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Old 02-04-2003, 07:55 PM   #61
Icarus4578
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Two great pinball titles

Alien Crush - TurboGrafx 16 - Rating 7
Devil's Crush - TurboGrafx 16 - Rating 7
It's weird to have to review pinball video games. I mean nothing beats the real pinball machines and so the game designers either try and mimic those machines perfectly (which is impossible to do) or take it like a video game and do things not possible on real pinball machines such as add rooms, enemies, special effects, etc. And I don't know anybody who doesn't enjoy playing pinball.
I'll begin with Alien Crush. First of all, the graphics are very good and clean, and there's quite a few things you can do to gather up your score. One of those things is to complete any of the hidden rooms where you can try and destroy weird, floating green creatures, a room with centipedes, one with skulls and such hovering about and you have to hit them to 'send them' into holes, etc. And I love the song that plays during these rooms (very strange). The main area is two screens tall and is filled with more than enough things to hit: brains, alien heads, and crawling aliens that hatch from their nests (designed quite similar to Alien the movie). I recommend it, especially if you own a TurboExpress. That way, you've got great pinball on the go, whenever you want (though the batteries last a full 2 hours; buy a plug).
Devil's Crush is another great pinball title. It is 3 screens tall instead of 2 like in Alien Crush and there's a bit more to shoot at. Not only that, there are more bonus areas to encounter. FYI, they released this on Sega Genesis under the title "Devil's Crash", but it's not easy to come by. There's even a password system in it, and if you type "AS*HOL*FUK" (i'll let you fill in the two missing letters) you get around 70 extra balls and a ton of points. (and no, I'm not making it up about the password). I have to agree with the guy who reviews Devil's Crush in the below link ~ TG16 is a dark system (games like this, Dungeon Explorer 1 and 2, Ys Book 1 and 2, Legendary Axe, Lords of Thunder and I mean what in the hell?!). At any rate, if you only want to go with one, go with Alien Crush for the 'easier' pinball game and go with Devil's Crush for more complexity and challenge.

Here are two sites where you can check both games out for yourself--
For Alien Crush ~ http://www.solinari.com/games/review.php/5
For Devil's Crush ~ http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/polas/other/devcrush.html
For nostalgia (if you want to check out a site with alot of pinball games and photos) ~ http://www.geisya.or.jp/~krg/atari2800/pb_nd.htm

I shall return...

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Old 02-05-2003, 03:57 PM   #62
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Contra ~ Shattered Soldier - PlayStation 2 - Rating 6
After a couple disgraceful installments on PSone Konami finally develops another Contra that's true to its roots, featuring 3D graphics done in 2D, though it feels at times like playing a PSone title with more detailed polygons. From start to end, Contra is one big tour-de-force, down and dirty series of boss fights with only a few enemies to keep gluing boss fights together. In other words, it's similar to virtually every Treasure action game (ever play Alien Soldier for Mega Drive? How about Gunstar Heroes?), though in actuality Konami had this style of gaming down pat with Contra III.... though even with that the developers for Treasure (who, mostly, were then-employees of Konami) had a hand in its development. So is this a positive or a negative for the series? I think it works out well to an extent.
You begin by selecting from 4 stages (Strider 2 anyone?) until the 5th opens up (and 6th and 7th on hard difficulty). Unlike other installments you have three weapons and that's it, and you can select them on the fly mid-combat - an idea similar to how Axelay worked on SNES and was probably used because of it. And this is an intentional inclusion in the fact that each set of enemies and (esp.) boss encounters normally require a specific weapon (or a few) to take them down quicker. In contrast, earlier installments allowed you to collect weapons during the stages (and in C3 you could hold up to two at once). Boss fights happen quite often and this is definitely where the game's foundation is. Memorize a boss pattern, repeat, repeat, repeat... They added in-game cutscenes after you beat some stages, and these advance the story well.
The bosses range from a huge mech robot that transforms (while you're on top of a train), the first boss from Contra 3 with an added form, an alien head feeding on the remains of a creature you just defeated (you'll see), a massive fish with a freaky human head (reminds me of Seaman for DC), and on and on, until the real final boss fight which you'll only see if you play through on hard. You get graded after every stage and you'll get an S if you can make it through the entire stage without losing a life AND getting 100%. This is actually quite feasible, unlike in Panzer Dragoon Orta. ;) And the difficulty determines how many lives you get: if you die, you start right where you are, unless you have to continue... So why bother getting high ratings? Good question ~ so you can unlock things like a cinema section, art gallery and more. But once again, most of the stuff only opens if done on, you guessed it, hard difficulty (typical Konami).
The music ranges from heavy rock to techno-dance beat stuff which is not memorable like the music in other Contras, though the rock stuff really pumps you up. The only truly memorable piece is the last boss fight (where he/it keeps changing form). A nice piece of music that's very fitting.
So why give it a rating of 6 instead of a 7 or 8? Good question. It's not as good overall as previous installments. Don't get me wrong; this is truly a great action game. It's just not as cool as something like Super C or Contra 3. In all previous installments there were STAGES and yes, they had sub-boss fights but nowhere near to the extent of C~SS. Also, the bosses were a bit better in the older ones, not to mention better soundtracks (which goes a long way, believe me). However, despite its flaws, which aren't many in quantity, Contra ~ SS does rock while it lasts. If you're looking for a deep, challenging action game that will rock you to your core I recommend you get it. However, if you own other installments on NES, Genesis, and SNES you already own the best Contras; buy it if you want to complete your collection. You'll still enjoy it, but it probably won't have the lasting aftertaste of the others. I'm personally happy that Konami made an effort to return to its roots and didn't forsake its 2D foundation, and I enjoyed it while it lasted.

