you, wiggling around as they move? Classic stuff.

Oooo transparent lasers!
Looks like someone left the water running.

Sound: 9/10
The best music in the Panzer Dragoon series will be found in this game. With the title screen and the first stage theme performed by a full piece orchestra conducted by Tomoyuki Hayashi, you will be engulfed in some of the most brilliant music to ever grace a video game. Despite only the first two pieces being orchestral, Yosh!taka Azuma (who composed all of the music) will captivate you throughout the entire game with pounding beats and solemn notes. The music in the opening cutscene fits perfectly, and helps it to be one of the best videogame opening scenes of all time. All of the Panzer Dragoon sound effects are here in full force, from the made-up language of that world to the awesome sounding dragon screeches. I can't imagine anyone complaining about the sound in this game.

These are NOT the kind of worms that
you want to get after eating an infested meal!
Real sand was used in this game.

Gameplay: 7/10
This game is pretty straightforward. Once again it's all about the tower. You can't let them have that tower, by golly! It's an "on-rails" shooter, but that doesn't detract from the fun. Enemies can come at you from any direction, and you have full 360? control at all times. There isn't much strategy involved, just kill everything while shooting down the enemy fire if you can. You start with just one credit which you can use for a continue should you happen to die, but if you do well and your percentage is high at the end of the stage, you can earn extra continues. You don't get all of your health back between each stage, either, so you will want to do as well as you absolutely can. There are 7 "Episodes" to play through, and each lasts around 4 minutes for the stage and maybe even longer just for the boss fight at the end. A long game this is not, but it is still worthy of owning and playing through from time to time.

OMG!! This crazy dude has wings on his cheeks!
Therefore he MUST be destroyed, since he is different.
Tolerance is not an option.

Wrap up:
The worst looking/worst playing game in the Panzer Dragoon series, and it is still quite awesome!

11-24-2004, 04:43 AM
It's better than Orta in my opinion, mainly because of the soundtrack and because it doesn't feel as stiff overall. It has a natural flow to it, a progression which doesn't feel forced but completely gameplay driven. If only Sega was as enthusiastic about the DC as the Saturn.

Joe Redifer
11-24-2004, 05:05 PM
Whew! I just finished up transferring all of the images, sounds, and video to a new server which should load a bit faster. And as a result each review (except the most recent one) has a "Last Edited by" tag at the bottom. Weeee!!!

11-24-2004, 06:11 PM
Nice. New servers rock and the fact that this is faster... Man, that just makes life worth living again.

Joe Redifer
11-24-2004, 07:56 PM
Yes indeed, and I didn't want the suicides of any Magic Box members on my hands.

11-24-2004, 10:49 PM
Yes indeed, and I didn't want the suicides of any Magic Box members on my hands.

I wouldn't commit suicide, I would just go postal. :kill: J/K :D

I've only played the original Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Orta, both great games.

BTW, if anyone wants, I have an extra Panzer Dragoon, with case and docs for the Saturn if anyone wants to trade for a Sega CD game. A Sega CD game like Robo Aleste, Heart of the Alien, Stellar Strike, Wing Commander, Dungeon Explorer or Eye of the Beholder would be cool. Just PM me. If you have Snatcher for the Sega CD, I'll even throw in a Panzer Dragoon Orta Soundtrack, still in the plastic. :D

BTW, Redifer, how about a review of Konami's Snatcher for the Sega CD?

Joe Redifer
11-24-2004, 10:56 PM
It's a-comin'. Got some others to get out of da way first though.

Joe Redifer
11-25-2004, 02:30 AM
Panzer Dragoon II Zwei
Sega Saturn

It is amazing that Sega
didn't butcher the box art!

The first Panzer Dragoon was a pretty kick-ass game in most respects, so of course Sega is going to follow it up with a sequel. But will they make it better? Of course! Panzer Dragoon II Zwei adds branching paths, dragon growth, and more! It remains an action rail shooter just like the first game, but it adds some depth and polish to the overall package that the first one did not. This game takes place BEFORE the first game. Some say that the dragon pup you ride throughout the game is indeed the same dragon that flies through the first game. That's possible, but it's hard to say based on the way the dragon evolves into different forms.

Graphics: 7/10
Once again this is the Saturn trying to do 3D we're dealing with here. But Sega used a newer graphics library for this game than they did with the previous effort, and it shows. We now have a steady 30 frames per second, more polygons onscreen and slightly higher-res textures. Sega even added a 16:9 widescreen option to this game. Back when this was released, widescreen TVs were unheard of. Sega was truly ahead of their time. There is still lots of polygon warping, blockiness and the game seems really dark overall. But once again the design of the creatures and the ships that inhabit the Panzer Dragoon world is outstanding, and this game only expands on that design. The FMV is a little bit bigger and slightly crisper than the first game, as was obviously done by the same people. There is even a bit of transparency during Episode 4's boss encounter. And the animation throughout the game is amazing, as usual. Overall not a bad looking game for the Saturn.

You start out with just a dragon pup running from
the exact same boulder that chased Indiana Jones!

Sound: 7/10
All of the cool sounds you are familiar with from the series are back here, and they sound great. The music definitely took a different turn from the original game, and many people just cannot deal with it. Gone is the orchestral flair and instead we get kind of a middle-eastern/Japanese flavored mix. The music grows on you and after awhile I really started to like it. The music in Episodes 3 and 6 is just awesome. The other tunes are pretty good as well.

Sega added a widescreen mode for this game.
I had no idea what the option did when I first bought this.
Notice that you get higher scores if you play in widescreen! :)

Gameplay: 8/10
Zwei plays similar to the first game, only now you can choose your path and your dragon evolves depending on how well you do in battle. There are many different forms your dragon can take. This game also adds the berserker attack to the series, which is a blast of power that builds up over time. When the berserker meter is green, you can unleash hell. It really helps being as that this game is a bit tougher than the last one, and it also has 7 episodes. You can unlock a Pandora's Box (called "Pandra's Box" in the game) which lets you turn on some crazy options like controlling the dragon from the original game, selecting your stage, the size of your life meter, etc. You have to keep playing to earn more options in the Pandora's Box, and it really adds to the overall replayability of the game. The game also keeps track of how many times you've played it, how many hours you've played, how many times you've beaten the game. Really nice, I like games that do that. The bosses are really cool, but the final boss looks exactly like a Thanksgiving turkey!

This boss swims around underwater. Is that... transparency?
Well slap my ass and call me Squeaky, it sure is!

Flying through the Empire battleship in episode 6 is
one of the high points of the game. The Empire don't need
no stinkin' wings on their ships! Oars are where it's at!

Wrap up:
A great follow-up that expands on the original in a good way. Some may not appreciate the music, but this is a game that absolutely should not be missed!

11-25-2004, 03:22 AM
Your dragon actually grows depending on what route you pick, but to get certain routes depends on your performance before the routes come up and it also depends on certain routes taken.

11-25-2004, 03:24 AM
Great review, as usual. I remember how my brother had opened up Pandora's Box, then he had me sit there opening everything up in it for him. :cool: That was cool.

Joe Redifer
11-26-2004, 02:35 AM
Panzer Dragoon Saga
AKA: Azel - Panzer Dragoon RPG
Sega Saturn

The way they stack the 4 CDs in this box
is weird. Each CD has its own paper sleeve
and just sits on top of the CD below it.
At least each CD has its own unique graphic.

I knew that Panzer Dragoon Saga would be the toughest to review and take the longest. This game almost didn't make it out in the US. The Saturn was nearly dead here at the time and Sega of America didn't know what to do (have they ever?). They finally decided to translate the text and release the game. I never saw this game at retail, and I had to order it online. Once it arrived I found an RPG like no other, and right off the bat let me say that I am certainly no RPG fanatic. This was definitely different. How so? Well let's take a closer look at the game!

Story: 8/10
I may have rated this high just because I think that the world of Panzer Dragoon is downright cool. With its futuristic and yet ancient designs, as well as it's very own language, one cannot help but admire that world. In the beginning of the game you are greeted with the familiar Panzer Dragoon language. You're a dude named Edge who works for the Empire. You think the Empire is hot sh!t. One day you are battling a monster to prove your manliness in the excavation cave and you see some chick mounted on the wall in a funky position. This chick is Azel, and you'll meet her again in the game... more than once... so don't be too sad when she is kidnapped. Anyway you are rescued by a totally rad dragon and you vow revenge on those asswipes who killed your friends. Like I said, you think the Empire is hot sh!t, but as the game goes on you learn interesting things about it and its enemies, making you wonder where your loyalties lie. It's not typical to the story of other RPG's (thank goodness), but it fits right into the world of Panzer Dragoon. Have you ever noticed how at the end of all other Panzer Dragoon games, it is insinuated that your dragon dies (except in Zwei where it is insinuated that "after all this time he is still with me"). Ya think your dragon will survive this game? Do ya? Huh? Play and find out!

You'll fly though lots of tunnels to get
from area to area. Looks like a colonoscopy.

Graphics: 7/10
This is the Saturn trying to do 3D, so you're not going to be blown out of your chair... at least not this time. However the designs of the creatures and the ships is simply awesome, as is the animation of said designs. That brings the score up a notch on its own. There is also polygon transparency if you can believe that, though it only exists in clouds and water. The towns seem kind of drab in areas and the overworld map where you can move from area to area looks absolutely horrid and features unintentionally warping polygons. But again, those creature designs are truly a sight to behold. The frame rate usually stays around 30 or so and there is the rare moment of slowdown when too many polygons are onscreen (usually in the towns). Some of the areas are really cool lookin'. The desert looks almost exactly like the desert stage (stage 2) from the original Panzer Dragoon, with worms jumping in and out of the sand, etc.

Transparent polygonal water on the Saturn? No way!
You can even kill the little fishies swimming around!

Sound: 8/10
In the beginning of the game, all of the characters speak in the made-up Panzer Dragoon language. But once the actual gameplay begins, everybody starts speaking Japanese. All of this is subtitled, so if you can't read, take my advice here and don't play this game. Each and every line of dialog has a voiceover, and you can have fun with the voices by using the L and R buttons to slow them down or speed them up. If you use Sega's analog controller, the L and R buttons are actually analog triggers, and you can vary the speed of the voices to a great degree. Pretty cool, especially if you want to speed things up just to get out of talking with some moron. I wish I could do that in real life, god damn it! Then you have the typical dragon screeches which sound undeniably cool, and the regular Panzer Dragoon sound effects are here as well. The music is pretty good, definitely a notch above Zwei and Orta (parts 2 and 4) for the most part, though it's not quite up to the musical level of the first game. Still I did not tire of any of the tunes, even when I was in constant battle (and battles are not something that are few and far between in this game).

The battles are really cool. This is the
first boss. You must attack his ass.. and hard!

Gameplay: 8/10
Panzer Dragoon Saga is definitely a unique RPG to say the least. You have your typical controls like magic and healing, as well as save points and the like. You earn "money" (dyne) and experience after each enemy encounter you survive. But you don't have to worry about a party full of whiny teens like you do in most RPGs. It's just you and your dragon. And that other dude who gives you advice. You'll meet some peeps on the way, give them rides (like the aforementioned "advice dude"), get items from them and all that nonsense. But the meat of the game lies within the really cool battles. The battles are true 3D, and features one of the best battle systems I've ever seen used in an RPG. You can fly around to any of 4 sides of the enemies. One side will be their weakest and other sides will let them unleash stronger attacks against you. So you must keep your eye on the radar. If you are in the red, watch out as the enemy can kick your ass something fierce! You can use berserkers of different levels and effect, and you can use Edge's own gun to target a specific enemy in a crowd or a certain part on a boss' body. The better in battle you do, the more dyne and experience you get. If you barely make it out alive or take too many hits, you won't get as much. In order to attack you must wait until the three bars in the lower right of the screen fill up. Once one is filled you can unleash a basic attack. Some berserkers require more charge to use. The enemies all have charge bars as well, but you can't see them. Your bars can't charge as you are repositioning yourself. As the game progresses, you'll of course go on to new areas but you'll also need to backtrack into previously visited areas to get what you couldn't before. The game offers 6 different save slots which is welcome, but in order to get all 6 of them you must have both the Sega Battery Back Up cartridge as well as enough space in your Saturn's memory. You can potentially have unlimited save slots if you have millions of different Sega Back Up carts if that's your thang. You also earn spirituality points if you are nice to your dragon. Be sure to smile and pet him every time you can, and also give him a name. He'll like that. Doing this allows you to obtain certain berserkers and can even teach your dragon to fight on his own! The game isn't horribly long, expect about 20 hours or so with this one. No complaints here. I like my RPG's to get to the point rather than just droning on and on forever (like Tales of Symphonia does). A very worthy game to play through, and it really helps you to appreciate the Panzer Dragoon world even more.

You don't spend the entire game on your dragon.
You get to wander around towns as well. Here
Edge looks for a place to take a wicked piss!

Wrap up:
A great RPG, but I'm not sure where all the hype comes from. It's probably due to the game's rarity. Nonetheless, a fitting chapter in the Panzer Dragoon series. Go buy this game now. Travel back in time if you have to... it's easy.. and cheaper than current eBay prices!

11-26-2004, 09:20 AM
I tried this game before, the graphics were so horrid so I didn't bother playing further.

11-26-2004, 12:18 PM
For the mid to late 90's, I thought the Panzer games had some fairly good graphics, great gameplay, a wonderful atmosphere, and of course great music polished off the whole package.

Great reviews, Redifer. I enjoy RPG's that last in the 20 to 30 hour range. Any more and it starts to get tedious. I've always wanted PD Saga, but not till after it already cost a mint on Ebay. Damn, I remember seeing PD Saga on the shelf at EB back in the day, when the Saturn was dieing and there were like 20 Saturn games left on the shelf and it was only $50. I bought Primal Rage for the Jag CD instead, as it was on clearance and only $9.99. Then I went down to KB Toys and bought a couple more Jag games for under $10 each. Shoot me now! :crazy:

Joe Redifer
11-27-2004, 12:27 AM
Panzer Dragoon Orta

One of the few Japanese
games available for the Xbox.

Finally we have what might be the last Panzer Dragon game ever released due to poor sales. That's really sad, because it's such a good game. The fact that you can't kill prostitutes is probably what made this game fail. But this Xbox game has an unbelievable amount of polish. It is one of the true gems available for the system.

I'm not sure if this is a worm
or a huge infected love muscle.

Graphics: 10/10
Wow. After playing through the other 3 Panzer Dragoon games and then turning on this, I am simply floored. It is one of the best looking Xbox games... heck one of the best looking games period! Not only does it have the amazing design that is a staple in the Panzer Dragoon world, it expands upon it greatly as well. Whereas other Panzer Dragoons were more ancient than futuristic, this one leans more heavily to the futuristic side. Lots of splashy colors, incredible depth, silky-smooth framerate, 480p and perfect 16:9 widescreen with NO stretched menus or HUDs. Make that 3 games that do 16:9 perfectly (Super Monkeyball 2 and F-Zero GX being the other 2 so far. Sega rocks). This game also has a minimal amount of aliasing (jaggies) even in 480p. Truly a sight to be hold in every aspect of the visuals.

The dragon from the original game attacks
the boss of the stage and his employees.

Sound: 9/10
All of your typical Panzer Dragoon sounds are here once again and they sound great. There are some new futuristic sounds as well. The music sounds very similar to Zwei, but the sound quality is more polished and the music played during the early boss encounters is awesome. Some of the music in the later stages is rather nondescript, much to my dismay. Then there is the overall sound quality: Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, this game sounds absolutely incredible! People who know sound worked on this game, that's for sure. The use of the discrete subwoofer is brilliant and really adds to the power and intensity of the game. These guys know way more than the people who did Halo 2's sounds. Halo 2 doesn't even have a discrete subwoofer. One of the better sounding Xbox games out there.

Fly through the giant colon to
get to the source of all evil!

Gameplay: 8/10
The gameplay is great but doesn't quite live up to the awesome graphics and sound. It takes its cues from each of the previous Panzer Dragoon games. It's a straightforward "on rails" shooter like the first game, it features branching paths and limited dragon growth like the second game, and bosses have weak spots that do more damage if you attack them there like the third game. You must fly around to the appropriate side of them by slowing down or speeding up. There is a lot of story and dialog going on at times as you play, as well as cut scenes between each episode. In this game we get 10 episodes instead of just 7 like in the previous outings. You are in control of a morphing dragon, who changes appearance and abilities at your command. I really did not like this feature, because each version of the dragon leveled up independently and I just didn't like being bothered by having to worry about which dragon form I should use at any given time, so I pretty much stuck with the default form. More choice isn't ALWAYS good. This time the story is more about you than the overall world of the Empire. And once again there is a Pandora's Box which lets you unlock a ton of stuff that really adds a lot to the replayability. These include entire new modes of gameplay such as being able to play a young boy who grows up to be part of the empire. You can even fly different dragons and ships throughout the main game, and even have Azel (from Panzer Dragoon Saga) as your rider. There are many different things to do in Pandora's Box, so you won't get bored too quickly, that's for sure. I have unlocked everything and the detail that went into this game is amazing. You can even play the original Sega Saturn Panzer Dragoon once you beat the game once! That is typical of Sega in many of their games... Panzer Dragoon Orta, House of the Dead III and Out Run 2 all have the original games in them (or part 2 in the case of HotD) when you beat them. Sega loves you. You should love them back!

If you kill all of the giant endangered butterflies,
they won't be on the endangered species list anymore.

Wrap up:
This is probably the last game in the series, and it is a fitting end. Lots of fun to be had and if you own an Xbox you should own this game, unless you only have an Xbox because of Halo 1 and 2.

Joe Redifer
11-27-2004, 08:00 PM
And so Panzer Dragoon Orta was met with silence. :(

Well I've got more reviews a-comin' up, and they won't be ignored like Orta! Everyone will be REQUIRED to reply with whimsical comments! :) :)

11-27-2004, 08:17 PM
And so Panzer Dragoon Orta was met with silence. :(

Well I've got more reviews a-comin' up, and they won't be ignored like Orta! Everyone will be REQUIRED to reply with whimsical comments! :) :)
I loved Orta. Besides halo 1 and 2 this was the only Xbox game that played over and over again untill i experienced everything.

Joe Redifer
11-27-2004, 11:27 PM
Feel the Magic XY XX
Nintendo DS

You know you'd do her.

