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Old 05-16-2004, 08:47 AM   #676
Joe Redifer
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Probably not 10 hours a day or anything. That figure is a guess. I know I played it for a long ass time.
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Old 05-17-2004, 12:19 PM   #677
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I've got some great reviews coming, including Sunset Riders (SNES) and Virtua Racing (32X).
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:08 PM   #678
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Well?
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Old 05-22-2004, 12:32 PM   #679
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V.R. ~ Virtua Racing Deluxe - Sega 32X - Rating 5
Without a doubt, Sega's V.R. altered the arcade industry and, along with Virtua Fighter, gave Sega the No.1 position in the arcades. Nobody thought that V.R. was possible at home, but Sega had something up its sleeve called the SVP chip. This chip was Sega's answer to Nintendo's Super-FX chip (used to best effect in Starfox). Retailing in stores at around $90-$100, Sega's Virtua Racing arcade-to-home conversion for Genesis would be the one and only game ever to utilize the SVP chip. And, quite frankly, Nintendo kicked Sega in the nards as far as retail price is concerned -- Starfox costed about $60. Even so, $60 is a ripoff for a video game, and yet many titles did cost that much.... and sometimes more. Even today, game dealers continue the tradition of jipping consumers with ridiculous prices for games, but I will not allow this review to become a study of game retail prices.
Back to Virtua Racing. Before V.R. came out, there weren't that many racing games that truly impressed me. I suppose that F-Zero wowed me for a short while, and there may have been a couple of cool arcade racers that I'm forgetting about. But V.R. was the first racer that literally made me stand up and take notice. (I wasn't that heavily into racing games beforehand: Mach Rider, Excitebike, Rad Racer, Hang-On, RC Pro AM, etc. ...or was I?) It costed a dollar for one play, but was it ever worth it -- V.R. was a mesmerizing first-time experience. It is humble by today's standards but doesn't lack character any less. And I'm going to be straight with you ~ most of the character is relegated to the aural aspect. The music! Ah, what a cool soundtrack for a racing game! Though that's not to say that V.R. lacks gameplay, but without the motivation of the soundtrack you'd be hard-pressed to remain interested for too long (and I mean as it is relevant to nowadays).
The game opens with a brief opening cinema clearly meant to impose graphical pleasure. Indeed, was it ever impressive back then. When you enter the game you are given five selections: Virtua Racing, Time Attack, 2 Player Vs, Records, and Options. As far as options are concerned you can set the difficulty level, listen to the B.G.M., S.E. and Voice, and set your controls. The 6-button Genesis pad is put to good use because you can select between the four views during the race on the fly (as opposed to having to keep pressing the same button). Once you're all set, enter Virtua Racing. First you choose your car type between Formula, Stock and Prototype, plus the transmission (atuomatic/manual). Then you select one of the five courses: Big Forest, Bay Bridge, Acropolis, Highland, and Sand Park, the latter two being new additions which weren't in the arcade. When you're all set, it's time to race.
As you'll see, the flat-shaded polygons are nothing special. There aren't many polygons onscreen at once, there's some rather obvious pop-up (even the arcade had pop-up, though not as much as in this version), and the 'background' is just a static scrolling picture. That said, it's by no means a poor first-effort by Sega. Trees are represented as simple triangles using a couple of different hues of green for variety, grass is just flat green polygons, and the tarmac is grey polygons which you can clearly see the outlines of. None of this is really a bad thing. Sega attempted to put special attractions in each stage: a ferris wheel in Big Forest, a building in Sand Park, the bridge in Bay Bridge, etc. What is strange is thinking back to one time when my brother was playing and we had a discussion~

(Paraphrasing)
Icarus ~ "Wouldn't it be awesome if they made role playing games and other games in 3D like this?"
Bro ~ "Not gonna happen."
Icarus ~ "Yeah, but wouldn't it be cool?"