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Old 02-06-2003, 03:53 PM   #63
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NiGHTS ~ Into Dreams... - Sega Saturn - Rating 8
When E3 '96 came around there were three major titles that were vying for game of the year ~ Crash Bandicoot for PS (which is a dull Mario-wannabe; let's face the facts), Mario 64 for N64 (which won game of the year everywhere I looked), and the third (and severely underrated) NiGHTS ~ Into Dreams for Saturn. Created by Yuji Naka and Sonic Team, it was also the first Saturn game to make use of the Saturn analog controller created specifically for this game, in response to Nintendo's Space World showing of N64 and Mario no doubt. You can still use the regular D-pad if you prefer. Although the game is in full 3D, most of the game is played in 2D. It remains a fun and unique gaming experience that sadly never got the sequel it deserved.
There are two characters you select from, Claris and Elliot. They are having nightmares and in order to rid themselves of them, they call upon Nights, a mystical dream entity. The stages are unique to each of the kids, so you'll have to go through both to see everything (although neither of their dreams lasts long). The object is to fly through the stages and rack up tremendous scores by flying through as many loops in succession as possible and other such means, and you can collect items and defeat enemies (by making a 360 magic loop which, if an enemy is within or near it upon completion, destroys the enemy). But defeating enemies makes up a full 2% or so of the game's activities, except for the boss fights. Speaking of bosses, NiGHTS has some of the most unique boss encounters to ever be found in gaming, featuring some of the most wild designs I've seen. The game is built on fun factor and replay by timing you, scoring points by doing stunts and so forth and grading your performance on each stage, so that you try and do better than before. The controls are flawless after the first few minutes with it as it should be with a game with such a strong emphasis on flight and fluidity. It is certainly among the best 32-bit graphical achievements, featuring extremely colorful textures and beautiful scenery, though the textures aren't that smooth by today's standards, but you're playing a game to have fun so who cares?
The music is very well done as expected from Sonic Team, though these days they've lacked that special something that is so apparent in games like Shining Force, Sonic and of course NiGHTS. What makes this soundtrack so unique is that the arrangements change depending on how happy, sad or angry you make these cone-headed small creatures called Nightopians in the stages. So you can enter an area and hear the song in one form, and then upon re-entering the stage it can sound entirely different. In fact, if you got Christmas NiGHTS (like all smart people have including myself) there's a section in it where you can arrange every single song in NiGHTS to your liking (an amazingly cool feature). However, you have to have the original NiGHTS in the Saturn's RAM in order to do this.
NiGHTS is a fun-filled game with lots of replay. It is unique, bizarre, beautiful, challenging (mostly a self-created challenge) and should be in your Saturn library. Too bad games these days don't have half the charm and originality of this. It would sure be nice to have a sequel for GC where it would fit in nicely. It sure is a 360 degree turn from something like Blinx, which just wasn't that good.

Here's a site that explains the game in better detail ~ http://www.csoon.com/issue19/nights.htm

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Old 02-06-2003, 08:09 PM   #64
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"Zaba wing DABA!"

