The MagicBox Forums  

Go Back   The MagicBox Forums > General Topics > MagicBox Member Reviews

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-05-2004, 06:17 AM   #691
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Action/adventure gaming, done the wrong way

Hydlide - NES - Rating 0
Woe to those who dare venture into Hydlide, the summit of all things unpleasant and distasteful. Thank you FCI for providing us with the definitive handbook as to how not to craft an action/adventure title. This title gives Adventure a run for its money -- that's how bad it is. I never thought that it was possible to create an adventure title with absolutely no redeeming qualities. Alas, that is until FCI stepped up to the plate and dispelled all of my doubts. Hydlide is the gaming equivalent of being suplexed off of a 20-story building. Indeed, you don't even need to play this game to know that something is terribly wrong as simply witnessing the game in motion is essentially like being thrust kicked in the face. I should've known something was wrong the first time I tried to put the game cartridge into my NES and it shot it back into my face. After I played this game, my NES filed for a restraining order: I'm not allowed within 1,000ft distance. I told a priest the other day about how I played through Hydlide and he began throwing Holy Water at me, screaming emphatically "The Christ compels you!" Anyway, I recall how I brought this game to school for Show & Tell one time and the teacher gave me a two-week suspension for disturbing the class.

Please understand the point I'm trying to convey.

Rarely has the gaming world harmed me so badly--Bad Street Brawler, Superman, Bigtop Barney--and I now know better. I know now to walk on the safe-side of gaming. I know that there are laws which should be adhered to when shopping around for game titles, such as staying away from games with covers like this~

No.... that's just a little too obvious. Everybody knows better.

I'm sorry, but there comes a time when you've just got to take a stand.

Varalys transformed Princess Ann into three fairies, and he has turned Fairyland into his stronghold. A young and brave hero named Jim (gee, how did they come up with such a heroic name? :annoyed: ) sets out to do what every hero in every adventure game sets out to do: get laid. But seriously, what is the point in reminding you of the story, as if you couldn't figure it out immediately on your own without resorting to the instruction manual or a review? I mean, what else do heroes do in games like this? Exactly ~ nothing. They always go after some bad villain who has taken somebody hostage and/or taken over the world, or is seeking to. Wonderful. I don't know if there's an easier job than becoming a scenario writer for an adventure/RPG as most all of them seem to keep recycling the same drivel, dragging it everywhere in an attempt to make the population stupid.

The only thing stupid is this game. You start off on some stupid field, killing slimes by running up to the side or backside of them while holding down the A button (attack). Releasing A puts you on the defensive, though you can still harm enemies to a lesser degree. Amazing, eh? Every character and foe animates with two frames in each direction and that's it. The graphics, animation, distribution of color, etc. is all very poorly done. You have to kill a ton of slimes to gain two levels before venturing out onto more of the map. Then you find a cross which you'll need to harm the vampire in the first dungeon, a dungeon which is a full two-screens tall and lasts about a minute or so, just like all of the others (the full 3 or 4 others...). The world map looks like it's made up of about 25 screens or so, making it probably the smallest world ever created in an action/adventure title. I beat the entire game in about 3 hours my first time through. Can you say "Stupid"? (Or, should I ask, how many times can you apply the word 'Stupid' here?) There are 17 or so enemies (a couple of which are just repeated enemies with different color schemes) and 3 lousy bosses throughout the entire game. You can tell FCI went all-out to provide us with enemy design of a more creative persuasion--goblins, skeletons, zombies, etc. Clearly, FCI represents a higher level of game design.
There are no towns or people to speak to throughout the entire game, except for the ending which is just one word ~ take a wild guess as to which word is used. Ready? Set? Go...!
Talk about deep. You need to keep using the in-game save feature as there's no battery included in the cartridge. When you're through with one trial & error play session, be sure to jot down the password so that you can continue the suffering later.
Does anybody remember the theme music to Indiana Jones, composed by John Williams? If so, prepare to hear the same opening motif (small melodic phrase) repeated for hours on end because whoever composed the music in this game takes great joy in plagarizing other composers' works. (Not that John Williams has never plagarized anybody.) And the game producer(s) obviously didn't mind hearing this lame melodic phrase loop and loop for hours on end, driving you to the point of insanity. There are two or three other little songs in the game, but they're unmentionable. And the sound effects are tired and weak.
Now that I've suffered through this game, I suggest you steer clear of this wretched title whenever it shows up in the used bin at your local game store. You've been given fair warning. There's nothing else to say. ...Oh yeah, there are other versions/installments of Hydlide which populate other platforms, including the Genesis and Saturn. But I haven't played them so I cannot tell you anything about them, which may very well be a good thing.