It's the same exact romantic story you hear all the time. Boy sees girl. Boy develops instant crush on girl. Boy must win over the girl's affections. Boy touches angry bull stampede. Boy defeats bees. Boy climbs through snake. Boy gets girl. It's your typical love story that you read about in romance novels and Sega made it into a really cool light gun game to the Nintendo DS system! OK it's not really a light gun game, but in many ways it acts like one, except that you use a stylus instead of a goofy-looking gray Nintendo gun. Sega's Light Phaser was much cooler than Nintendo's Zapper. But then again you'd expect that, because it's Sega. Duh! But rarely in this game do you use anything EXCEPT the touch screen to control the game. It's basically a bunch of minigames in one and is, by far, the best launch game available for the DS. I also think it's the ONLY original launch game, being as everyone's already played Super Mario 64, John Madden, etc etc. Yay Sega!

Story: 5/10
Who cares?

The object of your affection has the weirdest fetish.
She likes it when you touch the scorpions but hates it if you accidentally touch her.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics are pretty good in a simple way. There is no facial detail in the game, and the 3D graphics are kind of Saturn-y, if even that. But what is there definitely works well. There is nothing in the game that will amaze your eyeballs, and nothing that will disappoint them, either. I do kind of like the visual style, and I feel that it definitely works for this type of game. Unfortunately there isn't any slow down or flicker to whine about. Damn.

You must blow on the touch screen in order to
get the boat to your bitch and rescue her snatch!

Sound: 8/10
I have to admit that the DS has some pretty good sound capabilities, definitely better than what was typically heard from the N64. Not much in the way of sound effects here except the pansie-ass screams and crys of the dude you are in charge of. He is a true sissy, just like you. The music is kooky-crazy Japanese nuttiness of very high quality, and it works for this bizarre game. The stereo effect works amazingly well coming from the DS speakers. There is quite a bit of voice in the game as well, all pronounced with heavy Japanese accents to add to the nutiness. For instance during the stage called Nightmare 3, the voice will say "Night-Mare tree!" Everyone in the US should change the way they speak so that they sound like this game.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/ftm3.jpg (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Break_Time.mp3)
Between rounds 3 and 4 is BREAK TIME!
Touch the picture!

Gameplay: 8/10
The entire game is controlled via the touchscreen. You will never have to press any other buttons except when you are zooming back and forth in the ?ber-pointless "Mania" mode. Actions include rubbing goldfish that are stuck in some moron's stomach up and out of his throat, typing numbers on a keypad to open moron's parachutes, running over innocent and helpless human beings jogging down the road and then slinging those human beings into an enemy vehicle, holding your bitch's hand and "defeating" bees that fly around, touching stampeding bulls to calm them down (works in real life, too. Try it!), and much, much more. You even get to yell at your bitch to get her attention. The problem is you have to yell over a loud band. I recommend that you play this scene at someplace very crowded. People will think you are retarded for yelling at your DS, but that's OK... people think you are retarded anyway, trust me. There's always something creative to do and it's always kooky-crazy. Once you finish a stage in story mode, it opens up for play in Memories mode. There are 18 "scenes" and multiple stages per scene, except for the "love" scenes where you rub your girl (yeah) or the "boss" scenes where you fight the evil fat boss (this game teaches you that ALL fat people are evil, no exceptions). When you play the scenes in "memories" mode, you get up to 10 stages per scene, (5 stages from normal Story mode, 5 stages from hard mode). It's also really fun because any idiot who knows how to hold a stylus can play. In other words, you can let your family play this!!! They will laugh at all of the complete Japanese wackiness this game offers. And your mom will really like the "love" scenes where you rub your girlfriend! She'll ask your friends to do it to her in real life! Woo hoo!

Touch all of the bulls to calm them down!
Just like in real life!

Wrap up
Leave it to Sega to once again have the best software available for any given system. A must own if you have a DS!

11-28-2004, 01:19 AM
I couldn't bring myself to talk about Orta. It wasn't my idea of a good shooter.

Have you heard Joe? They're releasing a new Super MonkeyBall on the Xbox/PS2 which contains all the stages from the first two on GC plus adds even more. :cool:

As for the Feel The Magic review, it sounds good. But how come your opening material is practically the same as EGM's preview of it? You did that intentionally, didn't you? (Both intros sound like that Leslie Nielson line in the movie Airplane!, "It's the same old story: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl dies in tragic blimp accident.")

Joe Redifer
11-28-2004, 04:28 AM
I've never seen Airplane, but I did like EGM's write up on it, even though I wrote mine before I read the EGM article (I just read it last night, I wrote this a few days ago. I had to remove my "scorpion" comment and replace it with the "snake" comment). I thought you didn't "lower yourself" enough to read EGM? I don't, however, think that EGM went back through old issues of Gamefan just so the editor could write something similar for this month's editorial.

And of course I know about Super Monkeyball Deluxe. That's ancient news.

Joe Redifer
11-28-2004, 04:30 AM
The Legendary Axe

If only the spider in the game looked this cool...

The Legendary Axe was one of the US launch games for the ill-fated NEC TurboGrafx-16 system. Most magazines drooled over this game, saying that it was better than anything available in the Genesis' upcoming lineup (the Turbo beat the Genesis to market by a few weeks). The magazines couldn't be more wrong. This is a great game, but it really does not deserve all of the early praise that it got. It never deserved it.

Here Gogan takes a whack at the in-game spider!

Graphics: 6/10
The graphics here are a step above the 8-bit NES graphics, but nowhere even close to Altered Beast, the first Genesis game. There was only one background layer, there was very little animation in the sprites, the screen shimmered as it scrolled (just like the NES), and there really wasn't much to tell you that this was a "next generation" game of any kind. I rented the TurboGrafx-16, this game and a few others after I had owned the Genesis for a month or so. I recall laughing at the animation of Gogan climbing up the rope. 2 whole frames, and one frame is just a mirror of the other. I recall thinking "Wow, this is like the NES with a bit more color and perhaps a bit less flicker!". This game certainly does not push the Turbografx-16 in any way.

The music that plays as you fight these bears is some
of the worst music ever in all of videogamedom!
And that's why the bears are so angry!

Sound: 5/10
The first time I heard this game, I thought I was listening to the NES. That's right... this game sounds almost exactly like the NES sound chip. Except I noticed a few more simultaneous sound channels and even a wee bit of stereo. But to the casual observer, there will be next to no difference in the sound between this game and just about any 8-bit NES game. There are some stages, like Zone 3A, that actually have good music, and then there are some really horrible boss tunes as well. The sound quality in general is pretty piss-poor.

The is the EXACT SAME boulder that chased Indiana Jones
and also chased you in Panzer Dragoon II Zwei.
It gets around.

Gameplay: 7/10
At least this game is fun. It's your basic platformer and you get to power up your axe, time jumps, and hack enemies through many levels, including a maze-like level in the Pits of Madness. It can be kind of frustrating as you tend to bounce off of enemies to your doom. You can get extra continues, but that always means lots of backtracking and the like. The controls are very good and Gogan moves at a fair speed (not too fast, not too slow). It can get a bit addictive, but it really isn't anything you haven't played before, and it certainly doesn't smash the opening titles in the Genesis lineup like it was supposed to. Ghouls 'N Ghosts walks all over this. But if you can find this game cheap, it is worth picking up, as it is a good addition to every Turbo collection.

This screen right here is as good as the graphics and music get!

Wrap Up:
A good occasional diversion for your Turbografx-16 or your TurboExpress.

11-28-2004, 04:36 AM
And so Panzer Dragoon Orta was met with silence. :(

Well I've got more reviews a-comin' up, and they won't be ignored like Orta! Everyone will be REQUIRED to reply with whimsical comments! :) :)

I loved your Orta review and all your PD reviews! Wunderbar! Orta is a kick arse game...pure Sega goodness!

11-28-2004, 04:46 AM
Well my subscription hasn't run out yet, so I make with what's given. I only just heard about the SMB update today, so I was just sharing the news. As far as "Shoe" is concerned, yes, it does seem an outrageous accusation but I do believe that there's something eerie about the situation, the way he negleted editorial content beforehand, then comes out with strikingly similar material to Dave. But just as well, I'm disappointed in Dave's content as of recent years. In Issue 31 (I believe) of Gamer's Republic, they interviewed Jonathan Davis (Korn). Why a gaming magazine would do such a thing, I don't know. It makes me wish that Next Generation didn't go out when it did because they actually interviewed people relevant to the game industry.

Those LA screenshots really don't do the game any justice at all. You said that it looks pretty bad but it's one of the best-looking TG16 launch titles and it does a decent job overall. The animation may not be all that special, but how many MEGS are being used? Maybe 4, and on a system with weaker graphical abilities than the Genesis. It's amazing that Capcom was able to make Street Fighter II look and sound as good as it did on a spruced-up 8-bit console like the technically humble TG16. Also, I like the soundtrack a lot. Stage 2 (the caverns) and a few other songs are just begging to be reworked on a new console, but that's extremely doubtful.

Joe Redifer
11-28-2004, 06:30 AM
Legendary Axe may have been one of the best looking TG-16 launch titles, but that's not really saying much. What else was it up against? Keith Courage in Alpha Zones? SideArms? I rated it compared to other software on the system, and Legendary Axe's graphics are pretty wimpy even by Turbo standards. They deserve a 6. It is a 2 meg game. Stage 2's music was decent but stage 3A's music was even better. The music is more of a 5.5, but I don't grade on a curve.

11-28-2004, 05:45 PM
Man, just two!? What other 2-MEG game looks that good? Anyway, Keith Courage does look good, especially in the Alpha Zones, but I wish that there were more enemies. They just began repeating bosses and stuff later on. But oh well.

Joe Redifer
11-28-2004, 07:59 PM
Legendary Axe II

Ignore the box, the axe is the worst weapon in the game.

All 6 dozen owners of the TurboGrafx-16 videogame system demanded a sequel to the hit game "The Legendary Axe". NEC USA was under pressure to deliver. But Japan didn't want to do a Legendary Axe II. So instead NEC took a game that was programmed by the same peeps that involved a swinging weapon of some kind, renamed it "Legendary Axe II" and unleashed it on the USA. People were pissed off because it had nothing to do with the original Legendary Axe in any way. People just couldn't handle it. But as we've learned by now, most people are morons. True, NEC should NOT have called this game "Legendary Axe II", but they did. And it is still an awesome game. Since it shares a name with The Legendary Axe, comparisons are inevitable. And this game is better than its "predecessor" in just about every way.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics are much sharper this time around, however they are quite a bit darker on average. The animation is much better, the enemies bigger and better designed, and the backgrounds slightly more interesting (and definitely more evil). Everything moves at lightning speed in this game. It's a stark contrast to the "original" game where everything moved at a snail's pace. Lots of flashy effects are here when things blow up and when you swing your sword. I just wish the graphics could have been a bit brighter.

Some of the bosses are huge!
Slice his crotch to take him down!

Sound: 8/10
For the Turbo, this game had some mighty good sound. The music this time around is MUCH better and far more engaging. It can be energetic or suspenseful, or just downright creepy. I love the sound the giant flies make when you slice them. It doesn't sound like a real fly getting sliced (and trust me, I sliced a bunch of real flies to compare this game's sound to), but it does sound cool. When you get hit it kind of sounds like a bee buzzing, adding to the unintended hilarity. But the music, for the most part, is king. Great stereo effects in the music round out the sound package.

After defeating each boss, our hero
strikes a pose to prove his manliness!

Gameplay: 8/10
Since this game moves much faster than the first one, it is far easier to get into and it requires more from your skills. There are three different weapons you can choose from as well as a bomb you can throw with the RUN button. The premise of the game is that the King dies, and you and your brother must battle over the throne. Obviously one of you is evil and the other is good. Can you guess which one is evil? Tell me your answer AFTER you see the ending. The controls are pretty much spot on, except for a slight delay in jumping caused by the animation. Can you believe that both this game and the first one were the same size (2 megabits)? Boss fights often require strategy and sometimes they are quite huge. It kind of sucks when you die because you have to work at powering yourself all the way back up again which can take a fair amount of time. The dude you control is definitely on drugs. When he defeats a boss, he offers a manly pose and then attempts to exit the stage. These attempts are different for each stage. In Stage 1 he gets it right, but as the stages increase he'll try to exit the wrong way or he'll even hop away like a monkey! His drug usage obviously increases as the stages go on. Overall I'd say this game is a great, fast romp through a hack and slash world that's worth taking!

Up, up, and up you go in stage 4.
The music in this level is superb.

Wrap up:
If you liked Rastan, then this game is Rastan on speed and steroids! For those of you who don't know what Rastan is, I'll try to review both the Sega Master System (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=157339#post157339) version and the arcade (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=157338#post157338) version in the future. If there are hyperlinks in this paragraph, then I've reviewed them and you can click on them to read the reviews.

11-28-2004, 11:29 PM
I was wondering how you were going to incorporate a Christmas theme in your avatar. I like it and the ghastly skull likes it. I must buy him a present.
Oh yeah great reviews, keep em coming. Let the hilarity ensue.

11-29-2004, 01:37 AM
Feel the Magic XY XX
Nintendo DS

You know you'd do her.

But then again you'd expect that, because it's Sega.

sorry to burst your bubble, but sega are like titus now.

11-29-2004, 01:41 AM
A skull and a Vic Viper donning Santa hats. I'm debating putting one on Bruce Campbell.

LAII has way better music than the first? This I've gotta hear.

11-29-2004, 02:44 AM
Try to transform Bruce into Santa Claus if you can. That would be kick ass...............Santa with a BOOM stick.

If SEGA= Titus than Mr Fantastic= Pee Wee Herman


11-29-2004, 03:23 AM
Workshed. :cool:

11-29-2004, 10:56 AM
Try to transform Bruce into Santa Claus if you can. That would be kick ass...............Santa with a BOOM stick.

If SEGA= Titus than Mr Fantastic= Pee Wee Herman


LOL, SEGA rock, SEGA had a bad year in 2003, 2004 was much better
I'd say by 2005 Q4 SEGA and Sammys line ups will be unstopable!

11-29-2004, 12:12 PM
Sega's got some really good stuff this gen. I am really wanting to play Blood will tell(Dororo). Has anybody played this that can give a review? I know it got fairly low rankings because I checked gamerankings but it still looks like a fun game.

11-29-2004, 06:49 PM
VicViper go here for dororo

Joe Redifer
11-30-2004, 01:51 AM
Phantasy Star
Sega Master System

One of the best games ever!

Wander through the towns trying
to find someone's ass to kick!

I remember standing in Lionel Playworld (or was it Children's Palace?) holding both Phantasy Star and Thunder Blade in my hands, and I was trying to decide on which one I wanted to purchase. It was a very hard decision for me! Thank *insert favorite diety here* I decided on Phantasy Star and I have never ever regretted that. I still wake up in a cold sweat when I think about how I almost chose Thunder Blade instead, oh the ghastly Thunder Blade. Sega unleashed one of the first true role playing videogames on a home console. Sure, there was Final Fantasy (I think), Ultima, Dragon Warrior, and Miracle Warriors before it, but they all sucked huge amounts of ass, especially when compared to Sega's new gem. The game was also bigger than any of the aforementioned games, weighing in at 4 megabits plus battery. This enabled the graphics and sounds to be great, which was a first for this type of game. The games on the NES weighed in at no more than 1 meg at the time, and the majority of the memory went to the text and left very little room for decent graphics. But Sega wanted to give people the full experience, and at $70 they sure did.

The 3D dungeons are AMAZING,
especially for an 8-bit system!

Huh? What? I'm just looking
for the Governor. I no understand.

Story: 8/10
For me, this was the first game I had ever played that actually revolved around a story. Sure, games like Space Harrier would have a back story, but it mattered not when you played the game. With Phantasy Star, the story very much matters. You are on a quest to avenge your dead brother who got too close to Lassic, who is the main "mean person" in this game. Revenge is always a good thing and I wholeheartedly recommend it whenever possible, be it in games or in real life. Along the way you'll meet more characters and discover some cool things, like vehicles. You may even find that Lassic is not the root of all the evil in the world(s). Your journey takes you back and forth between 3 large planets, and exploration is key. But what's the deal with Myau, the cat you find, and Odin, a chiseled stone dude, and Noah, an effective magician? Why would they help YOU avenge your wimpy-ass brother?

The battle graphics are intense.
That's what I wanted to be for Halloween!

The near painting quality graphics may distract
you from Fishman's highly erotic tonguework!

Graphics: 10/10
Graphics simply do not get any better for the Sega Master System... or any other 8-bit system for that matter (not counting the TurboGrafx). Many RPGs even to this day portray the characters and enemies in the mega-lame "super-deformed" mode. Not here. Sega knows that super-deformed artwork is ultra-retarded and does not lend itself into being taken seriously, so instead they used GOOD artwork for the characters and enemies, which is a novel concept! The enemies are rife with detail, and the animation is exquisite. Many enemies have multiple animated attacks. The backgrounds during the battle scenes also change depending on where you are at the time (unlike Phantasy Star 2's boring blue grid for EVERY single battle). The detail is absolutely superb. There are even a few animated details in some of the backgrounds. The overhead map looks good as well, and is quite colorful. Then there are the dungeons. The dungeons are all first person and full screen, and the animation is phenomenal even when turning corners or approaching walls. There is no choppiness in the scaling and no slowdown at all. This is an 8-bit system? I never even saw this effect done properly on a 16-bit system. Well Shining in the Darkness on the Genesis kind of tried it, but it was not full screen like this is and it was mega-choppy. It wasn't until the Saturn's "Shining the Holy Ark" would we get something that surpassed this effect. The Sega Master System truly was a marvel in the right hands, and this game featured the best graphics, by far, in the entire 8-bit generation, bar none.

There are even a few cut-scenes.
Myau tells it like it is.

Sound: 9/10
Not too much in the way of sound effects here, with your standard 8-bit slashes, clicks, bells, etc. There aren't any digitized sounds. The music on the other hand is superb, and remains classic to this day. It really helped me get into the Phantasy Star world. Composed by Tokuhiko Uwabo, or "Bo" for short, the music envelops you into the solem yet hopeful world of the characters. The music on the overhead map on planet Motabia (or "Motavia" in the US) is especially excellent. Tokuhiko Uwabo was also responsible for Zillion 1 and 2, Phantasy Star 2, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, the SMS port of Space Harrier, Space Harrier II, among other games. If you played this game in Japan, you could also listen to the game in "FM" mode, which was an "enhanced" sound chip for the Japanese Sega Master System. To be honest, it sounds like a Genesis that's been strangled. The typical PSG sound that we heard in the US sounds MUCH better. You can still experience the FM sounds either on an emulator or in the Saturn's Phantasy Star Collection. Again, I recommend the normal PSG sounds.