Starfox - SNES - Rating 8
Still the best 3D shooter I've ever played, Starfox remains as intriguing as the first time I played it. You are Fox McCloud, ace pilot of the Arwings. Fox, along with his Arwing crew (Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad and Peppy Hare), must save the Lylat solar system from the menacing Andross. The controls are virtually flawless. You can move in any direction, shoot, throw bombs, accelerate forward or fire up the brakes, turn and twist (and alter your camera angle). And it sure feels refreshing to not have to keep tapping a button endlessly to change forms (in the name of 'strategy') to do things your ship should do whenever you want it to. In short, it's about true gameplay.
When Strafox first came out (not long after Virtua Racing and Virtua Fighter) people were dazzled with the mostly flat-shaded polygons, actually being able to play this on a SNES thanks to a 3D chip inside every cartridge called 'Super FX'. And it wasn't just the graphic approach that was so cool - the game itself is actually well thought out and designed. Gamers were appreciative back then of great games and weren't so harsh on games just because of their visual appeal. Though it's framey and plain by today's standards, the game still maintains its original integrity due to a generous amount of levels and foes, multiple routes, secrets, and (get this) good, fair gameplay. When enemies shoot lasers and such at you, you can simply double-tap the top L or R button to roll your Arwing and make them bounce off you. Some shots like missiles cannot be deflected and must either be destroyed or avoided, but the game focuses more on the strategy of the moment by emphasizing destroying enemies, saving your partners who are always flying nearby somewhere, and avoiding/destroying hazardous things like asteroids and such, rather than forcing you to shoot down a ridiculous amount of missles and such. Can you imagine playing Gradius or Thunder Force and being forced to shoot down virtually all of the enemy fire?
There are 3 routes that you can choose (easy, normal, difficult), and each is filled with unique areas and planets to do battle within/on, all leading to the final area - the planet Venom, and on each difficulty Venom and the final boss changes. You are graded after every stage on your ability to destroy everything (by percentage) and if you get 100% you get an extra life (wow....). There's hidden stages - the Black Hole, where Fox's father disappeared, and Out of This World (no, not the video game. I remember being tapped on the shoulder by the new alien friend at the start of stage 2 and he says "....MAI-SILU-WA!!!!!" :???: Creepy...). Because I care, here are all the secrets ~ http://www.gameskanker.com/gssnes/snes_starfox.htm
So... what about the soundtrack? It's very nicely done and it really fits the game's locations perfectly (check out Sector Y where there are whales flying around in outer space and tell me that song doesn't go perfectly with that area). The sound effects are well-done as well, but what is most interesting and unique is the voice acting which is almost crystal clear, and they usually speak blabber - "Ba ba zaba wa da!" with a few english exceptions here and there - "Good Fly!".
I recommend Starfox be in every SNES owner's library. It's a great shooter that hasn't been duplicated. There was Silpheed for Sega CD back then, but the polygons in all the backgrounds are FMV and it's not as good as Starfox. And of course there was the sequel to Starfox on N64 (Starfox 64), but I consider the original the best. I won't bother bringing up the horrid Zelda 64 wanna-be Starfox Adventures from Rare; I don't even want to acknowledge its existance (it blows).