Here's a couple of shots from Hydlide on NES ~ http://www.vgmuseum.com/nes2.htm
Not sure which versions these screenshots are from ~ http://rd.vector.co.jp/swreg/special/s99121001.html
Check the second game shown--that's another Hydlide ~ http://www.shuwasystem.co.jp/books/msx2.html
This is Hydlide Special, which was apparently a Japanese-exclusive release ~ http://www.geocities.co.jp/Playtown-...e/hydlide1.htm
??? ~ http://plaza.harmonix.ne.jp/~usausa/.../hydlide3.html
Go into here and click on the screenshots. I'm not sure whether this is just some guy who redesigned the game's graphics or if it's from a pre-existing version, but it does look nice ~ http://www.forest.impress.co.jp/arti...7/hydlide.html
__________________
Turn on the difference.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 10-22-2004 at 11:28 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2004, 07:24 AM   #692
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
Super Hydlide for the Sega Genesis was choppy, but kind of fun. Great music. Virtual Hydlide for the Saturn just HAS to be worse than NES Hydlide. That game will give you cancer.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2004, 08:53 AM   #693
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
A misty good time

Faxanadu - NES - Rating 6
I could only faintly recall to mind some of Faxanadu's more distinct elements after having remained apart from it for so long ~ flying around using the Wing Boots, jogging through a fog-drenched area, slaying a flying dwarf, etc. But when I inserted the game cartridge into my trusty NES and depressed the power button it all became clear again ~ that distinct feeling of reliving yet another magical experience from long ago, returning to a place and time I once belonged to. It all came rushing back in a refreshing surge of rehabitation -- I was at once aware of my surroundings. This was, indeed, a quintessential action/adventure experience then and still remains strong to this day. Falcom/Hudson Soft are to be commended for delivering such a worthy affair which finds itself in a similar light to Zelda II in that both utilize the familiar side-scrolling perspective to present all of the action. As it stands, while Zelda II has better gameplay overall, more challenge and longevity, Faxanadu represents better graphics and overall presentation. Both are about on par as far as music is concerned. Why compare the two? So that you gamers who've played through Zelda II and haven't yet touched Faxanadu can better-realize just what's in store.
"You make this game sound so great Icarus, so why not a Rating 8 or 9?" I'll explain it all to you later. For now, let's delve a little into the story and gameplay departments.
You are a warrior who has returned to your home town Eolis after a long journey, only to find it barren and desolate. Strange creatures are scurrying about and you've no explanation for what has transpired in your absence. Alas, you learn of the Elves' Fountains drying up, leaving your people without the very necessary resource of water. Also, the Dwarfs, once friends with the Elves, have seemingly gone insane and now attack for no readily-apparent reason. Yes, it's just as you suspected -- Kathie Lee Gifford has recorded a new album. Well, maybe things aren't that bad, but seriously, you already know that it's your job to take action into your own hands and resolve the predicament placed before you.

Enter the world of Faxanadu. Enjoy your stay.

I did some research online and found out what Faxanadu supposedly means. In Latin, 'Fax' means 'False' and 'Xanadu' means 'Paradise'. Thus, Faxanadu means 'False Paradise'. Source ~
http://www.fact-index.com/f/fa/faxanadu.html Pretty cool, eh? Leave it to Falcom to think of something like that.