I don't understand why "No"
is even an option. Now maybe if
she was asking about Square...

Myau takes a beating from 3 Crawlers.

Gameplay: 9/10
Pretty typical for most RPG's, but certainly cutting-edge back in the day. Run around, battle monsters to gain experience and money. Level up and buy better weapons. Search dungeons for special items and people. Battle bosses and save the world. Just about everything is done through a text menu, and the screen can fill up with tons of menus. It never gets confusing, though. The game lets you save at ANY TIME YOU WANT, which is absolutely awesome. The only time you can't save is during battles. Learning new magic spells and trying them out is always a blast, and mapping the dungeons can be tedious, but still fun. You can collect up to four people in your party and you never swap them with other party members like in other RPGs (like Phantasy Star 2). Once they are in your party, they are in it for the duration. I really like that because once you get used to a character, you don't want them going away, and you don't have to worry about leveling up a whole bunch of other morons who aren't currently traveling with you. The Japanese to English translation is hilarious, with plenty of typos to amuse you for hours, like "First Food Shop" instead of the obvious "Fast Food Shop". I wish the translation could have been better, but it does not ruin the gameplay in any way. The game took me a long while to beat it when I first went through it. You must remember that this game was released back when there were no internet FAQs, no game magazines (that's right, this came out way before EGM started up), no friends to ask for advice because they all had Nintendo, and really no way to get through the game except to figure it out on your own. Well, I suppose you could call 1-800-USA-SEGA and talk to Sega's game counselors for free. I think I did that once when I got stuck (couldn't find that damned Learma Tree). Fortunately there are 5 save slots so you can use an alternative slot just in case you get stuck, and it really helps when mapping out the dungeons. Some people say there is a bug in this game where you can get permanently stuck in Lassic's floating castle. You have to feed Myau a nut to get to the floating castle in the first place, and they say if Alis has used all of her magic and you don't have a Transfer, you are stuck there forever and ever. NOT TRUE! Just feed Myau the nut again and he flies right back to Palma. The people who say you can get stuck have probably failed at life. I don't know how long the game is because there isn't a clock provided, but I'd say it is around 30 hours, maybe more, doing it all on your own figuring everything out as you go. Again, that's a rough guess. It'd be probably 5 or 10 hours longer if you want to try to level every character up to Level 30 (the max) before you fight Lassic. Absolutely amazing game, and remains fond in my memories even after all these years!

You even have to deal with
the homeless in this game!

An eyeball with wings...
How does it... you know?

Wrap up:
One of the absolute best games of the 8-bit generation, and in my opinion the best Phantasy Star game aside from part IV. Part 2 was a good game as well, but it just didn't have the cool graphics of part 1.

To read my review of Phantasy Star, decipher the strange text above into something you can comprehend.
To read my review of Phantasy Star 2 click HERE (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=193488#post193488).
To read my review of Phantasy Star 3 click HERE (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=262502#post262502).
To read my review of Phantasy Star 4 click HERE (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=258969#post258969).

11-30-2004, 03:46 AM
"Some people say there is a bug in this game where you can get permanently stuck in Lassic's floating castle. You have to feed Myau a nut to get to the floating castle in the first place, and they say if Alis has used all of her magic and you don't have a Transer, you are stuck there forever and ever. NOT TRUE! Just feed Myau the nut again and he flies right back to Palma. The people who say you can get stuck have probably failed at life."

Here referring to Nick Rox...?

Joe Redifer
11-30-2004, 05:34 AM
Did he say that? I know I read it on the web quite recently. If he said that, he is a moron. I just tried escaping without using magic or a transer last night and it works fine. I don't think Sega would miss a bug like that.

11-30-2004, 05:55 AM
Yo Joe my man, when can I have a christmas hat?

11-30-2004, 11:39 AM
In GameFan Volume 4 - Issue 5, there is a two-page PS review by Nick on p.90-91 in which he states that you can get eternally stuck in two dungeons. In the dungeon on Dezoris, he says that when you're told to go left, don't go unless you've got a flute or a transfer. And likewise, on Lassic's floating castle you should either bring a transfer or 8MP for Alis' "Fly" spell.

Joe Redifer
11-30-2004, 07:47 PM
Well by the time you get to the dungeon on Dezoris, you have the Flute in your inventory which takes you out of any dungeon and doesn't use any magic points. If you missed the flute, then you're stuck and deserve to press Reset. As for Lassic's floating castle, you need neither magic nor a Transer to escape. Also it's "transer", not "transfer". Shows what Nix Rocks knows.

12-01-2004, 01:30 AM
I may be mistaken about that misspelling, but whatever the case it's apparent he's mistaken. Perhaps he was rushing.

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 02:05 AM
Well he's not the only person who's ever said it, so he's not alone. Oh well. I sure hope the PS2 remake of Phantasy Star does the game justice.

12-01-2004, 02:12 AM
When they bring it here, it's supposed to have I, II & IV of the remakes (no III but who's complaining?). If the remakes don't ruin the games in any way, it should deserve a perfect rating. Three of the greatest RPGs ever made (better than FF in my opinion) but better? Woah.

To quote Spandau Ballet ~ "You are GOLD!"

12-01-2004, 02:17 AM
I just started playing my new copy of FF Dawn of Souls, I'm going to review it, well I've already beat Gariland, and got the pirate ship, in just over half an hour. I'll have more in my review, I'll be reviewing FF Origins and comparing all three versions of the games in my review.

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 02:17 AM
In Japan they are all released on their own disc. In the US all 3 of them are supposed to be combined onto one? Boy I sure hope they don't cut anything out of the Japanese versions. The intro to the aprt 1 remake looks awesome, and looks completely anime (though without actual animation). I hope they don't ruin the music as well. All 3 of those games have awesome music, especially parts 1 and 2 (different sound composer was used for IV).

Up next: Strider

12-01-2004, 02:23 AM
I'd buy the reworked soundtracks for all three of the remakes if Sega released them. Perhaps they will and they'll be cool and include the original soundtracks as well. Anyway, Strider is a divine game in a class all its own. :cool: I already reviewed that one, so I'm thinking of doing Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol.1 next because I was playing it today and it's truly a great compilation.

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 03:11 AM
Here is the Strider mega-blowout! I review every version of Strider for consoles all in a row (scroll down for more versions). Strider II will not be reviewed alongside Strider. But if you must know, the Genesis version of Strider II (also called Strider Returns) was extremely weak in all areas but had decent-quality voices. The PlayStation version of Strider 2 was fun, but grainy looking and incredibly easy.


Arcades usually have goofy artwork.

Strider is one of those games which really stands out. All though it is a hack-and-slash platform game, the unique style of everything really makes it stand alone. The arcade version was definitely the best of ANY Strider game, but what else would you expect? This was made back in the day when Capcom made many great arcade games that made you stop and look as you walked past them on your way to go play a Sega game. You may have even put in a few dollars worth just to play. Good for you, as it's definitely worth it! The arcade version of Strider weighs in at a hefty (for the day) 5.3 megabytes, or 42.4 megabits in console terms.

Your mission is to slice Russians!
Is this game about "ethnic cleansing"?

Graphics: 10/10
Wow. Great artwork and design in this game. Lots of diagonal lines of varying degrees give this game an "angular" look and definitely makes it stand out against many other games that use "patterned" backgrounds. Much of the artwork here has a very "hands drawn" look to it, and the colors are superb. You will find up to 4 independent layers of scrolling backgrounds which add to the depth and overall look of the game. The animation on all of the characters and bosses is top notch, and the cut scenes even look pretty cool as well. Memory definitely wasn't a problem when designing this game, so they went all out in every way they could.

My favorite scene from the game.
It's so profoundly purple!

Sound: 8/10
When I hear the music to this game, I immediately think "Strider" for obvious reasons. The music is not absolutely amazing or anything (it's certainly not bad), but it fits the game EXTREMELY well and I can't really imagine listening to anything else as I play. That says quite a bit. Most stages have multiple scores, one for each section. Stage 1 alone has 5 themes to add to the mega-variety. There are tons of voices in this game, as all of the cut-scenes are voiced over in a usually bizarre manner. The Japanese version of the arcade even has a vocal grunt made by Strider every time he swings his sword, and for some reason this was removed from the US version of the arcade game. I guess America was just not ready to hear the grunts again and again. Maybe when our civilization advances more, we will be worthy. But overall quite a nice sound package, with nothing to hurt your ears.

The top of the tower of stage 1.
You can even get a mecca-eagle and jaguar!

Gameplay: 8/10
Run, jump, climb, flip, swing, hang. All fun stuff to do when playing Strider. There isn't much that you can't cling to when you're jumping around like a madman, and that makes it fun and sometimes frustrating when you accidentally cling to something you didn't want to. But when that happens it only means that you suck at gaming and also as a human being. Fighting the bosses can be extremely cool, especially at the end of level 3 when you're stuck rotating around a large orb's gravitational pull. What's more is that the bosses aren't ALWAYS at the end of the stage. In the aforementioned stage 3 you have to escape after you have defeated the boss, and the boss of stage 2 is actually right at the beginning, if you can believe that. The "mid-boss" is halfway through stage 2 and you don't even have to defeat him. It's design like this that really puts this game in a class by itself. The control is great and it's just an absolute blast to play. The game is pretty short and not overly difficult by any means, but it really is worth the trip again and again.

The Russian congress joins together
in a unanimous vote to whoop your ass!

Wrap up
One of the most unique arcade platformers and definitely worth your quarters! More than an 8, but not quite a 9

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 03:11 AM
Sega Genesis

Oh dear God! When did Strider start
looking like a middle-aged Bruce Willis?

I remember a month or so before Christmas 1990 how a local game store in Arvada, Colorado called Powerfully Gay Games.. err... I mean Power Play Games was trying to sell me the $95 Sega Megadrive version of Strider. Why should I get that when the US version comes out in a couple weeks? They kept telling me that the game was so monumental that waiting would not be in my best interest. But I had to wait. So what was so monumental about the home version? Strider was the very first 8 megabit (1 megabyte) game ever for any gaming console. The world was blown away. Official holidays were declared. 8 freakin' megs??? NO WAY!!! This has got to be the bestest most awesomest game ever! But compared to the arcade's 42.4 megs, a couple of compromises had to be made here and there. Considering that limitation, I think Sega did a GREAT job converting this over to the home console. The gameplay remains exactly the same as the arcade counterpart, so we'll look mostly into the differences between the two in this review.

Not too bad when compared to the arcade.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are really good, especially for the time, on the Genesis. The same design was used from the arcade and for the most part the game looks the same. The colors have been toned down somewhat and the backgrounds have lost the 3rd and 4th layers of scrolling, however. In some scenes in the arcade where there were only two scrolling layers (like when climbing up the shaft after defeating the gorilla boss in stage 2 for example), the Genesis version has been reduced to only one scrolling screen. Some portions of the background now have a "patterned" look to them, which obviously saves a lot on memory. Characters have been redrawn to fit the Genesis' sprite aspect ratio and Strider's sword no longer swings... it instead just "flashes" with only 1 frame of animation. You will also notice less animation in general. There is also a lot of flicker, tearing, and slowdown in this game that the arcade does not feature. Don't get me wrong though, this is still a great looking game!

My favorite scene loses some luster.
But at least the music is still good here.

Sound: 7/10
Mono. The entire game is in mono. Why? That pisses me off. The music is extremely similar to the arcade in composition and sound quality, and it fits the game perfectly. The voice-overs during the cut scenes have been removed as well as a few other digitized sounds (like the one made by the boss of Stage 1 as it assembles in the arcade), but the most other voices remain. The Japanese Megadrive version of Strider has the vocal grunt whenever he swings his sword, just like the Japanese arcade. But just like the US arcade, that grunt was removed from the US version of the game for some bizarre reason. Also removed from the US version of the game was a voice (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/strider.mp3) that says "All sons of old Gods... DIE!". OK. This is said by the enemy to Strider. Is Strider actually Jesus? That is awesome, I always wanted to play a game where Jesus shows His true powers. Why did they take this out? Did Sega of America think they'd get a whole bunch of letters or something? Now I wish I did go for that Japanese version! Quality-wise, the voices are pretty good, if a wee bit scratchy. And what's with that sound Strider makes as he walks or falls off of the edge of a ledge? It sounds like a mini-vaccuum cleaner and only exists in the Genesis/Megadrive versions.

I am Strider Hyru, hear me roar!

Gameplay: 8/10
Basically the same as the arcade version featuring the same stages and control. What is weird about the Genesis version, however, is that whenever you make it to a "checkpoint" the whole screen will freeze for a second or so, and then continue. What the hell? It's almost as if it's loading whatever is coming up next, even though since it's a cartridge game loading shouldn't be necessary. Regardless, it is a great romp to take on your Genesis again and again, and definitely a game worth owning!

Good thing Strider isn't afraid of creepy-crawlies.

Wrap up:
The best conversion of the Strider arcade for a home console, not counting the arcade-perfect edition that comes on the Strider 2 Playstation disc (the "Strider 2" game is actually on the Strider 1 disc. Go figure).

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 03:12 AM
Sega Master System

A crappy box to go along
with the mega-crappy game.

Sega just HAD to try and put Strider on the Sega Master System, even as it died and the Genesis was kicking ass in the videogame marketplace. Why, Sega, why? They decided that they didn't need to make it more than 1 megabit. I have to give it points for at least attempting to be like the arcade game, which the NES version does not.

Strider's sword swings,
but he doesn't move at all!

Graphics: 2/10
Yuck! Most backgrounds are extremely dark and filled with blackness. The designers barely even tried. The animation is poor, the characters fairly small, and really nothing pleasing at all. But again, it at least tries to somewhat resemble the artwork from the arcade game with a very small amount of memory. Still though, I think they could have done MUCH better with what they had to work with here. Better yet, increase the size of the game up to 4 megs and I think we would have had a fantastic 8-bit version.

My favorite scene gets raped!
Even the music is horrible!

Sound: 1/10
No voices (of course) and the same tune plays for every single stage, over and over. Some other familiar Strider tunes play briefly during the cut-scenes. And there aren't too many sound effects to speak of at all. We've all definitely heard better from the Master System's sound chip, even in other 1 meg games. Hell, I've probably heard better from Sega card games!

Cleaning up the massive pools of blood from my
bleeding eyeballs is more fun than playing this game.

Gameplay: 2/10
Ug! It pains me just to talk about this game! What a horrible conversion! The stages are kind of similar to the arcade, and the gameplay is also similar. But that's as good as it gets. The controls are very floaty and inaccurate, to say the least. You will be jumping through the air, moving forward as you do your flip and then just come to a dead stop and begin to slowly fall straight down. It's nearly impossible to be precise with your jumps. This game is difficult not by design, but simply due to the crappy controls and horribly reproduced levels. All in all it is rather painful to play through this game, and it should only be reserved as punishment for notorious criminals. In fact I think Sega forced certain programmers to make this game as punishment for past failures (like Fatal Labyrinth). That sounds like a very cruel punishment indeed, but it's better than how Nintendo MURDERED Gunpei Yokoi for his miserable Virtual Boy failure. They should have just made him program Sega Master System Strider with only 1 meg instead!

The super-choppy boss of stage 1.

Wrap up:
The worst console conversion of the arcade, but at least it's based on the arcade game!

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 03:12 AM
Nintendo Entertainment System

A constipated Strider fights a cowboy!

When Capcom brought out Strider to the NES, they decided not to even ATTEMPT to base it on the arcade. Instead they created a 2 megabit platformer where you must obtain skills and new stages and it also uses a password feature. The only things similar to the arcade are Strider Hyru himself, the way he swings his sword, and many of his moves. Other than that it plays almost more like a MegaMan game than a Strider game, and you can revisit stages once you've completed them and other such nonsense.

If you're lucky, Strider can jump to
the next platform after only 3 tries!

Graphics: 7/10
For the NES, these graphics were pretty good in many parts. Good color and detail, decent animation, etc. None of the stages even resemble any of the locals from the arcade, so there's really nothing to compare it to. But they are definitely better than the Sega Master System version of Strider. You have flicker, some slowdown and all of the stuff you'll find in a typical NES game, but some scenes like the forest look particularly nice and colorful.

You must go into a menu to perform moves.
That really ruins the momentum of the game.

Sound: 7/10
Mostly your typical NES sounds here, except that a few of the tunes are pretty good. Again, none of the tunes try to be like the arcade music, at least not that I was able to recognize. I did like the music that plays as you enter your password, and the intro music isn't too bad. Even the first area's music is catchy, but not quite up to the level of MegaMan 2 or anything. Sound effects are exactly what you'd expect from the NES, nothing more, nothing less. Overall pretty decent.

The last stage is very "angrifying" to say the least.
Strider's inaccurate jumps will be the death of you.

Gameplay: 5/10
Yeeouch! I definitely like arcade-style Strider much MUCH better! This game is basically a search and destroy style of platformer. You pick your country, teleport to it, and take everyone out and acquire new skills and items. Doesn't sound much like Strider, does it? What really chaps my ass are the controls. The game does not seem to appreciate it when you accidentally press diagonally and it makes you pay when you do, especially when you are trying to jump to a platform and avoid the many spikes below. Jumping can be extremely tedious and frustrating. And the triangle jump thingy which you must enable to bounce back and forth up walls is not exactly my idea of fun. Nor is the idea of constantly pressing SELECT to go into a menu to choose a move to help you get past a nook or cranny. It's not a horrible game, just about average or so. Still a much better experience than the Sega Master System version in every respect.

These dudes like to hang upside down when
they shoot you. Whatever floats their boat.

Wrap up:
The best 8-bit version of Strider available, even though it has nothing to do with Strider!

12-01-2004, 03:28 AM
Good reviews. A couple things....

"...and the boss of stage 2 is actually right at the beginning..."

Although it may seem to be so, that's not true. Those three Chinese chicks are the real boss (no mistake), though I guess it doesn't matter since there's about 12 bosses in the game anyway.

"That sounds like a very cruel punishment indeed, but it's better than how Nintendo MURDERED Gunpei Yokoi for his miserable Virtual Boy failure."

Hiroshi Yamauchi is one scary dude. I knew from the first moment I heard the news that he was murdered. No way was that an accident. He made Nintendo lose face. Therefore, he had to pay the ultimate price. It certainly makes you think when you play games like Pokemon and the like, doesn't it?