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Old 02-08-2003, 04:47 PM   #65
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Last Battle - Sega Genesis - Rating 3
This is actually Fist of the North Star (Hokuto No Kenshiro), a well-known manga series in Japan that was made into a great anime movie and series, and then (believe it or not) a live-action movie in America much later. I don't know why Sega changed the name to Last Battle. Perhaps it had to do with licensing or something else.
When I first played it, I thought it was truly great. It had cool characters, bosses, graphics and it was challenging. Then again, back in the day, wasn't pretty much everything cool the first time you played it? Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Ghouls 'N Ghosts, etc. were all very cool games and what was especially appealing was the fact that you were playing games on a machine that was like having your own mini-arcade at home. Hell, when I wasn't playing my Genesis (or TG16) I was staring at the boxes and reading game manuals just for the pleasure of it. How often does that kind of thing happen nowadays?
Anyway, Last Battle hasn't stood the test of time that well. What was once impressive is now dull at best, with run of the mill stage scrolling, beat 'em up action that doesn't play that well (bad collision detection, cheap hits that can make you literally bounce off one enemy into another, etc.) and was in fact done better by such games as Kung Fu, Vigilante, and many others. The game is divided into 4 chapters and each is composed of a map where you move around to different areas, boss fights, and dungeons. You're given a health meter and a power meter which builds slowly as you beat enemies. When the power meter reaches a quarter full, Kenshiro (his real Japanese name) bulges out his muscles, ripping off his upper-clothing and his attacks become faster and more powerful. If you clear a chapter and lose in another you can continue by holding A+B+C at the title screen and pressing start, then select the chapter where you died. The stages, as I mentioned, are divided into regular areas (which are just side-scrolling beat 'em up action, some with mid-bosses), to mid-boss areas, and the dungeons. The dungeons play similar to China Warrior (that cheesy TG16 beat 'em up) in that there are various objects being flung at you from out of nowhere, and a few enemies here and there. They're rather dull, though the idea itself is actually good for this kind of game and would've been much better without all the stupid things like small stones falling out of nowhere, axes being flung like boomerangs and boulders rolling around (you can hit them all). And the only beneficial thing about dungeons is that when you enter rooms with enemies you beat them up to regain some health. And of course there are the bosses which consist of rather stupid attack patterns and are not very fun to fight. Sometimes you'll hit them but it will not count as a hit if they're about to attack you. In fact, most enemies are rather stupid to even look at due to lack of animation (in chapters 2 and 3, when you fight on the boats and those guys are coming after you with the knives extended towards you, and the only thing that ever animates is their legs - 2 frames - that's just wrong). Then again, the entire game is a sparse 4-MEGS and the characters are pretty sizeable. The game actually doesn't look bad, but the lack of animation hurts it (as does the gameplay).
The music is nothing special, though if you stay in a dungeon area too long you might find the song sitting in your head for a while. The sound effects are weak even for Genesis, although Kenshiro's yell "AAAA-TAAA!!!" when he is finishing off a boss with a zillion punches is nice, and in the Japanese version, when a boss was finished off they'd bulge out and explode into blood. Don't get too excited because it wasn't all guts and such flying out everywhere. Then again, that's not really exciting.
Just in case you don't know, Fist of the North Star is an ultra-violent series, and when this game came out in Japan there was quite a bit of gore. Obviously, Sega of America wasn't too keen on releasing it in the US with all the violence (this was before Mortal Kombat, although if you wanted you could go buy movies like Rambo and Terminator and it was considered entertainment for the whole family) and games were mostly considered to be kid's stuff (and many still believe that). However, in the end it doesn't matter -- Last Battle is lacking in depth, fun factor and even good control. Go play something else like Streets of Rage 2. While you're at it, go out and buy the Fist of the North Star movie (Japanese, of course).

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Old 02-08-2003, 10:47 PM   #66
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What's this? A good action game??

Valis 3 ~ The Fantasm Soldier - Sega Genesis/PC Engine CD (also plays on TurboDuo) - Rating 6
Valis was a popular series of action games in Japan by Telenet/Renovation. It featured anime style cut scenes (some with a bit of animation but nothing impressive), voice acting (in Japanese, only in the PC Engine versions), a decent story with actual consistency, good gameplay and music. Valis games also have higher difficulty than the majority of action games (this is Telenet/Renovation we're talking about here... crafters of such games as Final Zone, Cosmic Fantasy, and Gaiares) so take heed. However, the Genesis versions are easier than the PC Engine versions.
Valis 3 begins with an opening cinema that explains the storyline up to this point. Glames, ruler of the Dark World and owner of the sword Leethus, is out to destroy the Dream World. If he succeeds the Human World will be destroyed. Yuko, the game's protagonist heroine that lives in the Human Realm, is visited in the night by Cham, a warrior from the Dream World. While Yuko's asleep she takes Yuko's sword, the legendary Valis Sword, and heads out to try and defeat Glames. Yuko awakens and chases after her to retrieve the Valis Sowrd (on top of a building in her pajamas cute) when all of a sudden Cham is captured by one of Glames henchmen. Cham drops the Valis sword as she's taken away and Yuko retrieves it to set out to find out what is going on...
The game plays like many other actioners, except the running speed is a bit on the slow side, thus making it a bit more difficult to avoid being hit. You can jump, high-jump, slide, attack (and power-up your attacks by collecting the appropriate items), and use magic attacks (there's a magic meter coinciding with the life meter) and magics change depending on which wand you have in your posession at any given time. Also, as you progress through the game you will be joined by Cham and another female warrior, Princess Valna. When they join Yuko, you can switch between them in-game at any time and they each have seperate attacks. I personally used Yuko throughout most of the game. The characters and enemies are animated decently, but they're relatively small aside from some bosses. The graphics are pretty good, and in fact the Genesis was among the first 8-MEG titles released (Strider was the first with others like Gaiares following shortly thereafter). Although the PC Engine/TurboDuo versions look a bit better due to more memory and more colors (512 on-screen available at once on-screen versus 64) they aren't too far removed from one another graphic-wise. The only major differences are the added stages in the PCE/TD version, slightly better cinemas with voice acting, and obviously superior sound. The game's one flaw is that the action can become repetitious at times.
The game relies strongly on its cinemas to keep you interested (similar to Ninja Gaiden). I was impressed with the Genesis version because virtually all the cinemas remain intact to their PCE/TD counterparts. However, the animation (whatever little of it there is) is unimpressive. The other downside is that Yuko and the others fluctuate between being cute and looking downright stupid/ugly, thus destroying continuity in artistic representation a bit. However, Glames and his evil panel of villians are cool to look at. He's actually one of the best-designed villians in any game, period.
The musical compositions are pretty nice and on the Genesis it has some of the system's better music, definitely in terms of audio quality. The best song in my opinion is the song that plays during the second stage (in the forest). Odd.... my favorite song in Gaiares was also in the second stage (the main boss fight where the water fills up the screen). Odder.... I like the Genesis version of the song more than the PCE/TD version. There was a sound test in the Mega Drive version but they took it out of the Genesis version (ummm.... WHY? :???: ). If you own the Mega Drive version, hold A+B+C and press start at the title screen to access the sound test. The sounds are decent but nothing impressive; a bit on the weak side.
So there you have it. Another good action game that's worth owning. Valis 4 was released on PCE and SNES, just so you know. It's sad that the series ended with IV. I don't know why they ended it. And as usual, because I'm a nice guy, here are some sites to check the game out.