Anyway, the area structure is like the cross-breeding of Zelda II with Metroid, except without as much exploration, and it seems a little familiar to Kid Icarus in the way some of the enemies are placed. Definitely a good thing. The graphics are wonderful for an NES game with good animation on characters and creatures both big and small. Good presentation overall and solid stage construction, with a few puzzle elements thrown in for good measure, adding a touch of depth to the otherwise very action-oriented gameplay experience. The areas are often large with many different places to explore and enemies to dispense of. Take a gander yourself ~ http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/p,22/gameId,7331/
Many of the doors require different types of keys, most of which can be bought at a key shop in towns. Here's where things can get frustrating because you'll get to a certain door and not have the necessary key, so you'll need to backtrack a bit to purchase/locate the required key. Why this is an issue is because of how the enemies are placed around the areas ~ oftentimes you'll be heading back and you will literally have no choice but to get hit once or twice by an enemy just because of where it was positioned to appear on the screen in that particular section. This is a glaring design flaw on Falcom's part and it loses a rating point because of this.
There are RPG elements to Faxanadu which should be familiar territory to you by now: kill enemies to get gold/food while gaining experience. After you've gained a certain amount of experience points you can talk with a guru who will give you a new title, such as Fighter, Veteran and Champion, as well as give you passwords and, on special occasion, even necessary items. One element many people miss about this game is that there are people who are smoking in the game's towns. Honestly, I didn't remember this from my previous encounter with the game and I am very suprised that the censor-happy Nintendo of old would allow smoking in one of their games. But, then again, Metal Gear allowed you to smoke so go figure.
The difficulty is set just right and there's a generous variety of enemies to battle. Some will attack you if you get too close, while some others will attack by surprise. The bosses are a letdown because they're often either way too easy or just ....stupid. After you beat a boss for the first time, expect to fight it more often as you progress further into your quest. The difficulty is somewhat uneven due to the fact that the first boss is harder than most every other boss in the game, and that bosses are rather sparse. Yup, deduct another point from the final rating.
The soundtrack utilizes distinct melodic contraptions that are unorthodox yet very fitting for the journey. My favorite music is for the misty area. You can have a listen to a MIDI version of that particular song, among others, by checking out this site ~ http://www.laurasmidiheaven.com/0vg/...Faxanadu.shtml For much more Faxanadu MIDI tunes, check out the Videogame Music Archive The sound effects are decent but not strong enough to warrant mention. Zelda II has the better sound effects, unquestionably.
All told, Faxanadu should take you anywhere from 8 to 10 hours your first time through. It's not quite on Zelda II's level but it is still a worthy adventure title that should provide sufficient pleasure from your NES. I hope Falcom creates the sequel this game so rightfully deserves someday. It would be such a shame if this game was just forgotten altogether.

Awesome site with much coverage of Faxanadu ~ http://www.rpgclassics.com/shrines/nes/faxanadu/
Another awesome site ~ http://www.neshq.com/games/f/faxanadu/

Later

Last edited by Icarus4578; 04-04-2005 at 10:30 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2004, 09:58 AM   #694
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Tommorrow, I'll have up my Gunstar Heroes (Genesis) review, then on either Saturday or Sunday will come Metal Slug 3 (X-Box).
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2004, 12:10 PM   #695
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
A game to treasure

Gunstar Heroes - Genesis - Rating 9
Even to this day, there have only been a few action titles which could hope to compete with the hyper-pandemonium shooting extravaganza that is Gunstar Heroes. I don't know. Maybe there's just no getting around the fact that this title came out during the high noon of the golden era of gaming, by a company comprised mainly of former Konami employees that've worked on such gaming bliss as Contra III and Super Castlevania IV. Quite honestly, when Gunstar Heroes was release I had owned the SNES while my brother owned the Genesis, and we were pretty biased in regards to our platforms (we'd trade systems every now and then, so you can imagine our ever-changing temperments when it came to debating which games were the best ;)). That's just the way it was. However, it was futile to attempt to dispute the greatness that was and still is embodied in what many consider Treasure's magnum opus, and what many in the hardcore gaming community believe to be the Genesis' finest hour.
Unfortunately, Gunstar Heroes got practically buried in video game publications by the arcade-to-home conversions of Mortal Kombat, Actraiser 2, yet more arcade fighters, and so on. GH was developed by an unknown company (although you know their works well) and was published in the US by a clueless Sega. Ouch! But it seems that this didn't stop at least one publication from serving the title justice -- GameFan Magazine. For those of you with back issues, look back to Volume 1 - Issue 10 (September 1993) for their review. To call it 'glowing' would be an understatement - GH received 99%, 99%, 98%, and 98% ratings. Sadly, in the same issue you'll witness Super Mario All-Stars get wrongfully condemned. Last I recall, great gameplay doesn't need to be new to be great, and my current review of Gunstar Heroes is testament to that fact. Nevertheless, their mag has some great layouts with blazing color and informed, experienced game journalism as done by people who actually played games because they loved to and not just because they were being paid to. That's certainly not to insult any of the other publications which had great gamers as well. Check back in Issue 52 - September 1993 of EGM for their review of Gunstar Heroes - it got all 9's.