"Oh dear God! When did Strider start
looking like a middle-aged William Shatner?"

I always thought that Sega was going for more of that Bruce Willis 'Die Hard' look. :D

Drunken Savior
12-01-2004, 03:28 AM
You should list the year the games were released! Do as I command!

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 03:32 AM
He's kind of a cross between Bruce and William I think. He looks similar to the vintage Captain Kirk of the original television series.

NES=1989 (maybe 1990, not sure)

12-01-2004, 03:40 AM
You should also review Strider and Strider 2 for the ps1.

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 04:01 AM
I already talked about them at the top of the first review, and even mentioned them at the bottom of the Genesis review. The PS version of Strider is arcade perfect except for the loading times (I can't remember if it used arranged or arcade music... or both). Strider 2 was fun to play... once. The design of that game kind of sucked, though. Let's not forget about the weak Strider II for Genesis by US Gold. Actually yes, let's do forget about that.

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 07:11 PM
Coming soon: My first Neo Geo review!

12-01-2004, 07:19 PM
"That sounds like a very cruel punishment indeed, but it's better than how Nintendo MURDERED Gunpei Yokoi for his miserable Virtual Boy failure."

Hiroshi Yamauchi is one scary dude. I knew from the first moment I heard the news that he was murdered. No way was that an accident. He made Nintendo lose face. Therefore, he had to pay the ultimate price. It certainly makes you think when you play games like Pokemon and the like, doesn't it?

Actually Gunpei and Nintendo still kept in touch after he left the company. I don't think Yamauchi would kill off one of the guys that made their company the success it became. Doesn't make sense.

I like the reviews Joe. Maybe I should start my own...

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 08:06 PM
In Japan one failure will negate your many successes. Of course they kept in touch after Gunpei left. They needed to keep track of him and make him feel comfortable so he wouldn't try to flee. Then they MURDERED him. It was in the Nintendo employee newsletter.

12-01-2004, 08:15 PM
What he achieved while with Nintendo and when he invented it: Ultra Hand (1966), Ultra Machine (1968), Love Tester (1969), Light Ray Gun SP Series (1970), Erekonga (1970), NB Block Crater (1970), Ultra Scope (1971), Light Ray Telephone LT (1971), Lefty RX (1972), Time Shock (1972), Laser Kure Clay Shooting System (1973), Wild Gunman (1974), Shooting Trainer (1974), Light Ray Gun Custom Series (1976), Duck Hunt (1977), The Chilean Tree (1979), Game & Watch Series (1980), Donkey Kong [arcade] -producer- (1981), Game & Watch Wide Screen (1981), Game & Watch Multiple Screen (1982), Computer Mah-jong (1982), Famicom Controller (1983), Donkey Kong Jr. -producer- (1983), Game & Watch Color Screen (1984), Mario Bros. -producer- (1984), ROB Robot (1985), Metroid -producer- (1985), Kid Icarus -producer- (1985), Game Boy (1989), Metroid 2 -producer- (1990), Dr. Mario (1990), Super Scope (1992), Super Metroid -producer- (1993), Virtual Boy (1995), Tetris Attack (1995), Game Boy Pocket (1996). Not to forget he also worked with his(people he trained) R&D1 (Research and Development) team on the Famicom (NES) and Super Famicom (SNES)! PS: There are just too too many game&watch-like and other game gadgets he invented to be able to mention all, I mean this man invented gadgets from a robotic vacuum cleaner (1978) to a dancing robot (1985)!!

Virtua Boy was Nintendo's failure to advertise it's unique experience not Gunpei's. He only left the company because he wanted to do his own thing and Nintendo was just the start. Shigeru Miyamoto and Hiroshi Yamauchi have nothing but respect for this man.

Howard Lincoln quote about Mr. Yokoi: "He had a great sense of humor, a great smile... a very generous and outgoing fellow. He made a tremendous amount of creative contributions to Nintendo and the video game business over the years. People play Game Boy all over the world, and that's Mr. Yokoi's."

Anything you say after this is slander.

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 08:38 PM
There is nothing Nintendo could have done to make the Virtual Boy a success. Even if it had 100% stellar games people still wouldn't have bought it because it was just so damed awkward. It was Gunpei's idea. He made Nintendo look bad. They took him out of his lavish office and placed him in a small area to work on insignificant things until he quit. But he was still not out of the picture.

Shigeru Miyamoto and Hiroshi Yamauchi have nothing but respect for this man.
The Shiggster is the one who ran down Gunpei on the road! Shiggy still has that same car, and he never even bothered to clean Gunpei's splattered intestines off of the front grill. He left it all on as a warning to other Nintendo employees to not think up bad ideas. Sega just has a copy of the SMS Strider hanging on a wall, with a comment that reads "Bad employees will be forced to make the sequel to this game".

12-01-2004, 09:45 PM
He started a new venture called Koto Company, (established: September 11th of 1996) with plans to produce handheld games for children, it is also said his work with Nintendo was the beginning of a long career... he dreamed of creating a company that would rival Microsoft!
You may know Koto Company from the WonderSwan portable game machine they created (later a joint project with Bandai), which was largly designed by Gunpei, and guess what the name of the first game that appeared on the WonderSwan in 1999 was... it was "Gunpey".

Gunpei Yokoi, a 56-year-old native of Kyoto, Japan, was traveling with Etsuo Kisoo, an executive from Kyoto, on the Hokuriku Expressway in Neagarimachi, Ishikawa Prefecture, when Kisoo rear-ended the car in front of them. When the two stepped out of their car to survey the damage, both Yokoi and his associate were sideswiped by another car (driven by a Mr. Iwao Tsushima, whom and his wife received slight injuries). Yokoi sustained serious injuries and was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead two hours later. All his associate was treated for was a fractured rib.

Virtual Boy wasn't a bad idea. It had great potential but didn't get the crucial handheld fundamentals down(company support,price,advertising). It happens to all handhelds not under the Gameboy name and next up is Sonys.


A reminder:

12-01-2004, 10:11 PM
Virtual Boy wasn't a bad idea. It had great potential but didn't get the crucial handheld fundamentals down(company support,price,advertising). It happens to all handhelds not under the Gameboy name and next up is Sonys.


A reminder:

and migranes don't forget migranes

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 10:38 PM
Be patient! I have to first BORROW Contra: Hard Corpse from VicViper who has it stashed away at his parent's house because he is in the middle of moving.

Joe Redifer
12-01-2004, 11:45 PM
Magician Lord
SNK Neo Geo

The supa-huge cartridge came in a supa-huge box.
Even 40 meg Genesis games weren't any bigger than usual.
I think that SNK was compensating for something else.

Back when the Neo Geo was first released in the US, Magician Lord was one of the first games available. Believe it or not, it is still far and away one of the best games available for that system. The Neo Geo didn't offer much at all, so good games like Magician Lord really stood out. At a whopping 46 megabits, Magician Lord had memory to spare. Back when the Neo Geo was first available, I had an argument with so-called "Game Lord" Chad Okada with the information he wrote for SNK's ads. He was firm in the belief that Neo Geo games were measured in megaBYTES, not megabits. He and I went back and forth on the issue a few times until he told me to take a Neo Geo cartridge to any technician, have them crack it open and they can tell me that a game like Magician Lord is, in fact, 46 megaBYTES. Well I don't know what a technician would be able to tell by looking at a few ROM chips mounted on a board, and also I am a technician (film projection and sound) and that had no relevance to the cartridge size, so ANY technician just wouldn't do. I remained firm in my belief that Neo Geo games were rated in megabits. But guess what? The ROM for Magician Lord is 5.1 megabytes, which equals 40.8 megaBITS! So not only was I correct all along about Neo Geo games being rated in megabits, but it turns out that SNK "rounds up" a bit on their games. Ka-ching! But I digress. Don't let that make you think that Magician Lord isn't a great game, because it rocks!

Freakin' awesome 2D graphics!

Those flying thingies on the left CONSTANTLY
annoy the hell out of you throughout the game.

Graphics: 9/10
Graphics didn't get much better than this at the time, that's for damn sure. Many of the backgrounds looked like paintings because they were so detailed and colorful. Much of the artwork had a wavy, swooping style which can be seen quite abundantly in the clouds. Each new level bombarded you with colors and fine detail. The animation on the characters was pretty good for the day, and the characters themselves were quite bright and colorful. There could have been a larger variety of enemies, though. There is a lot of scaling in the game, especially on many of the rather large bosses. Seeing these bosses on my TV at home back in the time when the Genesis first started to gain footing was just amazing. I was absolutely blown away. But even today the graphics are outstanding, as many of today's current games lack the artistic style or attention to detail that Alpha Denshi provided here.

You can become a sweet ninja, but
you can't become a kick ass pirate.

Look out Mr. Magician! A giant
golf ball is about to destroy you!

Sound: 9/10
They didn't stop at just having great graphics, but they went ahead and made sure this game had fantastic music as well. The Neo Geo is nothing more than a glorified Genesis in every respect, and that includes the sound chip. The sound chip is identical, in fact, with the exception of many more PCM channels for voice and digitized sound. But Magician Lord relied mostly on the FM side of the sound chip, so it really sounds like a Genesis for the most part. But hey, I liked the way the Genesis sounded when it was done right. The music is awesome, and there are a lot of digitized sounds and voices as well. The voice quality isn't too great as they added a bit too much echo for my taste. But the "Engrish" is fantastic! Before you fight the boss of each stage, the final boss of the game comes onscreen and says something completely nonsensical (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/maglord.mp3) for absolutely no reason at all. Japan surely has no respect for the English language at all, yet they complain when we screw up speaking Japanese. Asswipes.

Oh really? Then why are you
putting up such strong resistance?

Gameplay: 8/10
They didn't stop at just having great graphics and sound, but they went ahead and made sure the game was actually fun to play as well. This is a novel concept for a Neo Geo game. It's a basic platformer, but it's a trip worth attempting. I say "attempting" because the game is not exactly easy. In the day of unlimited continues, this was one Neo Geo game that really offered a substantial challenge. You'll have to work damned hard to get past this game. And I am proud to say that I beat it. You can morph into many different characters, such as a sweet-ass ninja who throws swirly-flames at enemies. Or maybe a fire breathing dragon-dude who burns enemies to a crisp. Or how about that Poseidon dude who is fairly useless, but hey... he's there! Sometimes you'll want to pass by a morph power-up just because the character you're using is the best one for the spot you're in and it would be unwise to change. Get hit a few times and it's back to being your old flaccid magician self again. Unfortunately the game never EVER gives you a break. Ever. You can't even stop and rest. There are constant flying thingies all around you trying to shoot you, and it's often hard to avoid them and it gets really annoying. There is also a part in stage 2 where you are falling down a pit and it's almost impossible to avoid the random spikes that are placed everywhere. Ouch! Oh well. You'll get used to it and eventually get past the trouble spots. Control is average, I'd say. Good times are to be had with this game!

This level smells like rotten fish.

Wrap up:
A game for the Neo Geo that is not only good, but it's actually an exclusive as well! Alpha Denshi did start work on a Magician Lord 2, but then they realized that people did not want good games for their Neo Geo, but cheesey-lame fighters instead. So instead of a fantastic Magician Lord 2 we got the wimpy World Heroes. Yay us.

12-02-2004, 12:07 PM
Gee I Feel sad for ya bout ML2, man.

Joe Redifer
12-02-2004, 08:13 PM
Dracula X
AKA: Dracula X: Rondo of Blood
TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine Super CD-ROM

Can you imagine how bad the box art
would have been if this came out in the US?

Believe it or not, Konami actually used to make good games. Now I know you're probably saying "Yeah right Joe, you are so full of sh!t. Surely you jest, you assnut!" I kid you not, Konami games of old were ACTUALLY GOOD! Take a few moments and some deep breaths to calm yourself and get used to the idea of good Konami games. Better? Good. The PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16 in the US) was one of the most popular game systems ever in Japan, so naturally Konami will put some of their good games on that system. And that's exactly what they did with Dracula X. This game is the prequel to Castlevania: Symphony of da Night. And this game was also never released in the US, unfortunately. However PC Engine CD games worked flawlessly on TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM systems, so it was just a simple matter of importing the game, which I did. And I have never ever regretted it for a second.

Cut scenes are scattered throughout the game.
Look at the way this sword is being held here.
Just look at it. It's not upside down or anything.
That's gotta be an uncomfortable way to sacrifice a victim!

Graphics: 9/10
For the Turbo, the graphics were outstanding. The design is simply superb, with tons of sharp detail in everything you see. No other Castlevania game before this had design this good. And although this game does not feature background scaling or rotation, I'd say that the graphic design here is as good if not better than Super Castlevania IV on the SNES. Don't get me wrong, Super Castlevania IV is a freakin' awesome game, and that game does have better use of color. Your character looks 10 times better, the enemies all look 10 to 20 times better, and the bosses are absolutely amazing. Let's not forget the generous amount of animation applied to each sprite and even some objects in the background. The colors are used brilliantly on the backgrounds, and everything just looks awesome. Tons of graphical polish went into this game, that's for sure. And for the system it is on, it definitely deserves a "9" even with a little bit of flicker here and there. Wow.

Looook!!!! It's the first town from Castlevania 2!
Thankfully, it's in ruins. Obviously the developers felt
that part 2 was a horrible game and should be burned.

Sound: 8/10
Of course you have fantastic arrangements of your typical Castlevania tunes, as well as a cornucopia of great original tunes as well, all sounding fantastic. The game doesn't let you down in the sound effects department either. You get great howls, groans, creaks, and other spooky sounds that fit the game like a glove. Some of the voices are done by the Turbo's internal sound chip rather than straight off of the CD, and they can sound a little scratchy, but they are more than adequate.

This is the first Castlevania game where
I could actually tell what those bone-heads were.

Here in Super Castlevania IV, they
really don't look like anything cool.
Nice colors, though.

OMG it's the first boss!!!
The boss battles in this game are truly special.

Gameplay: 9/10
This is, by far, the best action-oriented Castlevania game ever. Castlevania as a series would not improve until it adapted the Symphony of the Night style of play. This game is longer and more challenging than any arcade-style Castlevania before it, including the SNES Super Castlevania IV which was short and easy. This game offers multiple paths, which enhances the replayability. You just HAVE to get 100%. You will have to rescue a few people and you can even play as Maria. She's more of a joke character since she is a child in this game, but she can be VERY effective if you can get past her sugar-sweetness. Fortunately this game allows you to save so you can keep trying again and again. This game also introduced the ability to pick an item back up that you accidentally dropped. What a welcome addition that was. Also added is the ability to jump on and off of stairs and special attacks, which eat up a large quantity of hearts. The control is perfect, and you can even do a back flip to get to places that are just out of reach. The amount of design in this game is amazing, and you'll realize that as you play though the game.

That's gotta be somewhat painful.

Wrap up:
If you are a Castlevania fan, this game is absolutely worth all of the hype that it receives. If you are not a Castlevania fan, you are less than human and really don't deserve to be alive, much less be called a "gamer". Also, try playing the game with the normal 64k Version 2 System Card for a kooky surprise!

Food for thought:
What the hell is a "Rondo"?

12-03-2004, 12:35 AM
Rondo ~ [n] a musical form that is often the last movement of a sonata :)

A lot of Castlevania titles are musically-inspired. "Rondo of Blood," "Symphony of the Night," "Harmony of Dissonance," etc.

Joe Redifer
12-04-2004, 12:54 AM
Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure
Neo Geo Pocket Color

A little bit of Sega love for your Neo Geo Pocket Color!

Back when the Neo Geo Pocket Color was out in the US, Sega will still going full-thrust with the Dreamcast and was not in a position to become a 3rd party developer for any console. They did not have a portable system, however. So it wouldn't hurt to put Sonic on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. So in 1999, Sega programmed a Sonic game for this system themselves, and SNK distributed it. It's a whopping 16 megabits if you can believe that (I have a very hard time believing it) and is really more of a retelling of Sonic 2 on the Genesis more than anything else. But Sega spared us and thankfully left Tails out of the game.

Sonic wonders just how many times he
must run through this same damn zone.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics are nice and colorful considering the abilities of the system it's on. Everything does kind of look 8-bit-ish unfortunately. I guess that goes with the territory when your screen has such a small (and odd) resolution. The Neo Geo Pocket Color's screen uses a very narrow aspect ratio. It makes you feel a bit boxed in, that's for sure. The system is also capable of two separate layers of scrolling, but unfortunately this game uses only one layer. A second layer could have really done a lot to help the game look a bit better and more like the true 16-bit game it is. But the detail in the background in stages like the Aquatic Ruins is pretty nice. The bonus stages are also like Sonic 2 on the Genesis and basically looks exactly the same. I can't really say anything nice about that.

Collect rings in the
boring bonus stages!

Sound: 7/10
The familiar "Seeeegaaaa" voice opens this Sonic game as it has done in so many other Sonic games. That's the only digitized sound you'll hear here. The music is presented in full stereo and most of it is pretty nice... much of it lifted from Sonic 2. It sounds 8-bit-ish of course, but good 8-bit-ish.... very similar to how the Game Gear sounds is the best comparison I can draw. The music isn't quite as good as Sonic 1 was on the Game Gear since master musician Yuzo Koshiro (Streets of Rage, Revenge of Shinobi, Shenmue, ActRaiser) did the musical chores for that one. Still, if you slip on a pair of light headphones you will be groovin' to the beeps and boops all night long.

Yes, it's Dr Robotnik AGAIN!
He just never learns, does he?

Gameplay: 7/10
Well I guess this game just scores 7's all around. If you've played a side-scrolling Sonic game before, you pretty much know what to expect here. It's, well... Sonic! Jump and get the rings, defeat Dr. Robotnik's crazy inventions on Act 2 of every stage, and try to get the chaos emeralds in the bonus stages which have you running forward into the screen. Getting an emerald will earn you an extra continue as well. The NGPC's microswitch d-pad feels pretty good with this game, and the one button action allows you to easily do just about anything you need to in the game, including a spin charge. There can be some slowdown in the game, especially when you are in a boss fight (with Robotnik, of course) and you drop your rings. Unfortunately the NGPC does not have a backlit screen so you will be forced to find some place to play where there is abundant light. You also don't to cast a shadow on the screen with your giant head, so playing this game (or any NGPC game) can put quite a strain on your neck and upper shoulders. I recommend short, 10-minute sessions with this one. I have not played any of the Sonic games on the GameBoy Advance (yet) so I can't compare this portable version to those. But I imagine the GBA versions would probably be better,or at least they most definitely should be. Still, this one is nice and back in the time it was released, it was the best portable version of Sonic available.