To take a look at the game's graphics and cinemas, go here ~ http://uk.geocities.com/wolfteam_ren...rev-valis3.htm It's a wonderful site you should see.
For cheats in the PCE/TD version (as well as many other TD games) go here ~ http://members.tripod.com/~MCeder/game/turboduo.html A useful site for anyone that owns a TurboDuo.

I shall return

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Old 02-09-2003, 01:08 AM   #67
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what would you Give Streets of Rage 2 on the genesis?
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Old 02-09-2003, 06:22 PM   #68
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Streets of Rage 2 - Sega Genesis - Rating 7
Most of the truly great beat 'em ups came out in the arcades in the 90's. There were only a few on home consoles that were decent in comparison: River City Ransom, Final Fight (SNES and Sega CD), and the like were among the more fun console fighters. Streets of Rage was released on the Genesis in 1991. The characters were small, the control wasn't too good, and there were certainly other better games like it so I didn't really care for it. And then there was Streets of Rage 2.
Every single thing about SoR was improved for the sequel: larger, arcade-like characters with lots more detail and animation, a killer dance/techno soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro (who also did parts 1 and 3), great gameplay with more moves, better stages (streets) to do battle with, more characters to choose from (Axel, Blaze, Max and Skate), more weapons, and even a better opening and ending cinema. When I first saw it, I was very impressed by it. The Genesis was being pushed farther than ever before, featuring a graphic quality that made previous Genesis fighters look kinda dull by comparison.
There's only one goal in the game ~ beat the living hell out of everybody you see. Innovative for sure but the game shines in this aspect. Each character has around twenty or so moves including attacks and combos, back attacks, jump attacks, throws, special attacks and super combos. There are 8 stages (most multi-part) each with bosses and sub-bosses. For example, the first stage begins on the streets (quite fitting) and you move down into an alley. From there it's into a bar, and, once through, out in the back where it's now raining and a boss awaits. Unfortunately, some stages are kinda stupid, like the baseball stadium - why are there enemies lying in wait to beat you up at a baseball stadium?! Because the pitcher's mound is actually an elevator down into a secret fighting arena. Oh... that makes perfect sense. Some of the enemies, like the guys that hop around with the mohawks, appear often in the game and when you come across enemies previously fought the only difference is in their life bar and color of clothing. There's about 20-24 different enemies (not including color swaps) and then there's the bosses: a martial artists street thug, a big bald boxer (I know this because he's wearing boxing gloves ), hopping robots that shoot lasers at you , GUYS FLYING AROUND WITH ROCKET PACKS, :yikes: ....I have just one question ~ WHO DESIGNED THIS GAME?? I mean the guys over at Sega designed these characters, looked at them, and said "OK". While they're at it, why not add huge dinosaurs carrying rocket launchers and buildings which transform into huge super mechs? The stages can get a little repetitious (punch this to get a health item, beat those 3 enemies up, proceed...) and they tried to add 'strategy' by adding such things as moving platforms, but most of the strategy remains rooted in the combat which will only be of real significance if you adjust the difficulty to a harder setting.
The music is the best thing about this game. Yuzo really outdid himself (and 99% of the others on Genesis) with this soundtrack. Featuring groove-based dance beats, techno, and even a little lounge/jazz thrown in for good measure. Definetly one of the Genesis' high points as far as music is concerned. The music really motivates you to play it. Sound effects are all appropriate and well done, and there are even a couple of voice samples here and there.
There a stage select in this game ~ go here for all the cheats, screens, and info you could possibly need on SoR series ~ http://www.emulationzone.org/section...or2/index.html Thanks to great game fans like this for making such great sites.
Personally, I feel that SoR2 has a special charm all its own. It was an important game for Genesis and was very popular, and supposedly there's a sequel to SoR3 in the works for one of the new systems. Well, let's see if they can match this...