As should be blatantly obvious to you by now, this game rocks. :cool guy: To the game....

The plot is inconsequential to the action. Yellow (one of the characters) pretty much summed up the routine plot ~ "No!.... The Earth.... under one person's power...." Thank you. You may take your leave. Anyway, that's basically the premise - the Empire wants four gems so that they can control the Earth. So it's up to you, the Gunstar Heroes, to save the day.
There are four adjustable difficulty levels and, let me tell you, the differences between the Easy setting and the Expert setting are like night and day. On Easy and Normal, the game is a breeze for any veteran gamer. But on Hard and Expert, well.... let's just say that you're in for a ride to hell and back. There's TONS more enemies coming after you, often slowing down the screen a tad. Everything attacks more often and faster than before, especially the bosses which will take much more damage before being put away. Take one of the myriad of sub-bosses from Black's Dice Palace in Stage 4 ~ Abarenbou Gel. Normally, he'd just be a twirp that you could sit there shooting without breaking a sweat, but on Hard or Expert he jumps around a lot and takes far more damage. That's just a minor example of a change. A more dramatic example would be the second boss Green who will cycle through SEVEN FORMS on Hard/Expert before taking the plunge (or ascent, if you watch after the boss battle concludes ;)).
You want gameplay? Gunstar Heroes delivers some of the most in-depth, nerve-rattling gameplay out of every action game to date! Our heroes can jump, high-jump, jump attack, duck, shoot various weapons (and even combine them for more devastating results!), dash (which also hurts enemies), throw enemies or even hurl enemy bombs back at 'em, hang and climb around like Strider Hiryu , defend (press and hold shot+jump together), etc. In a word: phenomenal. The enemies come from everywhere, assuring that you will never become complacent doing nothing, and there's always new challenges to be overcome with each new area of a stage. The first four stages are selectable from the start, and the final three proceed automatically from there. The first half of Stage 6 is basically a stage from a shooting game in and of itself--a very good shooter, mind you.
The graphics are a technical wonder and it's amazing what Treasure can crank out of a sparse 16-MEGS on the Genesis. They pushed it past the benchmarks of the day, forcing the Genesis to outperform itself, as if the system were to laugh at its own limitations like a joke. Blazing use of colors, animation, parallax, transparencies (faked, but so what?), amazing explosions effects, multi-jointed bosses galore, ....even some polygonal usage is to be found here! While Konami's Rocket Knight Adventures came out later, GH had it beat by a mile in virtually every department, save for character animation.
So.... blazing gameplay and graphics, some of the coolest stages/bosses ever, unique presentation.... What about the soundtrack? Put simply, it's great. Although Treasure action titles don't sound much better than most of the other action fanfare of the day, you can still recognize those aural quirks that help make Treasure games sound unlike most others. Sound effects are crisp and relatively clean for a Genesis cart.
Treasure produced one of the 16-bit generation's finest moments with Gunstar Heroes. To say otherwise would be a show of ignorance. I refuse to understand how it is that over 10 years later GH hasn't been surpassed by many other action titles. Few could even hope to compare, and here we are with our 64/128-bit multimedia devices with DVD storage; nobody seems to know how to create something comporable. Even back when some companies were trying to play it safe, Treasure was playing it smart. Regardless of their misses, they've always been a great game company. Alien Soldier, Ikaruga, Guardian Heroes, and so on.... Whatever happened to the once-beloved gaming industry?