Become a pinball and gamble
for hookers in the Casino Zone.

Wrap up:
If you have a Neo Geo Pocket Color, this would be a good game to have in your library. If you don't have that portable, then try not to lose too much sleep over it.

12-04-2004, 03:09 AM
joe, what did you mean when you said symohony of the night was not released in the U.S.? nice review of rondo. the game is truly spectacular.

magician lord is pretty sweet as well. i liked the music.

Joe Redifer
12-04-2004, 03:13 AM
When I said "this game was nevah released in the US" I was referring to Dracula X, the game being reviewed. Maybe sometime I will review the version of Symphony of the Night that wasn't released in the US --- for the Sega Saturn.... sometime. Not soon.

12-04-2004, 12:13 PM
I was so pissed when I played Noctourne in the Moonlight for the saturn, it was so horribly ported.

12-04-2004, 12:18 PM
My brother had the import SotN and then it "disappeared" one day for no reason. :too mad: The two added areas are stupid and so are the bosses. But there was a sound test and they reworked some of those old Castlevania tunes. The sampling quality wasn't up to the PS version's standards, but then I didn't really mind; it still sounded fine. The animation was missing frames and the effects were weakened.

No CV soundtrack matches IV--there's no contest.

Joe Redifer
12-05-2004, 11:42 PM

Try not to let your eyeballs be distracted
by the painful art around the video monitor.

I wonder how they carved that giant statue in the background
being that Rastan's world has no technology whatsoever.

Blasting into the arcades and taking no prisoners, Taito unleashed the mighty Rastan upon the world to behold with awe. It was the hack and slash platformer that was to change the face of all videogamedom forever as well as thrust the arcade industry to new heights eclipsing the movie, recording and car industries combined. The world would be renamed "Taito Land" and Rastan would be our new God in place of all former religions. Unfortunately Rastan didn't work out quite as well as Taito had hoped, but it did make nearly $25 per machine during its entire time in the arcade. You may have gotten a glimpse of this game as you chased that errant token you dropped which rolled into the back corner of the arcade. Maybe you even put that token in and gave Rastan a try. You could do worse.

The game attacks you with bats from every
direction when it feels that it's not being hard enough.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics in Rastan were decent for the time. They weren't quite up to Sega standards, but they were on par with other Taito games. The characters were almost large compared to what one would see on the NES and SMS which were the main consoles during Rastan's day. You had fairly adequate animation, no flicker or slowdown, and two whole layers of scrolling (also par for arcades at that time). The layers only scrolled independently in the horizontal direction, though. When scrolling vertically they both scrolled at the same speed. When the screen scrolled diagonally the separation was a bit weird as a result. There was a decent amount of detail in the backgrounds, but the way they were constructed and the colors that were used gave them kind of a "chunky" look, for lack of better description. The water in the stages doesn't actually flow, it just kind of color cycles a bit. You won't be blown away by anything Rastan has to offer in the graphics department, that's for sure. The game is only 2.3 megabytes (about 18.5 megabits or so).

Why must everyone want poor Rastan
dead? What did he do to the world?

Sound: 6/10
There is an echoey yell when you die. And a grunt when you swing your sword to prove your manliness. And you are quite manly... well at least Rastan is. You also get little twings and blings when you pick up items and the such. Then there is the music. When you first hear it, it's not too shabby. You get the main theme for the first part of the stage, the castle theme, the boss theme, and the stage clear theme. Oooh look! A new stage. Waitaminute. Same damn music. That's right, you get the same tunes again and again throughout the entire game. Gets a bit tiring. The sound quality of the music is a bit like the graphics... a tad chunky. It sounds kind of rough and abrasive, and it's certainly not something you'll want to record and listen to in your car.

Rastan has the absolutely FABULOUS flaming sword!

Gameplay: 6/10
At first the control seems quick and fluid. Everything is fairly simple to do, and you've already killed a bunch o' enemies. Waitaminute what's that? A breakable rock below me leading to a hidden passage where I can get a mace? Score! I just have to jump and stab the rock with my sword as I come down to break it! Sometimes this is easier said than done. You can only do the downward thrust with your sword when you do a normal jump. If you accidentally do a high jump or press any other direction than down first, forget it. If you are jumping off of a ledge and want to stab the enemies below as you land, you had better do the downward thrust move quickly, and you can't do it at all if you simply walk off of a ledge. You MUST jump. Just as frustrating is thrusting upwards with your sword. I still haven't figured out an easy way to do this, and it seems to only happen when I really try hard. Other than that the game is kind of fun. Jump around killing a small variety of enemies (though larger than Halo 2's enemy roster), climb chains and swing from ropes. But whatever you do, DON'T TOUCH THE WATER.... EVER!!! Just like in real life, touching the water is instant death. You can pick up blue potions to help restore your life (red potion takes it away) and other items to increase your power or defense. The bosses each have an easily learnable pattern and aren't very impressive in any way. Don't get me wrong, this game is pretty damned hard. There is always something coming at you, and your life goes down really fast. It's very hard to aim your jumps and because of that it is difficult to make it to the end of many levels without dying a few times. You can only jump straight up or forward as you move for a predetermined length. I don't know why I can't change direction mid-air like I can when I jump in real life. Rastan challenges you, but not always fairly. Still, it's not impossible.

Timid Rastan becomes nervous as
he slides down a slippery slope.

Wrap up:
Slightly stiff gameplay, decent graphics and sound, and a dude with a sword. Hell yeah! Rastan is much better than Final Fantasy 7 in my opinion.

Joe Redifer
12-05-2004, 11:42 PM
Sega Master System

Taito tried to infect the SMS with Rastan,
but they accidentally made the game good!

I was blown away by the fact that Rastan even came out for the Sega Master System instead of the Nintendo. And not only that, but it was programmed by Taito themselves, Sega didn't do the conversion! I was decently impressed with Rastan in the arcade, so I figured that I would pick this up to play at home. I was pleasantly surprised with what Taito did with a paltry 1 megabit! And I was also stoked to own an actual 3rd party game for the SMS. That just blew me away as a Sega owner who was used to getting ignored by the rest of the world. Rastan was directly responsible for selling 3 more Sega Master Systems than the weekly average of 10 worldwide when it came out.

Rastan is prejudiced against all non-humans.

Graphics: 6/10
Well, almost everything from the arcade is here... kinda. The level layouts differ greatly from the arcade in many respects and obviously it was reduced to one layer of scrolling. The characters are all teeny tiny now, and that kind of sucks. And there is a noticeable amount of flicker. The animation is OK, pretty much what you'd expect from any average 8-bit game. Surprisingly I thought that the interiors of the castles looked a little better than the arcade. They seemed to have more color and detail (in a Sega Master System sort of way, but still...) You'll travel across 7 different rounds, most of which are unique. The castle interiors all look similar for each level, however. Not too shabby, but could have been much better.

The first boss is NOTHING like the one in the arcade.

Sound: 6/10
Gone are any voices that were in the arcade, but this game has the same exact music, only now it sounds like the SMS, surprisingly. The same tunes play each and every round, and they get old fast. The sound quality of the music isn't quite as rough or abrasive as the arcade was, however. It has a slightly more "smoooth" sound to it. Don't read too much into that, because it's nothing amazing. What more can I say? It's Rastan, behold!

Rastan can even (slowly) swing from ropes.

Gameplay: 7/10
One area where the Sega version beats the arcade is the control. They actually improved the controls! Now it is super-easy to do your downward sword thrust as well as the upward thrust. You even have new abilities that were not present in the arcade. For one, you can now bounce off of walls which is really quite enjoyable. You still don't have super-control over where you aim your jumps, but they are less annoying in this version. The key word there is "less" since it still can be quite annoying. The game plays at a slightly slower pace than the arcade, and it seems like you fall in slow motion. Also gone is the instant death if you touch water. It still hurts you, but you're not gone. Unlike the arcade, the bosses now have a life meter which I am quite thankful for as well, as it's nice to see that you are actually doing some damage. The levels are MUCH shorter, however, anywhere between 1/3rd to 1/4th as short as the arcade levels. The game seems pretty damn easy when you begin, but by level 5 or so the challenge starts to pick up. You also have a limited amount of continues at your disposal. The game is beatable after maybe a few hours of practice. It won't be one of those games that gnaws at you constantly, but it's a good one to take out and romp through from time to time.

Poor, lonely Rastan. Will you keep him company?

Wrap up:
Still kind of stiff when it comes to the gameplay, but this 1 meg wonder delivers a more enjoyable experience than the arcade.

12-06-2004, 02:12 AM
Ahh, Rastan. I remember playing the arcade a looong time ago. Magic Sword (Capcom) was pretty similar.

12-06-2004, 05:17 PM
I've played Rastan 1 & 2 on PC-Engine / Turbografx, they were okay games, I like Legednary Axe better though. Was there a Rastan game for Genesis as well?

Joe Redifer
12-06-2004, 06:02 PM
For the Japanese MegaDrive there was. It was called Rastan Saga II. In the arcades it was called Nastar Warriors in some places. The game was horrible. The Genesis version was exactly like the arcade in every way, and that's really, really sad because it was also unacceptable in every way. As if you can't already tell what I think about it, I doubt I need to do a review.

Joe Redifer
12-06-2004, 09:13 PM
Street Fighter

Notice nobody is playing the
game in this picture.

Here it is, the game that started it all in 1987! It must be an amazing game to warrant so many sequels and spin-offs. In fact, how can it NOT be outstanding? Let's put a quarter in and play this incredible game. Ah OK. Press Start. Select my country (I choose USA because I am a patriot and not a traitor). OK. I guess I am Ryu. Round 1. Oh.... my. What happened? Am I actually playing or is this just the demo? Oh wait I am actually playing! Well... not anymore.

This game takes place back when Ryu and Ken were
complete stoners, so their moves are very slow.

Graphics: 4/10
Compared to all of it's sequels, Street Fighter really doesn't hold a candle. It has two layers of scrolling, floaty sprites, good color, no line scrolls (floor "warping") and that's about it. The backgrounds do look nice and that's why I give the graphics as much as I do. Capcom usually does very well with that aspect in the arcades. But the sprites are unacceptable! Ryu is now a red-head. In fact I think I'm playing as Adol from the Y's series instead of Ryu. Except Adol is a hell of a lot easier to control than Ryu is in this game. The animation is horrible. Complete choppiness. When you jump, the sprites just kind of float slowly. It's bad. Oh yeah, there are some familiar characters in this game, like Birdie. We all remember Birdie from the Alpha series, right? Well Birdie must be the ultimate "wigger" because in this game he is actually white. He has "Reverse Michael Jackson Disease" I guess.

It's M.Bison, known here as "Mike". Apparently Ryu
bumped his knee and now he's hopping around in pain.
I did the same thing after kneeing the arcade for
being so damn cheap and frustrating!

Sound: 4/10
The sound is worse than the graphics, by far. The music is screechy and abrasive sounding. The actual composition of the music is good, but the sound quality used just destroys it. So why did I rate the sound the same as the graphics if the sound is so bad? Because it is also absolutely HILARIOUS! Every single character in the game has the same exact voice which sounds like a drunk Japanese guy trying to speak English with a mouthfull of Play-Doh?... yes even Mike who just happens to be black. Every character has a witty line that they speak when they win. With Mike it's "I'm strong!". When Retsu wins he tells you to "Go to heaven!". So polite. If you win, each character will say to you the same exact high-quality phrase (http://pixelcraze.film-tech.net/reviews/sf1.mp3) in the same exact high-quality voice each time. Can you understand what is being said? Fortunately this phrase also exists in text-form in the game, but I'll let those of you who haven't played the game try and guess! I don't know where they found this guy.

This stage looks cool. However it plays
like ass just like all the other stages.

Gameplay: 1/10
This is a Street Fighter game? Daaaaaamn! Well let's see... it weighs in at 40 megabits. You can play as Ryu or Ken. That's it. You both have the same exact moves. You can do your favorite moves like the Hurricane Kick, Dragon Punch, or Fireball. Good luck trying to do those moves at critical moments, though. Control is EXTREMELY unresponsive to say the least. It doesn't help that the characters are floaty and only about 5 hits are required to win (or lose). You start out by selecting a country, and you have to defeat the two dudes there. Once you beat all 8 characters from all 4 countries, Thailand opens up and you have to then deal with Adon and final boss Sagat. Both will piss you off tremendously with their super cheap gameplay. To be honest, it is easier (and definitely more fun) to see how many papercuts you can give yourself all over your body than to play this "game". It is worth a quarter just to say that you've played the elusive "Street Fighter 1" and to laugh at how bad it is, but beyond that it is sheer torture.

Ryu is a redhead and I don't know what
Ken did to piss off his barber so much.

The only home conversion
This game only has one version for home consoles thankfully, and it's called "Fighting Street" (for the same reason the Gamecube is called "GCN"... stupidity) and it exists only for the TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM system. Not only that, but Fighting Street was the first CD game released in the USA for a home video game system EVER! Capcom decided it would be best to put it on the system where the game would be least likely to sell since they were so ashamed of it. The conversion of the arcade is actually quite good. The graphics are a bit worse and it lost the second layer of scrolling. The sprites are all pretty close and the game is still just as fun testicle surgery. Even the voices are just as ridiculous. However the music is now CD quality and nearly worth listening to. The gameplay has been reduced to only two buttons, but you won't care as it's like trying to control the game with a box of sand in either version. I would rate Fighting Street the same as I rated Street Fighter here, but with a higher score for "sound".

After many tries and much patience, Ryu
is finally able to throw a fireball.

Wrap up:
I can't believe that this game generated enough revenue to warrant a sequel. I'd rather urinate acid.

12-07-2004, 01:21 AM
I actually have those voices memorized. :)

"What strength, but don't forget there are many fighters like you all over the world!"


"You've got a lot to learn before you beat me. Try again kid! Eh-heh-heh-heh-heh!!"

Joe Redifer
12-07-2004, 01:32 AM
Close. In the first line, swap the word "guys" for "fighters". The second line is correct, but the text in the game insists it is saying "kiddo". I don't hear it.

12-07-2004, 01:36 AM
Yeah, that's right. So my memory is a little sketchy, that's all. Wouldn't yours be after playing that nightmare on a disc oh so long ago? I already reviewed the TurboCD version and decimated it. I'm sure you understand why from firsthand experience. :cool:

12-07-2004, 11:28 AM
Hey JR you were not so right in the review of Street Fighter, the game was BIG in Asia, attracted crowds when it first came out in 1987. The graphics were considered good at that time. A lot of people were amazed that Ryu/Ken can pull out those "magic" moves (aka dragon punch and fireball and so on). I'd say the game worths at least a 6.

I played the TurboCD version, the best part of the game is the stereo CD music, it was pretty nice at that time when all other consoles were using mono music.

Joe Redifer
12-07-2004, 05:23 PM
I was right in my review. Nowhere did I say that the game wasn't popular, in fact I said I was surprised that it was. Games that can't be controlled are not worth a 6. :)

Joe Redifer
12-07-2004, 09:18 PM
Soul Star
Sega CD

The only version of Soul Star.
Can you believe that Core was working
on a 32X and Jaguar CD version?

Core, creators of Tomb Raider as well as something else, was one of the few developers who took actual advantage of the Sega CD. With it they were able to do games that Nintendon't. Soul Star was one such game. It was eagerly awaited as the screenshots looked fabulous and promised lots of scaling and rotation and furious gameplay! There was just one problem... it was programmed by British people. Their idea of "arcade action" was quite tame compared to the non-stop madness we were used to from Japan. But they were trying, and they did pull off a few cool things in this game. A high replayability factor was NOT one of those things, unfortunately.

Fly forward and destroy everything.
Wouldn't it be easier just to nuke the place?

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics were pretty sweet overall. Aside from the color, there is nothing in this game that the SNES could surpass or even duplicate. Many scaling and rotating screens and sprites here, as well as excellent (for the Sega CD) use of color. The whole game runs kind of slow, so they may be taxing things a bit. There is even a stage where you run around a cavern and it even has walls. It looked like it could be a 16-bit version of Doom in a very wide open area. Sometimes though there are so many scaling graphics onscreen at any given time that things in the distance become a bit grainy and difficult to decipher. Speaking of rgainy this game also has some full motion cutscenes that look pretty bad. It looks as if 16 or 32 colors was their limit. It's all CGI, no real live video. Overall quite an impressive game to look at.

Inside the ship you have complete freedom.
Unfortunately you don't have complete fun.

Sound: 7/10
The sound effects are pretty pathetic here, but at least the game has a good musical score. It sounds kind of orchestral-ish. It also sounds like it has a lot of fake reverb and that lends itself to a sort of "canned" feeling. But it's worth listening to and adds an epic feel to many stages. The only voice in the game is a British lady telling you that you have to do a million things for each stage. Her accent is cool. She sounds like that one ancient chick who played "Q" in some of the recent James Bond movies. I dunno. She sounds old and British, but cool.

Loooook!!! You fly forward towards the
ship through the asteroid field until...

...you get close enough to blow open the
doors, fly inside and borrow some salt!

Gameplay: 6/10
The game tries to incorporate many different styles of play instead of just focusing on one area and doing it as good as possible. First you have the standard shooter where you fly into the screen similar to Space Harrier, though the feeling of movement seems loose and kind of slow. Entire planets will approach you from being not much more than a speck in the distance. Then you can morph into some sort of hover-ship nonsense. In this mode you can fly freely in any direction around the stage in sort of a search-and-destroy type mission. You fight the first boss like this, and it can be maddening. First you have to activate the boss by approaching it. Then it constantly sucks you towards it and there is nothing you can do about it. Once you destroy the boss you still have tons of enemies shooting at you. At this point in the game is where you select your difficulty: Easy, Medium, or Hard. You fly over to the launch pads of your difficulty of choice, destroy rotating orbs circling around some stupid thing, then do it again on the other side of the same launch pad, then fly to the launch area of the launch pad, and the game continues. Maddening! Did I mention the controls are horrible in this mode? Then there is the mode where you run around on the ground similar to any standard mech game. It is also a search and destroy type mission. Controls are slightly better since you don't have to worry about flying (though you can hover to go faster). Explore a giant area and destroy things on poles for whatever reason. Exciting? No, it's British. Cool? Yeah, kinda. The game is quite difficult, as it's pretty easy to get hit by enemy fire in any of the game modes. There aren't too many addictive qualities about this game, though.