It didn't take them long for game developers to capitalize on Sega's newfound success, did it? Then again, Virtua Fighter was the biggest thing since Street Fighter II to hit the arcade scene, particularly in Japan where it became one of the most popular games ever.
Virtua Racing has some issues. For one thing, the controls are rather tame and lack sophistication, even for an 'arcade racer'. Daytona USA and Sega Rally were great examples of arcade racing, much moreso than V.R. was. You'll make some turns while accelerating, and if it's a sharp turn you may have to relinquish the accel. while holding into the direction in order to make the tight corner. What's strange is how you have to hold a direction, relinquish the d-pad for a very brief moment, and then hold again in order to make some of the turns, particularly while accelerating. If you hold into a corner too hard you'll oversteer. The brakes are most useful when there's a tight corner approaching in which you wouldn't be able to make otherwise without controlling your speed. Otherwise, you'll either wind up in the grass/sand and wipe out, or you'll smack into a corner and be sent somersaulting or simply slow down greatly (and it matters a lot, even on the Easy difficulty setting). Even further, when you reach certain apexes you will see how the CPU makes them look so effortless and will be very confused as to how you're supposed to accurately approach and leave them behind with minimal sacrifice in speed and positioning just like the CPU. And let's not get into when you begin races in the 16th position and keep ramming into the other racers--annoying obstacles--and wiping out, only to quick reset, restart the course, and have the same thing happen again, and again, and again.... It takes some serious work to get this game down; an unneccesary amount of work.
That said, the game is enjoyable to a limited extent. The course designs are by no means bad and the competition is truly fierce. What makes this game so damn great is the soundtrack. Songs like Demonstration, Replay and Bay Bridge prove just how dedicated Sega's AM2 team was when it came to creating all-around excellent gaming experiences. The sound effects are very good and the voices are stellar as well. "Time Bonus!"
For its time Virtua Racing proved a remarkable effort by Sega to give the arcade scene newfound vitality and lasting strength. Of course, V.R. has been bettered by many subsequent racers, not the least of which were produced by Sega themselves. It's pretty fun today and is worth adding to your 32X collection. It just doesn't have much lasting appeal, except for the music. I pay more attention to the replay music than the replay itself. ;) Back in the day, this title deserved a Rating 9. That just comes to show you how much farther we've come.

"GAME! GAME! OVER! OVER!"

Draw, pilgrim!

Sunset Riders - SNES - Rating 6
For myself, perhaps the biggest difference between gaming back in the late 80's/early 90's and recent times is that I used to rent games constantly. I must've rented out over half of the titles for both Genesis and SNES. It was interesting to rent games like Secret of Mana, make it to the end with a ton of stuff, return it and then rent it again just to see whether or not somebody else had either messed with my file(s) or, worse yet, deleted them, often only to be replaced with some half-ass file where the other person got about halfway through or something. Nowadays I don't rent games nor movies because it's boring and, I daresay, a waste of money, reason being that I've developed to a point where I no longer need to rent most titles in order to find out if they're any good - good games stand apart from lackluster titles with far greater distinction than they once did. Therefore, I simply purchase the few titles I'm interested in and that's that. Not only that but the output of quality titles has decayed into virtual oblivion ~ I'll buy a title, play through it in about 2-4 hours and then never touch it again.

Time sure does fly by fast. How depressing.