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Old 02-10-2003, 12:06 AM   #69
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*Golf Clap*:cool guy:
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Old 02-10-2003, 10:44 PM   #70
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Cue traditional Japanese music...

Shadow Dancer ~ Legend of Shinobi - Sega Genesis - Rating 6
Oh yeah baby! Shinobi's badass in this installemnt into the series. When I saw this game and the way enemies perish the first thing it reminded me of was the way enemies in Magician Lord would perish (Neo Geo). As a matter of fact, the way you shoot your stars when powered-up looks entirely similar. It's a very arcade-like experience with fast paced levels and fighting, and was one of the first few 8-MEG games for Genesis. This is a port of an arcade, though I've never played it (doesn't matter).
The first thing you see is the cool intro, with Shinobi jumping in, and then the story which, while it scrolls up, shows scenes and characters fading in and out. Shinobi's mission is to take down Union Lizard, an evil organization consisting of lizard people, ninjas, etc. He's accompanied by his dog Yamato, who can be used to distract foes while you kill them. Shinobi (Joe Mushashi is his real name) can use shurikens (unlimited), his katana, and special ninjitsu attacks which fill the screen. You even have the choice in the options screen to play only with the katana and ninjitsu (no projectile shurikens). If you leave shurikens on, you have to get next to an opponent to use the katana. Your mission is to rescue all the hostages in each area before you can proceed to the next. Some hostages give you power-ups which makes your attacks stronger, and others give you extra lives, points, etc. There are extra lives hidden in every stage which are found by attacking special areas. In some areas, you have to hold up + jump to jump between planes (foreground and background). This game is fast-paced, and it controls excellently throughout.
There aren't a lot of enemy types in the game (9-12, some color-swaps) and there are 5 bosses, none of which are impressive, but at least they can be a bit challenging and fun to battle with, especially the last boss. The game is short so you don't really notice the lack of enemy types, although it would've been better if there were a few more different ones here and there. The graphics range from decent (Stage 1) to very good (Stage 3 - Statue of Liberty). After you complete a stage you go to a bonus area where Shinobi jumps down from a skyscraper and you shoot shurikens down at ninjas jumping up. You can win up to 3 lives if you get all 50.
The music is decent with one track in particular that rocks (Statue of Liberty). Yuzo Koshiro's soundtrack for Shinobi 3 on Genesis is much better. The sound effects aren't really impressive though, but I don't really mind. Besides, it's not really that bad.
All said, this game isn't particularly long but it's engaging while it lasts. If you're a fan of Shinobi games, or you want to try a good (albeit short) action game, get Shadow Dancer. It's cheap enough these days...

For screens of the game, check out ~ http://www.phm.lu/Shinobi/ShadowDancer2/rounds.htm This is a great site; much thanks to whomever it was that made it.
For cheats go to ~ http://www.gameskanker.com/genesis_m...adowdancer.htm

Until next time.... (vanishes in a cloud of smoke)

Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-22-2004 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 02-11-2003, 12:17 PM   #71
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Here's two from Hal Laboratory, before Nintendo acquired them