Ya gotta admit that this is pretty impressive for
a 16-bit system. Many, many layers of scaling here,
all full screen.

Wrap up:
A good game to show off your Sega CD, but make your friends play it so they won't laugh at how much you suck at this game. And you will definitely suck at it!

12-08-2004, 05:12 AM
Hey man, I was thinking about starting up a review thread and this was going to be one of the first games I was going to review. The music in Soul Star is some of the best on the Sega CD system, simply awesome. I've played the Jaguar CD version of Soul Star, the larger color pallete and smother scrolling and better CG's look sweet. The Jag version is about 70% complete, to bad it was never released. Soul Star on the Sega CD does look better than anything the SNES could put out with Mode-7 and the SFX chip.

Where's the love for the Euro's? The Bitmap Brothers, Psygnosis, Bullfrog, Argonaut, Team-17, Rare, Core and Delphine Software made some of the best games during the 16-bit era. Those boys could code and know how to really push the hardware to the limit.

Joe Redifer
12-08-2004, 05:26 AM
I disagree that some of the best games came from those guys. Maybe some good games. Anyway is there anyway you could obtain video of the Jaguar CD version of Soul Star? I'd love to see it.

Joe Redifer
12-08-2004, 09:46 PM
Shadow Dancer

You're out walking your dog
when the fierce enemy atacks!

Back in the 80's Sega stormed the arcade scene with the best game ever made which starred a ninja in a Sega game up to that point in time -- Shinobi! Everyone loved Shinobi without exception. Cults were started, mass suicides were performed, entire countries and cultures decimated in the name of Sega's "Shinobi". Even God demanded that all of His subjects enjoy Shinobi, for it was the game that He and Jesus played in heaven between smiting sessions. But of course Sega wanted to capitalize on Shinobi's success by creating a sequel and only taking 3 days to make it. That sequel was unleashed upon the arcades as the 28.8 megabit Shadow Dancer. Now look at the world: everybody is afraid of terrorists, people are murdering each other in order to get the flu vaccine, obesity is a huge problem (pun intended), lots of crazy wars going on, and diarrhea is becoming more common after eating creamed corn. Coincidence?

Looks like the airport screeners are doing a
pretty bad job if all of these jokers got by.

Graphics: 5/10
For an arcade game, Shadow Dancer's muted graphics were pretty simple and washed out. Not much detail or coolness is present here, though Joe Musashi appears to have at least changed his clothes since the first game. When you play you do your best to stand in front of the monitor so your friends don't see you playing a game with such sub-par graphics. The animation isn't too bad, but it really looks like they used a lot of US artists on this one. The design of the stages is pretty piss-poor and it is obvious why this game went ignored in the arcades when it sat next to machines like Strider that looked 10 times better. Some of the boss designs are kind of cool, and some of them would show up in the Genesis version of Shadow Dancer (reviewed below) and end up looking much better in the process. Pretty pathetic for a 1989 arcade game.

The phrase "no pills" was carved into the wall in an effort to
speak out against drugs. But who pops pills to get high, anyway?
Most kids these days resort to snorting bleach and live ants.

Apparently Joe Musashi is Arabian
due to the curvature of his sword.

Sound: 3/10
The sound is even worse than the graphics! Sure, there are some digitized voices here and there, but nothing special or even somewhat cool. Then there is the music. Ug! Wheras the original Shinobi had some great tunes, what we get here is super-quiet music that sounds like it should be in Toki and not Shinobi. Yup, you get very soft and muted jungle beats with a Congo flavor. Possibly the worst music I have ever heard in a Sega arcade game, especially since they usually tend to have fantastic music. This also has the worst music for any Shinobi game ever, and that includes Shinobi Legions on the Saturn and even Alex Kidd in Shinobi World on the SMS. You do get a digitized dog bark, though. Rumor has it that they auditioned 650,021.3 different dogs in order to get just the right bark.

OMG it's a boss! What should I do?
I know! I'll dance around like a monkey!

Gameplay: 6/10
So how does the arcade sequel to the arcade Shinobi play? Well they added a dog which is a hoot and a holler. You can use the dog to hold criminals in place so they can't shoot you while you walk up and MURDER them. That's about all the dog really does. But jumping around and the basic structure of the gameplay is very similar to Shinobi. Instead of rescuing precious human beings, you are instead rescuing bombs. I guess you collect them and will blow up something really big later. Once you have rescued all of the bombs in a stage, you can go to the next stage. You'll eventually get to a boss and since your dog is busy taking a giant dump like all dogs do all the time, you'll have to go at it alone. The game is pretty tough and gets boring quickly just because it doesn't really offer much at all. Control is pretty nice for the most part, and the ninja magic is always an easy cop-out. Try not to fall asleep as you play.

The bonus stages are pretty lame. You just shoot up
as ninjas step out of doorways that lead right outside of
the building. I guess suiciders demanded their own doors.

Wrap up:
A disappointing arcade effort from Sega. I highly recommend that you instead play the far superior Sega Genesis version.

Joe Redifer
12-08-2004, 09:46 PM
Shadow Dancer
Sega Genesis

Since the Japanese box was so cool looking,
Sega of America insisted that it be changed.
Ya don't want it standing out on the shelf or anything!!

Back in the early Mega Drive/Genesis days, there was a meeting over at Sega of Japan concerning the upcoming Shadow Dancer for the home console. One executive said "The arcade version kinda sucks, and so far only three people have played it". The other high-powered executives agreed. One of them cited "We don't want to port this game over to the Mega Drive/Genesis and have people hate and laugh at Sega. We want to wait until we invent the 32X for that." Then suddenly one brash newbie executive spoke up and said "How about if we reprogram Shadow Dancer so that it is actually a good game and people enjoy it?!" The rest of the room was awestruck at such an unheard of idea. They were also amazed as this was the first time anyone on the planet had ever uttered the words "Shadow Dancer" and "good game" in the same sentence. It took awhile to sink in, to say the least. Then the president of Sega stood up, all eyes fell towards his commanding presence awaiting his next, wise words. He said "That would be mad tight yo. The home version of Shadow Dancer will be the phiggidy phat tight bomb." And so the 4 megabit Shadow Dancer for the Genesis was created, and it had very little to do with the arcade.

The graphics are exactly 13
times better than the arcade.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics in the home game are much better than the arcade game, thankfully. There is much more color and an abundance of detail. The animation looked just like you'd expect from a ninja game, and you could even see the dog's poop-chute when it jumped to higher levels. You could not see the dog's hole in the arcade version, which is probably why not too many people played it. Dog anus is absolutely mandatory. You've got nice parallax backgrounds that you can jump behind, helicoptors trying to shoot you and your li'l doggy down and even caverns where it is hard to see at times since it is an evil cavern. Some of the backdrops look slightly similar to the arcade Shadow Dancer like the bridge scene, but of course it looks nicer on the Genesis. There is some very rare flicker in this game, usually when you use the ninja magic.

The stage 1 boss is back from the arcade.
His contract demanded that he be in a good game.

Sound: 8/10
Wow. The sound is light years ahead of the arcade sound. The music is not only listenable, but it's good stuff to boot! The sound quality is much higher than the arcade as well. Hell they even tried a little hip-hop-ness by adding some voices to the music in the bonus stage, which turned out to be a very cool effect from a cartridge game. The dog bark is taken directly from the arcade, and Joe Musashi makes little grunts when he jumps from level to level due to his chronic constipation.

Shoot all the ninjas as you jump off of the roof of a
340-story building and land on your feet without harm.

Gameplay: 8/10
Similar to the arcade, but it takes more cues from the original Shinobi. Now you are rescuing actual human beings in dire need of your assistance. It makes you feel good and like you've saved a life. When you rescue a girl you get a power up. I'll leave it to your imaginations to figure out how that happens. Some of the bosses are similar to the arcade, but the attacks are different. The game as a whole is much better than the arcade in every way imaginable. Some people bitch and whine about this game since it came after The Revenge of Shinobi. This game plays like the original Shinobi and not Revenge. Some people just couldn't handle that. They figured that EVERY Shinobi game had to be exactly like Revenge of Shinobi or it must suck. I'll tell you a little secret... people who think that are the ones that suck. This is a fast-paced arcade game, and people who think a fast paced well-made arcade game sucks just because it isn't Revenge of Shinobi are complete asswipes and don't even deserve to breathe. That's like being disappointed with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to da Past because it just isn't Zelda 64: TOOT. Morons. Anyway this is a great game and everybody should buy 6 copies.

The enemy tries to engage
you in a game if Frisbee?.

The music is exactly 254.6 times better than the arcade.
This Statutory of Liberty stage is a good example.

Wrap up:
Better than the arcade in every way, and an excellent Genesis game on its own.

12-09-2004, 01:48 AM
Joe Redifer ~ "The music is exactly 254.6 times better than the arcade.
This Statutory of Liberty stage is a good example."

Damn straight. That's one of the songs on the new mix. ;)

12-09-2004, 06:37 AM
Joe, your reviews are truly the only ones here at magicbox worth reading!
Congrats on writing so many enjoyable reviews. You have a great sense
of humor and it adds a comic touch which is so sorely lacking in so many other reviews. I also find your scores accurate and honest, and not prone to personal bias (like many other reviewers are).

The pictures of the game throughout the review adds a professional
flare as well. I could easily see you writing for a gaming mag. You should
apply for a job! ;)

Keep up the good work.

12-09-2004, 03:11 PM
I disagree that some of the best games came from those guys. Maybe some good games. Anyway is there anyway you could obtain video of the Jaguar CD version of Soul Star? I'd love to see it.

There should be some videos of Jaguar Soulstar somewhere. I spent a whole 10 minutes:) , but couldn't find them. I'm sure I'll find one some day.

Here are some pics:
Atari Corp..Whoop!

Space now looks way better, new HUD, full screen and the ship is high-res.

Planet surface.

The approach to the Mother Ship, which now looks 64-bit good. ;)

12-09-2004, 03:32 PM
Joe, your reviews are truly the only ones here at magicbox worth reading!
Congrats on writing so many enjoyable reviews. You have a great sense
of humor and it adds a comic touch which is so sorely lacking in so many other reviews. I also find your scores accurate and honest, and not prone to personal bias (like many other reviewers are).

Not that I care, but that dosn't happen to be an indirect attack towards a certain member named after a flying kid?

And in my opinion since all reviews are just opinions of certain inviduals they all mean the same to me. Unless someone is giving Mario Kart 7.9, that's just a goddamn disgrace.

12-09-2004, 04:15 PM
Not that I care, but that dosn't happen to be an indirect attack towards a certain member named after a flying kid?

Way to go Turnip, always looking to stir up some trouble. :D

12-09-2004, 07:53 PM
Shadow Dancer is a good game, but Super Shinobi is my favorite. The music and graphics were kick ass at its time, it's one of the few Genesis games I kept playing for a long time, besides Golden Axe 1.

Joe Redifer
12-09-2004, 08:54 PM
For those who don't know, Super Shinobi = Revenge of Shinobi.

Atari X, those Soul Star pics are cool. I like the improved HUD, but the actual ship looks kind of lacking. And that title screen is nowhere near as ?ber awesome as the Sega CD title screen. :)

12-09-2004, 09:02 PM
Not that I care, but that dosn't happen to be an indirect attack towards a certain member named after a flying kid?

No. I don't know why you'd assume that.
But I was being honest w/my opinion of Joe's reviews.

PaperEXE has the absolute worst reviews, followed closely
by Bemanisuperstar.

Joe Redifer
12-09-2004, 11:01 PM
R-Type Complete CD
PC Engine Super CD-ROM/TurboGrafx-16 Super CD-ROM

What the hell is an "HE System"?
I know I know... Hudson Entertainment.

Back before the TurboGrafx-16 came out in the US of A, the PC Engine had it's own port of R-Type in Japan. Previously R-Type was available only on the Sega Master System. However there was a problem with R-Type: It was simply way too awesome to fit on one HuCard! Rather than sacrifice some of the awesomeness, IREM decided to split the game up across two cards, the first four levels on one and the last four levels on the second. Both cards would be sold separately. When the TurboGrafx-16 was released in the US, the top scientists in the world finally figured out how to pack all of that awesomeness onto one HuCard and the game was released that way here, and many player's TG16's nearly exploded because it was not designed to handle all of that awesomeness all at once. But Japan never got the unseparated version of the game. So that's when IREM got the bright idea that all of that awesomeness could probably fit on one PC Engine CD. And they were right! They even added some cut scenes and CD quality music. They then unleashed it upon Japan as the "Complete" version of the game. Unfortunately the word "Awesome" is nowhere on the box, even though you'd think it would be.

Those are some pretty weird
aliens if they build crap like this.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics are exactly the same as the card version of the game, which was pretty dang close to the arcade. Of course it only had one layer of scrolling due to the limitation of the PC Engine hardware. Level 5 has another layer, but it does not overlap the other layer, so it is effectively the same layer. Everything looks great and is well drawn. Personally I think the first R-Type is, by far, the best looking R-Type with the best design. There is a little teeny bit of slowdown here and there, and there is A LOT of flicker, unfortunately. That brings the graphics score down a notch. The cut scenes look pretty cool and are partially animated. They don't look as cool as Y's cut-scenes, but they are par for the course for a 3rd party PC Engine developer back in that time.

One of the coolest looking bosses ever!
Too bad he goes down in like 2 seconds.

Sound: 8/10
The sound effects are all the same from the card version of course, but the music is now streamed straight from the CD. We now get to listen to techno-dance versions of the familiar R-Type tunes which are kind of off-putting at first, but grow on you in an odd sort of way. But no matter what, it's better than the arcade music by a factor of 9.3. The music in the arcade version was tinny and horrible sounding, and even the Sega Master System version of the game sounded better. Obviously the cut-scenes have full voiceovers in Japanese, so if the acting is poor I certainly can't tell. Not too shabby!

The cut-scenes that are between every
other stage will BLOW YOU AWAY! Or not.

Gameplay: 7/10
Well, it's R-Type. While the first version is definitely my favorite version of R-Type, I get bored with it when I get to stage 5. The stages after that are all pretty uninteresting compared to the awesomeness of the first four stages. This has remained true for every version of this game. You can probably guess that if I lived in Japan, I would have only bought the first card. And then there is the "die and get placed waaaay back" aspect of the game which I really hate in shooters. In fact Gradius V was improved tremendously by getting rid of that lame aspect. I always shut off the other Gradius games the first time I die just because I don't want to go through all of that again only this time completely powered down. R-Type is the same way for me. This version also doesn't have the bonus stage that was found in the Sega Master System version (the SMS version was 4 megabits, and the US R-Type for HuCard was only 3 megabits). So that means that the Sega Master System version is still the best. But if you enjoy R-Type, this is a pretty good version to have, and it'll work on your US TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM with Super System Card or TurboDuo if you have one of those.

The boss design in R-Type kicks ass.

Wrap up:
All of the awesomeness contained on one CD!

12-10-2004, 01:06 AM
Nindalf ~ "Not that I care, but that dosn't happen to be an indirect attack towards a certain member named after a flying kid?"

It more than likely is, but I don't care either way.

blueskied ~ "No. I don't know why you'd assume that.
But I was being honest w/my opinion of Joe's reviews."

I doubt that. I think you're just taking advantage of Joe's review thread to try and take an indirect shot at me for proving you wrong in your review thread after you started an argument just because I had asked you what you thought of the music in the games you reviewed, which, for some reason, had turned on your "a**hole meter," and you began to try and attack me. Joe does deserve to be complimented on a job well done.

I don't believe this segment of your original statement ~

"Joe, your reviews are truly the only ones here at magicbox worth reading!
Congrats on writing so many enjoyable reviews. You have a great sense
of humor and it adds a comic touch which is so sorely lacking in so many other reviews. I also find your scores accurate and honest, and not prone to personal bias (like many other reviewers are)."

Yet your flattery is nonsense because you contradict yourself with your own words (taken from my thread), with the significant portions highlighted in boldface~

"I'm not going to start my own review thread for a couple reasons: 1)I don't have time to review more than one game every week or two, 2)I don't think there's any point in posting a review of a game that's been reviewed a bunch of times (like Orta, DOAX, RE0, etc) so I'm just going to stick to games that AREN'T being reviewed (like Galaxy Angel, Tenerezza, maybe Ikaruga for the GC too, etc.), 3)I don't think there's any point in reviewing old, old games as first of all they were already reviewed back in the day, and second of all if they're something like a NES game you can just download and play the rom in less time than it takes to read a review of the game, hence finding out for yourself if you like the game or not. I think reviews of old NES games like River City ransom are totally unnecessary, but that's just me."

Furthermore, after I provided a link in your review thread which proved you were wrong, you deleted the entire thread. That's a cowardly act, a reaction which gives you the unique distinction of being the only person who has done such a thing. That proves you're a hypocrite who is only praising Joe to try and get under my skin. I didn't see you commenting in this thread until after I had exposed you, and you couldn't take it. However, what you don't seem to realize is that I didn't come here to try and win a popularity contest, least of all with somebody who is hypocritical, cowardly and just downright miserable all the time.

By the way, what a way to insult other people ~ "PaperEXE has the absolute worst reviews, followed closely by Bemanisuperstar." You're a very negative and disrespectful individual.

Just sad.

And in conclusion, this statement is downright idiotic ~ "The pictures of the game throughout the review adds a professional flare as well. I could easily see you writing for a gaming mag. You should apply for a job! ;)" I could only disagree here. Joe shouldn't sell-out to the mainstream. Besides, last time I checked, Joe was doing quite well financially. However, I don't think that he needs me to pretend I can speak for him; he's perfectly capable of speaking for himself. The reason why others such as myself don't put up screenshots is because we either don't have webspace or we don't have the capability of doing so.

You're the lowest blueskied. You pretend that guys such as myself, PaperEXE and others' opinions don't matter, then, you pretend that yours do.

Joe Redifer
12-10-2004, 01:20 AM
AHEM! OK now that you've both taken your shots, let's either stop it or move it elsewhere or I'll just start deletin' posts. ThanXorZ!

12-10-2004, 01:22 AM
You're a lucky guy Joe: You have the administrative power to delete posts. However, I wouldn't do that to anybody anyway because I value opinions, both positive and negative.