Let me go on record as saying that much of the fun which I originally had with Sunset Riders has maintained itself rather well. It's still fun to play through every now and then. I only play it on the Hard difficulty because I already know most of the game inside-out. If you wait at the title screen there's a cinema introducing the four main characters in some gun slingin' action against a few bandits. After you've set the options it's time to select your character. There's Steve, Billy, Bob, and, my personal favorite choice, Cormano. Steve and Billy use revolvers while Bob and Cormano wield shotguns. The shotguns are most useful at taking out vermin due to the extended width of the shots. Either way, it doesn't make a huge difference---your ability to successfully dodge all the enemy firepower is of paramount importance. However, Cormano sports a kick-ass beard and wears a poncho, so that makes him cooler than anybody else.
The game begins with a typical Wild West town setting. Enemies come running out from the sides of the screen, fire at you from windows, throw dynamite and bombs at you, etc. Your character can enter saloons and such in order to obtain gold (points) and silver/gold stars to extend the range of your shots and add rapid fire. The only other power-up in the game is the occasional 1-up. The stage design is very well done and there's always a variety of hazards, obstacles and distinct enemy placement to keep your fingers busy. Without a doubt, the boss encounters are the showcases of the game. There are eight boss battles total, some of them clearly inspired by characters from famous westerns or borrow some typical ideas ~ e.g. Dark Horse may as well be Mongo from Blazing Saddles, Sir Richard Rose harbors a steel breast plate just like Clint Eastwood did against Ramone in Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (a film which borrows the basic premise of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo), etc. Every boss has one or two one-liners, and each displays a distinct pattern of attack. El Greco uses a whip and a shield (Castlevania...?), Hawkeye Hank Hatfield can hide behind boxes, jump around and shoot at you, etc., and most bosses keep the company of enemies just to increase the challenge.
There are some differences between the arcade original and SNES conversion, the most obvious being the change from 4-player co-op to 2-player. There are some touches missing from the arcade such as the indians with the bow & arrows, suggestive material (not really, but you know how conservative Nintendo once was), and a few other things. Graphically, the SNES does a good job trying to replicate the arcade, much moreso than the Genesis conversion which is unplayable because of how much Konami had to sacrifice. Similarly, Konami's SNES fighter TMNT ~ Tournament Fighters makes their Genesis fighter, TMNT ~ The Hyperstone Heist, look like a bad joke in comparison. Oddly, a game like Earthworm Jim gets an added stage to the Genesis version. Dave Halverson, founder of GameFan Magazine, probably had a word in that decision because there's just no way that the Genesis is stronger than the SNES, even though it can run about twice as fast due to MHz ~ 3.58 vs 7.6. I'm speculating, but it's not secret that both Halverson and David Perry are close friends, and that Halverson is a Sega whore, so put two & two together and figure it out yourself. But I digress.
The controls are solid and, actually, this is one of very few titles that I actually enjoy playing co-op. In fact, I recommend playing it co-op (with somebody that knows how to play well, obviously) because some boss encounters are simply too annoying in a single player game -- you'll often find yourself going up against a boss and up to four enemies at once! The final battle with Richard is the most aggravating because I end up using about two continues just to eliminate all of the bandits. BTW, when I play I alternate continuing between the 1- and 2-player side so that I don't have to restart at the beginning of the stages. You can shoot in all directions, slide, jump, high-jump onto higher ledges and such, pick up dynamite and throw it, and climb across ropes (usually over burning oil) and on a chandelier when confronting the Smith Brothers. There's also two stages where you ride on horseback.
The SNES does a faithful job reproducing the audio from the arcade. Although I don't really care for the music, it does fit alongside the visual presentation very well. On a sidenote, Konami also took another stab at the Wild West with Lethal Enforcers II, a light-gun arcade shooter which was later released for Sega CD. Konami cut no corners utilizing the CD storage capacity to deliver a tremendous conversion, which leads me to the subject of the soundtrack which was awesome and clearly borrowed some elements from Western film soundtracks, particularly Ennio Morricone's works. Back to Sunset Riders, the voice acting is great with tons of speech from the main characters and bosses. "Bury me with my money."
Why not a Rating 7? Because Sunset Riders is too short-lived. The stages just fly by and before you know it the game is over. The bonus stages are kinda stupid and add nothing of worth to the game; they just disturb the pacing. Nevertheless, I'm happy I own this game. It's a simple action title that doesn't do anything too fancy, but it does provide an added layer of depth to my library of action titles.

View arcade screens here ~ http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?...S&game_id=9861
More arcade shots ~ http://a_reviews.tripod.com/ssriders/ssriders.htm
A ton of shots (ending shown, not that it ruins anything since the ending sucks anyway) ~ http://emulazione.multiplayer.it/mamend/S/ssriders.htm
Look at the SNES version ~ http://www.vgmuseum.com/images/snes0...setriders.html
And the Genesis version ~ http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/gameId,6693/

"I say, bit of bad luck!"
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Old 05-22-2004, 07:44 PM   #680
Joe Redifer
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Quote:
Daytona 500
You mean Daytona USA?

Also, in Virtua Racing, the voice does not say "Time Bonus!". It instead says "Time Bonuh!". Oh man the Saturn version of that game sucked so bad. The 32X version and the Genesis versions were the same, except the Genesis had dithered/mesh looking graphics (yuck) and the 32X had a few extra stages and cars. Woo hoo!

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Old 05-23-2004, 01:59 AM   #681
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Yeah, that's right - Daytona USA. I must've been thinking of Indy 500 while I wrote Daytona.
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:07 AM   #682
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A nerve-wracking good time!