HyperZone - Super Nintendo - Rating 6
Hal is of course known for Kirby titles, but they were also among the first pioneers on the SNES platform, as exemplified by HyperZone - the first SNES title to use dual-layered Mode 7, meaning both on top and on the bottom of the screen at once. Most of you probably don't even know what this game is. In fact, if not for my brother buying it, I myself may never have known it.
First things first, this game is rather easy and there's a reason for that - this game isn't as much a game as it is a showcasing of the SNES capabilities. However, once you get past that fact the game is definitely fun. You fly around in 3D, shooting at whatever may come and avoiding getting hit or going out of bounds. You are given a power meter which you can replenish by flying through the proper energy fields (just like F-Zero). The game's graphics look very nice, with the last stage in particular being very impressive because of the cool effect that is demonstrated. The enemies are basic and most do not present a challenge, though a few of the enemies later on can be a little difficult. The bosses are rather easy as well and, unfortunately, they don't stand out like the bosses in Space Harrier do. Your ship changes form as you progress through stages and decreases the amount of time it takes to charge up a big shot, as well as speedier maneuverability.
Did you know that in Japan Hal had schools where they taught game programming and design (I don't know if they still do), and that over 50% of their cirriculum was dedicated to sound and music? Quite interesting fact, at least to me. As you can imagine, the sound and music is highly impressive (though not terribly well-composed like Arcana which I review below). Even though this is a 1st generation title for SNES, HyperZone exhibits some of the best sound engineering of any title for SNES, with every sound and insturment crystal clear as it should be (in fact, although some may feel some of the latter day titles for SNES like Seiken Densetsu 3 are the best engineered, I think HyperZone is actually better, at least technically). To access the sound test, just hold L and R buttons simultaneously at the title screen and press start.
This game is 8 stages and isn't very long or challenging, but what's here is fun (and quite interesting in design). It should be cheap enough on eBay or wherever, although it may be hard to come by. So if you pay $10 for it, it's definitely worth it.

Here, take a look at the game ~ http://www.geocites.com/flyingomelette/hyperzone.html and decide for yourself what you think. Read this guy's review for a more comprehensive description of the game.

Arcana - Super Nintendo - Rating 7
Now presenting THE single most overlooked RPG for SNES, or perhaps any system. Arcana is a GREAT RPG that never got the attention it deserved. Similar to Shining in the Darkness for Genesis, the game's layout is in a first-person perspective, and every character and enemy is displayed in cards except for shop keepers and such. It's a unique style for a game, to be sure, but one which Hal uses to the fullest and in the best ways. Your party consists of the main character Rooks, an elemental (you start with Sylph - the Wind Spirit, and gather up 3 more as the game progresses: fire, water and earth), and the other 2 spaces will contain different characters who join Rooks during the game. The game is seperated into 5 chapters, and is almost entirely linear. You start in a town, go to a dungeon, beat the dungeon and proceed through woods (perhaps), then it's on to the next town and dungeon, etc. and you never go back to previous towns/dungeons. The story is good but the game isn't long enough for you to really understand too much about the characters. However, the presentation is very impressive (better than the Final Fantasy titles on SNES and, arguably, Chono Trigger). It's not a long RPG (about 15-20 hours long) and I wish it was longer/open ended because the game is so fun and engrossing while it lasts.
There is a good amount of enemies and bosses in the game, all of which are sprites within (you guessed it) cards, and they animate as well, although it's nothing too impressive (the entire game is 8-MEGS; the same amount as Final Fantasy II). Sometimes there is around 10 enemies you're fighting with at once! Parts of the game are challenging while others are quite easy. Every area and all 5 dungeons has a map which fills itself in as you progress through, and some dungeons, especially later, are multi-part - rather long, with a lot of different enemy types to keep you engaged.
Arcana's music is extremely awesome and is among the very best composed in any RPG. It is among the highest quality sound wise for SNES -- superior technically to even Final Fantasy 3 (not lying). Whether or not you agree, I think overall Arcana has superior songs in battle and otherwise to most Final Fantasy music. Listen to it yourself ~ here's the sound test - Hold L and R simultaneously and press B at the title screen.
I recommend this game to everybody that loves RPGs. It's fun, interesting, engaging, challenging and amongst the highest quality available for SNES. It's hard to come by and usually goes for $15-25 on eBay. Pick a copy up if you can.
There's even a chapter select code! Here it is - At the title screen press down, select, select, X, Y, select, select, L, R, select, select, left, right, up, and then press A for Chapter 2, B for chapter 3, X for Chapter 4, or Y for Chapter 5.

Here's another review with photos and more info from the same site as the above one for HyperZone and even includes MIDI samples of some of the songs ~ http://www.geocites.com/flyingomelette/arcana.html

And of course, I shall return....