12-10-2004, 01:27 AM
Geez. Sorry for icarus mucking up your thread Joe, apparently on my behalf!
My original comment had nothing to do with icarus, despite his hate for me
and his paranoid beliefs I'm out to get him. I really could care less what he thinks, and that's why I don't read his long rants anymore (such as the above one), I just skim them, and then say "hmm, OK. That's nice.":clap:

I deleted my review thread because icarus contaminated it so much, and I'm not going to post reviews here any more (if I do any more reviews they'll be up on gamefaqs or the next level, but I don't see any coming soon!). I still
think I was right about the argument over tokimeki and sakura taisen, but icarus thinks he is right too. So whatever. I really don't care.

12-10-2004, 01:30 AM
No response deserved.

P.S. I've played both R-Type 1 & 3 but never part 2. I always thought that they were kinda slowpaced, especially Super R-Type what with all the slowdown. But they're certainly decent shooters.

12-10-2004, 01:47 AM
One last comment for icarus:
Some of your reviews are decent icarus. But overall the only review
thread here I find worthwhile reading on a regular basis is Joe's.
That's basically what I was trying to say. I didn't think my reviews were
that good, hence no big loss in deleting my review thread. For the 10th time, I was not referencing you specifically in my original comment to Joe, I was talking about all the review threads on this site (mine included!). I thought that was clear from the context, but apparently (and interestingly) you've taken it upon yourself to make it all about yourself, when it wasn't at all.

I hope you can cut back on your hostility a bit. There's really no call for that.

And PaperEXE's reviews are awful. It's nothing against him personally, I'm just judging them objectively: they are just poorly written, incredibly inaccurate and ridiculously biased.

12-10-2004, 06:27 AM
Way to go Turnip, always looking to stir up some trouble. :D

My evil plan is working already. MUHAHAHAHA!!

12-11-2004, 01:07 AM
I'm wrong for swearing at you blueskied, but that's all I'm wrong about.

Joe Redifer
12-11-2004, 04:29 AM
Baseball Stars Professional
Neo Geo

And you thought Sega Saturn
boxes were too big?

Back in the NES days, SNK released a hit game called Baseball Stars Amateur. Everyone loved this game and people generally played it more than once. But when SNK brought out their own 16-bit "Genesis-on-steroids" system called the Neo Geo, they realized that fans of the old game would want a new baseball game, and they'd want it to be more fun. Since this game would cost over 5 times as much as the original Baseball Stars, they decided to call it "Baseball Stars Professional" so that people would think they are getting something for their money. What they got was a 50 (actually 48.8) megabit game with lots of color, animation, voice, cool music, and lots of scaling for the low low price of $200.

This guy is PISSED because he
just spent $200 on a $30 game!

Graphics: 6/10
You may look at the graphics in this game and wonder why I wouldn't give it a higher score. It is true that the graphics, which are drawn in a cartoon style, look very bold and colorful. Well, there are only two stadiums to look at and many of the players look identical to each other. They all have the same animation. Still, it is a nice looking game and you won't be punching the TV screen trying to improve the graphics somehow. There is a nice scaling intro with some cool drawings as well as great-looking cut-scenes when someone smacks a home run (which you will see quite often). The ball also scales toward and away from you on the overhead map after it is hit.

Even women are allowed to play. This is
probably as close as you'll ever get to one.

Sound: 8/10
To be quite honest, the sound is the best reason to play this game. The music is always lively and full of energy, and there is a nonstop voice announcer named Michael Beard as well. Sure, he tends to say the same damn thing over and over and over, but for some reason it just adds to the fun and the sound quality is excellent. Michael exclaims winning phrases like "It's a well hit ball that should be in there for a single!". Yes, he says that every time you get a base hit. There are men and women playing baseball in this game, but Michael doesn't seem to notice the difference. When a woman hits a homerun, Mike quips "He loves to hit homers here in this park" etc. The worst sound effect is that of the ball flying after it is hit. It sounds like a police siren that increases in pitch as the ball gets higher, and then decreases in pitch as it falls. Is that the best they could do for a ball flying sound effect? I always think "Oh no, what have I done now? I'd better pull over" every time the ball is hit. Yes, I am that unaware of my surroundings.

All of your players use Barry Bond's steroid
cream and will hit homers more than fouls.

Gameplay: 7/10
This is a very arcadey and fun game of baseball, and one of the few "sports" games that I actually enjoy. The pace is quite fast. In fact you could probably complete and entire 9-inning game of Baseball Stars Professional in the time it takes for one "at-bat" in real baseball. But that's because real baseball is slower than chess and things rarely happen. Control throughout the game is pretty simple. For the most part you have your hand on just one button and your other hand wrapped around the stick which may remind you of when you surf the internet for porn, so try not to get confused like I did! This game, unfortunately, is extremely easy. You will hit tons upon tons of homers without effort. You get two whole stadiums to choose from and you get to pick from such great teams like "The Celestial Planets" and "American Dreams". Obviously I pick American Dreams every single time since the Patriot Act has gone into effect, just in case. This game isn't something you'd want to play every day, but an occasional romp just to experience the arcade joys of yesterday is quite fun. Obviously most of the memory in this game went to the copious amount of voice, as baseball games really don't require much memory. Still, furious and frantic is how I like my baseball games. Give me arcade-style over simulation any day!

The overhead map kind of
looks like crap, don'tcha think?

Wrap up:
Arcade baseball at it's best! Worth your quarter. NOT worth two Franklin's however.

Paper exe
12-11-2004, 01:58 PM
blueskied,not every one first language is english. :annoyed:

thinks Icarus4578 :bigsmile:

12-11-2004, 02:56 PM
These games were very popular locally. I think it worked in the game's favor that you couldn't always hear it too well in the arcades, judging from what you've described. You don't notice that sort of stuff as much; you're just busy playing a game and getting your money's worth. One thing I loved about Neo Geo arcades: They always costed one quarter. :cool guy:

12-11-2004, 05:24 PM
Not true Icarus, SVC Chaos and SSV was two tokens at my local arcade.

Joe Redifer
12-11-2004, 08:36 PM
Well those are newer, eh? The quarter is worth today what a dime was in those days!

Drunken Savior
12-11-2004, 08:54 PM
Even women are allowed to play. This is
probably as close as you'll ever get to one.

GIRLS CAN'T PLAY BASEBALL!!!! Overhand pitching...too scarry!

Drunken Savior
12-12-2004, 11:57 PM
Review Daytona USA!!!!!!

Joe Redifer
12-13-2004, 12:29 AM
OK. But first I will review a non-Daytona USA game. New review coming in, ummm... minutes!!!

Joe Redifer
12-13-2004, 12:38 AM
Black Belt
Sega Master System

Sega was the king of box
art during the 8-bit days!

Now this is a cool 1 meg Master System game. In Japan, the game is known as "Hakuto No Ken" which is about the anime "Fist of the North Star". If you have a ponytail and are male, you probably know all about this and many, many, many, many other animes. Please lose the ponytail. Anyway in the Japanese Hakuto No Ken, you were a dude that fought a whole bunch of little dudes and then fought a big dude. Then you did that again and again. Sega decided to change just about every asthetic of the game when bringing it over from Japan, especially since Fist of the North Star sucks sweaty, hairy balls. They gave it new graphics, new music, but kept the same gameplay for the most part. They also renamed it to "Black Belt". Now you are a dude who's after his girlfriend. Black Belt is MUCH better than Hakuto No Ken. Oh, and did I mention that Yuji Naka of Sonic Team fame worked on this game? No? Well he sho' did!

Fight E. Honda's brother E. Gonta!

Graphics: 8/10
Hey these graphics are pretty darned good considering the system, the memory constraints, and the year it was made (1925). As you walk to the right, there is a very convincing 3D scrolling effect on the ground, similar to Choplifter only a bit better. This varies in effect from level to level. The characters are small and there are a ton of them onscreen trying to murder you for no reason at all. Get past all of these dudes and you get to a very special dude who is a mid boss. The mid boss usually has some special skill and needs to be smacked 4 times before he explodes. Some levels have up to 4 mid bosses where others have only 1. Get past all of this and suddenly you are fighting the level boss in a Street Fighter style match. Suddenly your sprite is much larger. There is a little bit of flicker in this game but never any slowdown. The graphics are tremendously improved over the Japanese version of this game. It was difficult to even look at that one.

Even bald eagles try to destroy you.
You must kick them into pieces!

Sound: 7/10
The sound is also tremendously improved over the Japanese version, or at least the music is. Some of the music remains the same, but the crappy music has been replaced. You now have invincibility music which blends into and out of the main theme fairly seamlessly when you acquire invincibility. And the music when you fight the bosses is superb... it has an epic "Eye of the Tiger" feel to it. You know you are fighting for all you're worth during these matches. Not too much in the way of the sound effects, except that of your enemies exploding. Surprisingly it sounds just like real people exploding. I conducted many experiments and recorded the sound of people exploding and compared them to this game, and there is very little difference. Bravo!

Your enemies EXPLODE when you defeat
them, which adds realism to the game.

Gameplay: 7/10
If you don't like repetitive kung-fu games, then don't apply here. But just hopping all around and learning the boss's weaknesses is more than enough to keep me playing. It's pretty tough and only losers who need to get a life will be able to beat it, and there are no continues. New in the US version are items that occasionally float across the top of the screen, and you can get them by high jumping. These are either invincibility icons or sushi which will restore your life. This really helps the game. The boss fights are really cool. Most bosses can only be finished by a particular kick or punch. You don't have any fireballs or fatalities or moronic things like that, but when you finally land the winning blow you really give it to your enemy by unleashing a super-rapid fire melee of attacks on his or her sorry ass. Control is pretty good with your basic punch and kick. In order to jump you simply press UP and if you want to high jump you must press DOWN and then UP. There are no special moves or 90-button combos to get in the way of having a simple good time.

The first boss can be one of the toughest.
He's pissed that you are wearing white after Labor Day.

Wrap up:
Way better than Kung-Fu for the NES. Way better than the Japanese Hakuto No Ken. And yes, it is better than Final Fantasy 7.

Joe Redifer
12-13-2004, 04:24 AM
Daytona USA
Sega Dreamcast

Hasbro? Yup, they owned the Daytona game rights,
so they had to be the ones to distribute this.

Daytona USA is one of the best, most fun, and kookiest racing games ever to be created. It started out as a fantastic arcade game and migrated home on Sega consoles, spawning 3 different versions. There was even an arcade sequel called Daytona 2 that didn't get as much attention and no home conversions, unfortunately. For this review we'll be looking at the ultimate version of Daytona, the Sega Dreamcast version. Whereas the arcade and original Saturn versions of Daytona were programmed by Sega's awesome AM2 team, this one was made by Sega's legendary Amusement Vision team. You'll remember them from such amazingly fantastic games as Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2 as well as F-Zero GX, all for the Gamecube.

Science and religion find common ground! It's called
"Holy Canyon" yet there are tons of dinosaur fossils in it.

Story: 10/10
The story to this game is amazing. Your girlfriend has been kidnapped and is being held hostage by the evil warlord, and you are on a mission to get her back! The evil warlord shows no mercy and also intends on conquering the world and enslaving its people, so you figure that you might as well stop his plans for doing that as well. But first things first... time to race!

Brue brue skiiiiees!!
Brue brue skies I see!

Graphics: 10/10
Dare I say that these graphics are better than the arcade? Damn straight I do, and there ain't nothin' you can do about it. Silky-smooth 60 frames per second at all times and the 480p and VGA is absolutely stunning. There is no flicker, slowdown or pop up either. This is the Dreamcast at its best. The draw distances can be quite amazing (especially for the time) and the colors are beautiful. Notice how the shadows of the canyons or whatever you happen to be driving by lay on the car. It's just like real life! Sheer brilliance is all I can say. Wheeeee! The "fat tires" on my favorite car do look kind of odd, and that's really the only negative thing I can say. But I got used to 'em. I figured that I was just mad tight phiggidy phat fo' realz yo and that's why I had the lowrider tires. This game is definitely "arcade quality", and that's putting it lightly. This really looks like it's running on the Gamecube, and looks much better than many PlayStation 2 racers by a significant amount.

A track from the second Saturn version of
Daytona, only this time it's actually FUN!

Sound: 10/10
Pure genius! Takenobu Mitsuyoshi's arcade tracks were very, uh, unique. But they sure did grow on you, and how! Tracks like "Rolling Start (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/rollingstart.mp3)" and "Let's Go Away" were extremely catchy, and let's not forget "Blue Blue Skies" with its outright corniness that simply makes it beyond classic. I have to admit that the Saturn version of Daytona USA has the best sounding versions of the tunes that were in the arcade game (way better than the arcade itself), but the versions here are in no way to be considered bad. You can even assign certain music to certain race tracks, and the original arcade music is also included. The versions in this game were redone by Wavemaster and Wavemaster rarely disappoints. They came up with extremely catchy new music for the additional tracks as well. The new stuff is fabulous! None of the music from Daytona CCE was reused for this game, and nobody is complaining about that. The brand of uniqueness in the music as well as the catchy new stuff and outright coolness factor guarantees you're in for a good musical time. The sound effects are adequate as well as the voices. This game utilizes the same ?ber gay announcer that is in Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2. Listen when the radio voice says "watch your speed" because that means you are about to crash if you don't slow down RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!

Any idea who made this game?

Gameplay: 9/10
Wow this game is addictive! Race around in the 3 original tracks, the two new tracks from the Saturn CCE version as well as 3 new tracks designed just for this game. All of the tracks are awesome and I command you to love them. Some complain that the control is a bit twitchy, and they'd be right if they weren't morons! OK actually it is a bit twitchy if you try to control it in a traditional manner, but in order to get really good control, you must hold the analog pad UP at all times. You semi-circle around to the LEFT and RIGHT positions and that makes your vehicle control very well. This is the only real reason why I don't give the game a perfect 10, because not everyone knows to do this. Anyway, you have a ton of cars to choose from and lots to unlock as well. I prefer the Hornet as always, not sure why. You can race the tracks forward or backwards, or even mirrored. You can choose how many enemy cars are on the track during your race, and you can choose the number of laps to race... up to 40(!). The fun never, ever ends god damn it! You can play online with up to 3 other people if you still have some sort of dial-up internet account. It works pretty well, and I raced in many races with surprisingly little or no lag, it was fun. Unfortunately this game does not support the broadband adapter for the Dreamcast. Since I don't have dial-up internet, there is no way for me to test if there are any servers for this game left. My guess would be no.

Incredible draw distances abound. Be careful as that blimp
will drop packets of anthrax on you to try and slow you down!

Extra Extra!
Hey now, you know you love Daytona USA. You need to download this awesome Quicktime video (http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/DaytonaUSA.mov) that I made some time ago. It starts out looking at the original Saturn launch game, then you're looking at the Saturn CCE version, and then suddenly you're watching this game that's being reviewed right here, the Dreamcast version! Then it goes back to the original Saturn version really quick just for some contrast. The Quicktime is 45.8 megs, so it may take awhile to download (right click the link and "Save As" so you can keep it forever), but it is definitely worth it, and that I guarantee.

Wrap up:
This game is immortal.

12-13-2004, 04:35 AM
How does Sega manage to find some of the most talented musicians in all of gamedom? I cannot comprehend how awesome it would be to hang out with the Sega sound teams for a day. :cool guy: Those guys kick ass!

12-14-2004, 06:14 PM
daytona is my favorite arcade racer

No response deserved.

P.S. I've played both R-Type 1 & 3 but never part 2. I always thought that they were kinda slowpaced, especially Super R-Type what with all the slowdown. But they're certainly decent shooters.

what's wrong with you? you must buy r-types for the PSX. r-type 2 is my favorite. the arcade was just an utter joy to play.

12-14-2004, 07:49 PM
JJJJOOOOOOEEEE!!!!!.......review Gunvalkyire please :D .

Joe Redifer
12-14-2004, 10:54 PM
Ahhh good choice! I will accept the Gunvalkyrie challenge!

12-14-2004, 11:51 PM
Sorry if this is a wasted post but once you've finished reviewing Gunvalkyrie I'd like to make a special request of my own. ;)

12-15-2004, 12:40 AM
Man, I've really gotta get back to reviewing some games, I still have like eight games that I havent finished or reviewed yet.

Joe Redifer
12-15-2004, 12:44 AM
Well Icarus... I assume your request is.... ummmm.... what is your request?

12-15-2004, 12:48 AM
Well, if you've gotta know, it's none other than the king of SNES shooters: Axelay. :cool:

EDIT ~ You don't own it??

Joe Redifer
12-15-2004, 12:55 AM
I'll try for that one.

12-15-2004, 03:50 PM
better make it super awesome!

Yay, I just got it today (and have yet to play it). I hope I'm not in for a dull linear 20 hour ride full of repetitive killing because I loathe that sort of thing. By the way, that pic of you killing Gearhound had me shedding tears from the laughter! Good one!! :cool guy:

P.S. I'm really enjoying your reviews Joe. Great job.

that was pretty damn funny. you will pay for that, joe redifer :kill: :evilsmile

Joe Redifer
12-15-2004, 05:50 PM
No I don't own Axelay for probably the same reason you don't own any version of R-Type.

Joe Redifer
12-15-2004, 11:56 PM

Look at that ass! Mmmmm yeah!
You know you want to grab it.

This is it. This is the game that made me buy an Xbox, even though I had never played it before. I already had a Gamecube Nintendo (its proper name) and the Dreamcast was dead. I craved more Sega action! I saw this game sitting on the shelf in Gamestart or some retarded store like that. I looked at the back of the box and it looked cool! I also saw the Dolby Digital 5.1 logo. Until then I really didn't care about the Xbox, rarely read about it, and had no idea that the machine could do 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. I was stoked. So the next day I bought an Xbox, Gunvalkyrie, and probably some other game. And what an awesome game this was. Originally planned for the Dreamcast as a light gun game (which also made use of the D-pad on the light gun itself), Sega decided to kill the Dreamcast and made this for the Xbox instead. I'm glad they did. This game would have been much worse as a light gun game.

You get to watch her ass for the whole game!

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics are really solid, especially for back when I first got my Xbox. Nowadays they won't blow you away, but they still hold up well. You get 480p but are stuck with the 4:3 aspect ratio. Oh well. There are lots of strange colors, but often times the game does tend to lean a bit towards the dark side. Everything is nice and sharp and usually moves with great fluidity. Some of the character designs in this game are really cool, especially the bosses. There is some draw-in waaaaay in the distance if you look, but it in no way makes me want to stop playing the game and go shoot myself or something else silly.

If you don't like bugs, stay away from this game!