Pnickies - Arcade - Rating 7
Say what you will about Capcom, but they're pretty damn good when it comes to puzzle games. Have you ever tried Super Puzzle Fighter II?
That is what I call a fun puzzle game! Pnickies is no doubt Capcom's answer to the success of Compile's Puyo Puyo series, a series which was extremely popular in Japan (and probably still is). In it you had to make four or more blobs of the same color make contact in order to make them disappear. For more info and screenshots of various Puyo Puyo titles check this page out ~ http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7499/vers.html Both of these puzzle games are addictive, long-lasting fun. "Tetris? Tetris who...?" Actually, I'm not sure whether Tetris or Puyo Puyo is the better puzzle game as both remain addictive to this day, but, seriously, who cares?
Why'd I choose Pnickies? Well, I was going to pick Ninja Gaiden for the Atari Lynx but that would've been the equivalent of being leg-humped by a pitbull. So I decided on this. Besides, virtually anytime Atari acquires the rights to some great series, particularly a Japanese series, you can rest assured it is going to come out resembling a turd. I don't mean to insult Atari as they gave me a fun alternative to having to do mundane chores like tiling the roof or, I dunno, adding a new room to the house or something. After all, what good is childhood without witnessing Zoobilee Zoo at least a few hundred times before heading into the ol' garage to work on your father's car, then being sent off to school so that the teacher can force you to watch Zobilee Zoo yet again as extracurricular while she secretly sorts through all the Garbage Pail Kids and Baseball Cards she stole from her class so that she can give them to her children?
Back to Pnickies. Funny though it may seem, this is one of Capcom's better CPS2 titles. No, I'm not joking - this game is seriously fun. Player-1 is depicted as an angel chick while Player-2 is some devil guy with long hair. Although you can play against somebody, I find it best when playing solo because the longevity is extended substantially (unless things manage to really heat up in a Vs game). Otherwise, you're playing solo and the objective is to keep making colored blobs connect so that within the interlinked blobwork you manage to make two stars make contact, thus destroying that individually colored section of blob. Take a look at it here ~ http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9050 It's pretty self-explanatory just looking at it, I know. Blobs always come down in sets of two and you can rotate them at volition on the way down and for a brief moment after landing. As you progress the angel chick (or devil guy if you're Player-2) change pictures so that they're in different poses. This has no effect on the actual gameplay, unless you're a dork who sits there oogling at the girl instead of focusing on the gameplay like you're supposed to. I've managed to make it to Lv. 54, which is pretty good, with a high score in the upper 50,000s. Then again, I didn't really get to sit down and play it for too long so.... whatever. As you keep progressing everything gets faster--though it does slow down periodically, lest it should get too fast too soon--and, as I witnessed firsthand, a new color is added after a certain point (skyblue), effectively increasing the tension.
The graphics are rather good for a puzzle game (1994, in case you're wondering) and hold up very well to this day, and the music is rather catchy, if a tad repetitive. Sound effects and voices are very well done as well. There's almost a shimmering quality to the effort as a whole.
That's all there is to it ~ Pnickies is a fun puzzle game that is worthy of your time. If you cannot gain access to it then don't fret - simply locate a copy of Super Puzzle Fighter II and let the good times roll. If you're still not up to it then don't let me be the one to stand in your way. After all, it's your copy of Barbie Vacation Adventure; you have every right to enjoy it....
In the meantime, I've got much work to do. There are still some people out there that are in need of guidance in Super Mario Bros. 3.

For a complete listing of every CPS2 arcade, you should look here ~ http://www.system16.com/capcom/games_complete.html

"Yes, that's it! That's the hole! Jump into that hole! That's where the secret bonus stage is!"

BONUS STAGE!!!
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:22 AM   #683
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Street Fighter Puzzle Fighter is a lot of fun. One of my favorite puzzle games is Tetris Attack. I spent hours on that game. I bought Pokemon Puzzle League just for the 3D Tetris Attack.
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:24 AM   #684
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Talk about devoted. I can't remember what it's called, but there was a puzzle game for SNES by Nintendo with Yoshi that was amazingly addictive. It even had great tuneage. Know the title by any chance?
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:28 AM   #685
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I believe it was just called Tetris Attack but yeah it had Yoshi and a bunch of other characters from Mario games.
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:29 AM   #686
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Lightbulb

A-ha! So that's what it's called! Thanks! I've gotta get ahold of a copy sometime soon. I love that game.

Thanks :cool guy:
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Old 05-30-2004, 09:51 PM   #687
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vicviper

Too bad Alu-baby isn't here to defend himself. I miss him so!
yeah... that's funny because i call him that, too.
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Old 06-04-2004, 04:19 AM   #688
Joe Redifer
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Icaus, where is that mega-review of MaryKate and Ashley Sweet 16: Licensed to Drive that you promised?
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:03 AM   #689
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Tetris attack. Is that the game where blocks rose from the bottom and you switched blocks around to match colors? I LOVED that game. Serious innovative spin on Tetris...
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Old 06-04-2004, 06:20 PM   #690
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Well the blocks would fall from on top but yeah you have to switch the blocks to match the colors.

Not long ago Nintendo released the Nintendo Puzzle Collection and it had Panel de Pon (Tetris Attack), Dr. Mario, and Yoshi Cookies. It never made it to N.America though.
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