Last edited by Icarus4578; 10-09-2004 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 02-12-2003, 01:00 AM   #72
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i beat that game years ago. i remeber it had cool music.
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Old 02-12-2003, 09:54 AM   #73
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Phenomenal

Legendary Axe - TurboGrafx 16 - Rating 9
Let me begin this review by being direct - Legendary Axe is one of the best action games I've played on any system. In fact, if you don't own a TG16/TurboDuo system then here's one great reason why you should consider owning one. This game grabs your attention with its unique visual flair, compelling, challenging gameplay, and an absolutely fantastic soundtrack. It's absurd that this great gaming experience only received one sequel (also on TG16) and it wasn't as good in most people's opinion, including mine, as the original. I stayed home from school one snowy day just so I could play this game! It is, in a word, "special".
Developed by Victor Musical Industries, who also did the sequel and King of Casino for TG16, Legendary Axe is set apart from other action titles by its interesting play mechanics and an atmosphere unlike any other game. The story is nothing special~
You are Gogan, a mighty warrior whose people are ruled by the evil cult - 'The Jagu'. They pillage and destroy the land; none are safe. Their leader, Jagu himself, demands every year a human sacrifice from your home village, Minofu. This year it's your childhood friend (love interest) Flare, who is barely 16 years old. You return to your village after two years studying warfare, but it's too late. Flare has been taken to Jagu's stronghold "Evil Place". Armed with the Legendary Axe "Sting", you set out to rescue Flare. Nice story... how come I know it? Because it's easy to read from the game manual. The manual, btw, actually has some horrendous artwork that looks like it was done by a 5 year old. Seriously. And then there is the 'tips' section, with such useful advice as 'Be careful when traveling on ledges or near pits' and my personal favorite 'Be careful about jumping'...... uuuuuuh Thanks for the tips.... I don't think I could've survived without that useful info!!
Anyway, enough of that nonsense. Let's get to the game. The game comes alive immediately with Gogan entering the forest/jungle. You can jump, duck, climb, swing on vines and attack with your axe Sting. Where the game gets strategic is when you start powering-up Sting by obtaining Power Supply items. There's a power meter for your axe above your life meter and each time you power-up it increases the gauge up by 25%. As you wait (don't attack) the meter builds, like in Secret of Mana. You can choose to attack with rapid hits which are weak, or you can let it build and then unleash more powerful attacks. If you get the Wing power-up the meter for Sting will build quicker. Every time you swing Sting the meter depletes completely, and the longer you make the meter the longer it takes to fill up entirely. So you actually have to put thought behind 'when' you attack your enemies, not to mention the patterns of each foe. Nomads, for example, are strong or weak and do different things depending on their color. Red ones try and rush up and attack you with an axe and they're easy to kill, and others like the blue Nomads flip, jump and throw axes at you and take more pain. There's a lot of different enemy types in the game (thankfully), and later on bosses you formerly defeated become regular enemies.
The graphics are absolutely phenomenal for a 8-bit system with a 16-bit graphics processor (as is the TG16). Everything is crystal clear with vibrant use of colors and great animation on almost everything. There's a good variety of stages: from jungles, to caves, to even a dungeon/maze with rooms. Each stage is an atmosphere all its own and this is due to the fact that Legendary Axe has one of the best soundtracks of any action game. Every piece of music fits every stages visual representation flawlessly and the music itself is very enjoyable to listen to. The sound effects are also flawless. TG16 truly did have an incredible sound chip as this game clearly demonstrates. Everything just works together in perfect harmony.
I wish this game became a series because if it did I'd consider it to be at least as good as something like Castlevania. Deep gameplay, challenging, fun, and filled with a personality all its own - I highly recommend it. It sure makes me miss those wonderous 16-bit days

For those of you nostalgic about TurboGrafx/Duo/PC Engine, here's a good site to visit ~ http://www.pcenginefx.com/main/pceng...l_-_turbo.html
[Update]
Finally found some good screenshots from the game. Also included are two music tracks. Check out the Stage 2 song for the Caverns ~ http://pcenginebible.roarvgm.com/HTM...endary_Axe.htm

Sayonara

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Old 02-12-2003, 10:15 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally posted by Icarus4578

Sayonara
I'm not sure if you know or not, but if you say "sayonara" in Japanese, it means something akin to "so long, farewell". Meaning you're not coming back. Unless your intended meaning is that this your last post, I don't think you want to say "sayonara". If you just want to say goodbye in Japanese, say something like "mata kondo", meaning, "until next time". Or the casual phrases equivalent to "see ya", like "ja ne", or "mata ne".

Just FYI.:cool guy:
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Old 02-12-2003, 05:35 PM   #75
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Yes I know I know, but the problem is how many people who come in these boards actually know how to discern the difference between Ja Ne and Sayonara? Sumimasen (or should I say Gomen nasai since you are my superior in Japanese). Konbanwa, Itte kimasu, Itte irasshai, mata ne, ja ne, etc. are all proper ways to conclude the section.

Arigatou gozaimasu.

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