Sound: 8/10
The music is pretty good, but not fantastic. There are a few good tunes that play that'll make you want to get out your top hat, baton and tapping shoes. I do own the soundtrack, which was released in the US. Then there is the music in Nalfagar's Pit, if you can call it music. You get a creepy xylophone track accompanied by the crazy ramblings of the game's main whacko (your dad, by the way). It is weird to listen to and definitely creates a very memorable aspect of the game. Haley's chosen! The sound presentation overall is excellent. The Dolby Digital 5.1 features spectacular use of the subwoofer when you jump and dash, and you can hear where the creatures are around you perfectly. The sound effects are all very well recorded and sound great. I'm glad that this was my first experience with Dolby Digital 5.1 during gameplay. I had earlier heard 5.1 during the opening cut-scene on Metal Gear Solid 2 for the PlayStation 2, but it couldn't compare to this. Plus the PlayStation 2 can't do Dolby Digital during the actual gameplay.

Use your grappling beam to get across quickly, OMG!

Gameplay: 8/10
For me this was a very fun game. You have a map and on it you can see your enemies, and you simply MUST destroy them all! Every last damn one of them. I liked seeking out that one enemy I missed, killing him, and then being able to complete the stage. The boss fights can be very involving, but they are all cool and exciting. The controls couldn't be better. With a small bit of practice you can even learn to fly, which is even required in some of the earlier stages when you're playing over a giant pit. The opening stage features a built-in tutorial explaining how to jump, dash, etc. You can get a few extra weapons and stronger suits, but no one really cares about that. Sometimes you use a grappling beam to get across chasms... I think that might be similar to Metroid Prime, I dunno. Metroid Prime becomes extremely boring after the first 12 or 13 seconds or so. But I swear I remember Samus using an electrical beam to get across something, and I thought "they ripped that off from Gunvalkyrie!" My memory may be jacked up since even short-term exposure to Metroid Prime can destroy millions of brain cells. Anyway, you can also play as some loser dude, but I don't think anyone's ever played as him. He's in there just so it seems like you have more options. This game is insanely hard and you really have to practice A LOT to beat it. Damn! I think most people just give up and think the game sucks. But for me, this is a classic Sega game and one that belongs on every Xbox owners shelf.

Wrap up:
One of the most overlooked and underrated titles for the Xbox.

12-16-2004, 12:52 AM
Well I'll have to put this on my to get list for the xbox too. I hope I get one for christmas, that way I can save some cash.

12-16-2004, 01:40 AM
Correction: I own R-Type (TG16) and R-Type III (SNES). I don't think they're bad at all. They're just very slow-paced.

I guess I'll be reviewing R-Type III next.

Black Sugar
12-16-2004, 12:40 PM
If I we're to buy a Xbox it would because of Smilebit games. Gunvalkyrie, Jet Set Radio Future and Panzer Dragoon Orta are three beautiful and well made games for the Xbox. To bad there ain't more of them.

Joe Redifer
12-16-2004, 11:33 PM
Sega Master System

All Sega card games had the same hand
holding the card. The drawing of Transbot
himself is superb, and the artist definitely
earned his $2,000 fee for this one.

Back in 1986, Sega wondered what would be the best way to make themselves a household name. They decided that they had to program fantastic games that offered a new and exciting experience for the game player. So they made Transbot, a game where you can play not only as a spaceship, but also as a robot! Most games only let you play as a spaceship or a robot, but never both. Transbot exploded into stores everywhere and sold a dozen copies, a new record for Sega. Record low, that is.

Check out the photorealistic graphics here.
You'd swear that was the real Mt. Fuji in the background!

Graphics: 5/10
I hope you like repetition! Considering that this low-memory game exists on a card, I was very surprised to see multiple (well, 2 anyway) layers of scrolling. That was amazing. The rest of the graphics popped off the screen with amazing blandness. There is very little animation in the game at all. When you are a robot, your legs will sway when you are moving back or forward. But most enemies only have a single frame to their design and just scroll through the stages. The boss does have a bit of animation, though. Try to keep your eyeballs in your sockets.

Transform into a nuclear creature
and destroy this ungrateful world!

Sound: 3/10
I hope you like repetition! Not very many musical pieces in the game at all. They are a bit catchy at first, but you'll hear them so much that you'll begin to get sick of them quickly. The sound effects are what you'd expect to hear from an Atari 2600 game. If this game didn't have music, you'd swear you had an Atari 2600 hooked up to your surround sound system cranking out the noise. But the Sega Master System can actually play more than one note/sound at a time, so Transbot comes off as very technically advanced. Panzer Dragoon ain't got nothin' on this.

Since this was such a popular game, George Lucas
insisted that his scout walkers from The Empire Strikes
Back be digitally inserted into every copy.

Gameplay: 2/10
I hope you like repetition! You fly around and shoot enemies that come in patterns. The enemies rarely ever take a shot at you. Mostly they just annoy you to death. Every once in awhile, some dumbass drives along the bottom of the screen. You can shoot and murder him and then steal his cargo! Unfortunately all he seems to ever transport is a giant question mark. Must be a huge demand for question marks these days. And I can see why, because when you touch the question mark that he was transporting, part of the screen starts flashing a few letters in alphabetical order. Hit a button and that letter becomes your new weapon! Some of the letters turn you into a robot! OMG! OMG! But all of the letters except for A eventually wear down, and you become the sad little default ship again, flying over the same landscape forever and ever (or so it seems). You'll eventually get to a new screen and even indoors, but it really isn't worth your time or mine.

Wrap up:
Sega's attempt at shooter awesomeness fails. Play Axelay instead.

12-17-2004, 12:29 AM
LOL --- Joe, That was quick on getting to the review. Now transbot will fade back into obscurity. :crying:

I have had that game forever but don't remember playing a whole lot of it in the 80's or once I got the import cart versions. Obviously, by your ratings, I can see why it never stuck out in my mind as a memorable game.

One thing after seeing your shots I noticed. The game looks very similar to the Famicom game "Transformers: Mystery of Comvoy by Takara" both the ships & robot. The big difference is in the color schemes. TF was another very bland and sorry shooter that also had the very rare feature you pointed out. Being able to be two things in a game instead of just one (Transbot = Ship & Robot) (Transformers = Truck & Robot). Aside from that cool feature, the game blew. It had a pattern that once you got down became so repetitive that it would put you to sleep faster than watching the 2nd half of (Spike Lee's - Malcolm X).

Wonder if that is George Castanza's hand holding the card? :P
Wasn't there an episode on Seinfeld where he was gonna be a "hand model"?

12-17-2004, 01:37 AM
Joe ~ "Since this was such a popular game, George Lucas
insisted that his scout walkers from The Empire Strikes
Back be digitally inserted into every copy."

While we're on the subject (of plagarism), don't you think that the second boss in Axelay is a blatant ripoff of ED-209 from Robocop?

BTW, I was pleasantly suprised to find that my copy of R-Type III was missing from my SNES collection. I guess somebody decided that I didn't deserve it and took it upon themself to relieve me of ownership. That leaves me with R-Type on TG16, but since you recently reviewed it, I don't even see the point.... I'll have to pick a different shooter in its stead. A "suprise" shooter.

Oh, and great review, as usual. Keep up the great work. Speaking as a writer, your stuff is getting better by the day. I think I speak for everybody when I say that your effort is much appreciated, so thumbs up to you. :cool guy:

Joe Redifer
12-17-2004, 04:13 AM
Thanks! Good point about the Robocop/Axelay comparison. I've only seen Robocop once, so the thought didn't occur to me until you pointed it out. So there will be no mention of it in the Axelay review I've already written.

Poor Transbot. This will be the last anyone ever mentions of him. I want to see that Transformers game and also a game based on Spike Lee's Malcolm X.

Joe Redifer
12-17-2004, 04:31 AM
Super Nintendo

Just another SNES box that
you probably threw away.
Damn you!

The SNES wasn't exactly known for its great shooters. Well, it couldn't have been... it simply didn't pack a fast enough CPU to pull off a great shooter. But that didn't stop a few companies from trying. One of the more notable efforts is definitely Konami's Axelay. Comprised of both overhead and side scrolling action (like Thunder Force 2, except you can only scroll up in the overhead stages), Axelay comes packed on an 8 megabit (1 megabyte) cartridge, but only uses a little over 6 megabits of memory. That's about a megabit per stage. Axelay ends up being the best shooter ever... for the SNES.

It's a giant turd! Don't touch!

Graphics: 8/10
Axelay pulls off just about every effect you can ask for... scaling, rotation, even scrolling! The overhead stages have a unique effect applied to the scrolling. As the imagery scrolls downward, it expands vertically, but not horizontally. It's sort of a 1-dimensional scaling effect since it only grows in one plane. It creates sort of a "curved" effect which is absolutely bizarre. When there are two layers of this going on, the bottom layer only resizes to a little over halfway down the screen, and then it just starts scrolling straight down without scaling. I'm not sure what I really think of this effect. It's not like things are coming from a distance, as there is zero perspective. It's more like it's being "unrolled" from a scroll. And since the SNES cannot scale sprites, the enemies do not grow larger as they "approach", making the effect even more strange looking. The only exception is when an enemy ship is actually a background layer. I'll give it points for uniqueness, but that's it. The rest of the graphics are very sharp, and the side scrolling stages are well drawn, detailed, and can feature up to 3 layers of scrolling at a time. Colors are very well used throughout the game, but there is some flicker and things do seem kind of small. There are a few bosses that have some cool designs, like the walking thingy of level 2, but its implementation is kind of jerky.

The benefits of these employees have
expired. Time to take them out!

These graphics here kind of
remind me of a Neo Geo game.

Sound: 8/10
There are two voices in the game. One that tries to make some sort of weird announcement as you approach the boss of any given stage that is unintelligible, and the voice that says "Arms installation is completed. Good Luck!" before each stage which sounds very real (no digitizing artifacts). On the music side of things you'll find that Souji Taro composed some fantastic tunes for the game, with a little help from M.C. Ada who did level 2's music which is apparently not original to this game. Wherever it's from, it rocks! (http://pixelcraze.film-tech.net/reviews/colony.mp3) The music gets pretty boring for the last 2 stages, however. And even stage 4's music gets old kind of quick. The sound effects are all fairly average. Explosions sound pretty flat, and just about every sound in the game has at least a small amount of the typical SNES reverb applied to it that I hate so much.

The fire dragon enemy from
the Gradius series makes a cameo!

Gameplay: 7/10
As mentioned earlier, there are overhead stages which scroll vertically and side scrolling stages as well. They alternate and there are only 6 stages. That's it. What is a bit unique about this game is that there are no power ups at all throughout the stages. You choose your weapons before the stage begins. After each stage you have a new weapon to chose from in one category. If you get hit by enemy fire, you loose the weapon you are using. Once you loose all 3 weapons you use the basic wimpy attack and then after that you die. You can also die if you touch an enemy directly no matter how many weapons you have left. It's a pretty good shooter, but some of the stages tend to drag on and get boring (especially stages 4 and 6). I keep thinking to myself "OK I'm bored. I'm ready for something to happen now... or at least change". Playing through the first few levels is always fun mainly due to the great music, but once you hit stage 4 there really is no reason to continue after a few minutes in there. I'm not sure if I preferred the overhead more than the side scrolling stages or vice-versa, but the pace is a bit slow on both modes. There is a TON of slowdown and it really interferes with the gameplay and detracts greatly from it. The SNES just can't handle games that require much, if any movement. It's as the same clock speed as the Sega Master System and trying to handle tons more information at once for Chris'sake! It's like trying to watch HDTV on the Game Gear... not the greatest idea. But given that, I'm impressed with what Konami was able to pull off here, and it remains a worthy game. It is fairly challenging, and once you beat it the game just repeats from stage 1 (minus the weapons you've acquired for some reason) even after you beat it on hard. There is a decent intro and ending to the game, and there is some sort of locket involved, but hell if I know what it's significance means. Oh well. I don't play games for the story. I play games to have fun. If I rated in decimals, the gameplay would get a 7.4 or so, as would the overall game. Remember, 5 is average for the system, 7 is definitely not bad!

It's the boss! Time to request a raise and some
vacation time. The boss disapproves, of course.
How he got promoted, I'll never know.

Wrap up:
Definitely the best shooter for the SNES, but certainly not as good as Genesis shooters like Thunder Force IV and Gaiares, etc.

12-17-2004, 04:45 AM
Hey Joe, might those graphics for Stage 4 remind you of a certain Neo Geo shooter called ...Pulstar? :cool guy:

Joe Redifer
12-17-2004, 05:16 AM
Yeah... that's it! That game had a lot of slow down as well, though that's about all I remember about it other than its great graphics and insane difficulty (I think).

12-17-2004, 05:18 AM
It was a blessing that Pulstar had slowdown. That game is WICKED hard! Looks great and feels good, too. I wish Takara had translated it for.... no, scratch that. Can you imagine the slowdown beating Pulstar would receive on the SNES? :yikes:

Joe Redifer
12-17-2004, 05:21 AM
That would have rocked if they made sure every single graphic was there (which technically the SNES could do... just slowly) in full color so there could be no differences noted between still pics of the two versions. I would probably give a game an extra point if the developer made a crazy game and just didn't care about how much the CPU would slow down, especially if it came to a complete stop for a few seconds.

12-17-2004, 05:23 AM
Sorry if it seems like I'm trolling now but I just have to make one extra comment. In your review for Axelay, you said that the song for Stage 2 wasn't originally from the game, if I understand correctly. Where'd you hear about this? This is the first time I've ever heard such a thing.

EDIT ~ I'll try and look into that for you. If I find anything, I'll let you know. Thanks again.

Joe Redifer
12-17-2004, 05:27 AM
I am guessing, but I think it is an educated guess, being that I have a PHD in game music. The first clue is that was the only song not done by Souji Taro. The second clue comes in the game's credits. "Colony Remix by M.C Ada". Remix? Remixed from what? Hmmmm.... Obviously they used the same sound library for the tune that was used in the rest of the game, so it doesn't sound out of place. I'd like to hear the original and more importantly know where it is from.

Joe Redifer
12-19-2004, 03:59 AM
Mega Man 2
Nintendo Entertainment System

Capcom always prided themselves in hiring
artists who suck. It looks like Mega Man could
use some marksmanship lessons as well.

Remember back when games were easy and we weren't plagued by millions of mediocre Mega Man games? I sure do. Back in the 80's Mega Man got a sequel. It was easy, it was fun, and it was only the second Mega Man game so we weren't sick of the character like everyone is now. In Japan the game is called "Rockman" for some bizarre reason. I approve of the name change to Mega Man.

This stage smells worse than a
warehouse full of horny lesbians.

Graphics: 9/10
For the NES these graphics really do shine. They really took advantage of the 2 megabit size with great boss designs and some very large enemies throughout the stages. The giant fish in Bubbleman's world and the big blue doggy in Woodman's place are just two that really stand out with their Disney-esque artwork. All 52 of the NES colors are used and up to 16 are on the screen at any one time if you can believe that. Freakin' amazing, I tell you! Everything is animated and brought to life by the designers, and the bosses all have their own unique flair. Mega Man himself looks a bit plain, but I don't think it's worth complaining about. There is quite a bit of flicker and some occasional slowdown here, but you'll keep playing anyway without a care.

Mega Man tries to make a fashion statement
with his new green Underroo's.

Sound: 10/10
Journey with me back in time when game music wasn't trying to be incredibly foreboding or scary. Back in a time when the music was just trying to be... good! The musical soundtrack to this game is unparalleled by just about any other NES game. It is extremely unique and amazingly catchy. I never get tired of listening to this game... never. Heatman and Quickman's music isn't the best, but maybe it only sounds mediocre because it is placed up against every other tune that is in the game. But those two tunes won't have you plugging your ears. The complexity of the soundtrack is phenomenal for an 8-bit game, and of course the composition is simply superb. I don't think I can really say enough about the music here. My favorite tracks in no particular order are Bubbleman, Flashman, Woodman and Air Man. The sound effects are typical NES. Yes, when there is a sound effect, part of the music is cut off because the NES can only make 5 sounds at the same time, but oh well. All 8-bit games and even many 16-bit games are like that. Still a great sounding game.

MetalMan was manufactured by Ford
so he is quite easy to defeat.

Gameplay: 8/10
As good as the original Mega Man was, this one is much better. The bosses are cooler and the stages themselves are way more fun. As always, once you defeat a boss you get his weapon and maybe even a special item created by Dr. Light (PhD). Whatever you do, don't try to get through Quickman's stage before defeating Flashman! It can actually be done, but it is MUCH harder without the ability to stop time and subsequently the instant-death rays. You can also get other items which help you break through certain barriers or reach high ledges. Lots of strategy can be involved if you want to get every item in a stage. It's definitely one of the finest NES games ever. So why only an 8? Well, mainly it's because of the way you must switch between weapons and items. You must pause the game, go into a menu screen, select your item, and then unpause. When you are finished, you must repeat the process to get back to your normal weapon. You can refill your life with energy tanks that you find, but you must use them via the menu instead of them automatically refilling when your life runs out. Each weapon uses power independently, so if you come across a weapon power-up, you must switch to the weapon you want to replenish, collect the item, and then switch back. And this all can really become a pain in the ass to keep switching back and forth all of the time, especially when trying to get through Dr. Wiley's (also a PhD) stages. It's almost as if you spend more time switching in the menu than you do jumping around! It does distract from the otherwise brisk pace of the game. It is enough for me to detract points from the gameplay and overall score. Like I said earlier, the game is fairly easy. If you've never played before, it might take you a few hours to figure out the best path, but otherwise you can get through this game in about an hour or so. Still, I absolutely love it, as it is insane amounts of fun!

Check out the big red dude. He has
clouds for hair! How cool is that?

Wrap up:
One of the best NES games there is. Even if there wasn't any gameplay at all, it'd be worth it for the music alone.

12-20-2004, 01:27 AM
Wow. So you love Mega Man 2's music so much that you gave it a perfect 10 for sound? I agree that the music is memorable and good to listen to but I would've given it an 8 or a 9 for sound. Admittedly, the music is what sets this action game apart from others.

12-20-2004, 02:48 AM
:cool guy: nice review on gunvalkyrie. I do agree with you though, the game require a lot of practice to get good at. I think that is why people were not drawn to it because of the high learning curve. I personally found it rewarding when I eventually mastered it because it was cool to finally be able to stay afloat in air and unload your special of a group of enemies. Ahhh priceless :bigsmile:

Joe Redifer
12-20-2004, 03:08 AM
For the NES, there isn't much if anything that sounds better than Mega Man 2.