FYI, Gunstar Heroes was GameFan Magazine's Game of the Year for 1993. Quite a feat for a game programmed by two people.

Here's another review ~ http://home.clara.net/flatbatteries/games/Gunstar.htm
An interesting read on "Blast Processing" (Includes Gunstar Heroes) ~ http://www.rebelgamers.com/features/blastprocessing.htm
Here, you'll find the Japanese box cover artwork and some screenshots ~ http://www.mobygames.com/game/sheet/p,16/gameId,6581/

WARNING
A boss is approaching!
- Final Great Soldier -
Action
- Love Love Dancing -

Last edited by Icarus4578; 02-25-2005 at 10:43 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2004, 01:00 PM   #696
Vert1
Banned
 
Vert1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: by my computer
Posts: 3,365
Treasure's such a good company.I don't understand what's been up with them recently.. maybe it's making games in 3D.
Vert1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2004, 08:05 PM   #697
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
Yeah, this game rocks! Alien Soldier was pretty cool as well. I didn't care for Dynamite Headdy, Treasure Land (with Ronald McDonald), Guardian Heroes. Silhouette Mirage was OK. Radiant Silvergun was really cool. That one game for the N64 (came out really early) sucked ass. Sin and Punishment is supposed to be awesome but I didn't see anything remarkable about it when I played it. Next up: Gradius V. I just hope Konami does the music, because music is one area where Treasure is definitely lacking!
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2004, 04:59 AM   #698
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Boom-Shaka-Laka!

Metal Slug 3 - X-Box - Rating 8
This is my kind of game--the kind that adds several inches to your flex and knocks you flat on your ass in the process. Not too long ago, I used to dream of playing something like this in the comfort of my home, and now it has become commonplace. Sadly, the greatest travesty of the current generation of gaming is the stunning absence of killer 2D software. And, seemingly, just about any time there is some noteworthy 2D game on a platform besides the GBA, chances are, it gets reduced to a quarter-of-a-page preview (if even!) and a half-page review (some of you know exactly what I'm talking about). I guess it's not like it was a worthy endeavor on the part of SNK. I mean, Metal Slug is beloved by both arcade-dwellers and console aficionados alike, heralded for its unmistakable style and rich gameplay functions, and yet here we are today in the dawning years of the 21st century--we've become more game-savvy, supposedly--games like Metal Slug are a dime a dozen in this industry, and yet it gets no coverage. It's like nobody has learned a damned thing over the course of these last few decades of gaming. "Hello! Is anybody out there....?" Perhaps it's our fault for becoming too complacent with the run-of-the-mill FPS and zillion-MEGA RPG with 30 hours of cinema and 10 hours of gameplay. After all, if people support such lackluster standards then why shouldn't the game developers?
Ok, so Metal Slug 3 isn't brand new but neither is Gunstar Heroes, and yet it kicks the pants off 99% of the current software. Therefore, SNK deserves accolades for doing what most other companies aren't willing to ~ keeping the tradition alive. Kudos to them. :cool guy:
So now that we've finished with the introductions, it's now time to parachute into action. You can choose from four characters: Marco, Eri, Tarma, and Fio. They all play the same, far as I can tell, so the differences are of a visual nature. Just like the above-reviewed title Gunstar Heroes, Metal Slug titles are excellent both with a friend or playing solo. The object is seemingly simple enough ~ make it through the stages by blowing away everything that advances at you. You're given a meager four lives to work with, and if you ever need to continue you'll find yourself all the way back at the beginning of a stage. Even on the EASY difficulty setting, this game is as hard as going through Contra III for the first time on HARD. How's that? Well, let's just say that the final stage alone is harder than most other action games are at full length and leave it at that.
Rarely have I been as impressed with 2D animation than with this. Metal Slug 3 literally floored me with its ultra-juicy animation which is as smooth as silk and drawn to perfection. The controls are responsive and virtually flawless. Stages are massive and branch out into various paths, each replete with its own unique design and, oftentimes, enemies exclusive to that one particular area. Take Stage 2 for instance ~ you're fighting zombies that spew strange substances at you, and all the while innocent people are either running away or cowering in fear. If the zombies' juice makes contact with anybody, they'll collapse, a bolt of lightning will strike them and they will become the walking dead and attack you! You have to see it to believe it! And (get this) should the zombie successfully hit YOU with the substance, you'll become a zombie as well! Each of the four characters you choose from has their own unique animation for transforming, walking, jumping, etc. for when they become a zombie. And when enemy soldiers see you, they'll oftentimes scream and make a run for the hills. How awesome is that!? Not only that, your play mechanics are changed so that you cannot be harmed as easily by enemy gunfire (there are soldiers in the area), and when you press B, instead of tossing a grenade, you'll spew forth a stream of vile blood which deals major damage to all things in its path! You can change back to normal by either dying or obtaining Zombie Vaccine, which is easy to come by. I've just described a little bit about one area of Stage 2. You'll also come across an ice cavern if you know what to do, and inside of its cavernous depths are sasquatch which try to freeze you into a snowman and then smash you with a huge bone! Later on, you'll come to a small pile of ice which you'll keep shooting at, only to reveal a woolly mammoth which you can ride atop and then, if you make it further back, come across yet another area! The entire game is like this -- rich in even the most minute details and giving you more bang for the buck. The only stage that doesn't branch out is the Final Stage and that's only because it takes about a half-hour to complete as it is! Super Joy!! :bigsmile:

Did I mention that this game rocks hardcore?

Sometime I felt aggravated about having to continue from the beginning of the stages (and there's only four credits to boot). Thankfully, and very forgiving on SNK's part, once you've made it to a certain stage you can always select to start from it or any completed stage at your own volition with Mission Select. There's just too much gameplay to go in-depth here in my review: there's the standard action romping as your main character, the zombie version, mummified version , and a myriad of vehicles and creatures to ride on (called Slugs, hence the game title), each with unique play mechanics!!! There's even sections that play like a vertical and horizontal shooter!! This is testament of the tremendous creativity of SNK's top-notch artists ~ you'll ride in planes and helicopters, a submarine, on an elephant and camel, and tons of other creative Slugs. For example, the helicopter is actually called Slug Copter and it can shoot in all 360degrees, as well as throw bombs.
I have some minor quibbles. For one thing, although the first and third bosses are huge, well-designed and animated to the breaking point, the second, fourth and final bosses weren't nearly as impressive. Also, there were a few times when I'd want to immediately fire the Flame Shot in a direction aside from the one I was pointing in, and there's a very short spurt of time in which the character must animate before making the full transition over, so I would wind up missing a couple of times and got killed in the process. However, I soon learned how to get around this. To be fair, many other action games rely on wowing you with the bosses, leaving stages to being lessons in mediocre design and structure. Not so here. Everything is treated with equal attention to detail.
Talk about a fitting soundtrack! Metal Slug has the kind of soundtrack that'll put extra hairs on your chest. It's the perfect compliment to all the action and the environments. Many of the songs from the original return unchanged. And the sound effects will blow you away. The voices are similar perfection. Need I go into how awesome it is to collect the Rocket Launcher and hear "Rocket LAN-CHER!" or to eat too much, turn all chubby and hear it decree "BIG!"? I thought so. BTW, there's tons of voices and enemy screams. Especially cool is how you'll get wasted by a soldier, see him pointing and laughing at you, then watch him scream in horror when you reappear. Just.... too cool for words. I almost feel unworthy of this game's total splendor.
Metal Slug 3 is a gamer's game; it's a rare treat which should not be overlooked. I know it's a cliche, but if you own an X-Box then you have no justifiable excuse not to get this game. It's a bonafide action fest reserved for the most hard-working gamer. I have only scratched the surface with my review, and there's just so much to talk about. Someday, when you're reminiscing over the bygone eras of gaming, be sure to remember Metal Slug 3 as it is the gaming equivalent of a champion.

Now that's what I call putting 708-MEGS to good use!

The definitive review (includes plenty of screenshots, info, and even some music!) ~ http://www.neogeoforlife.com/reviews/metal_slug_3.shtml

See you in hell!

UPDATE ~ SCEA cancelled the US release of this game. Gee, what a shock.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 02-25-2005 at 10:47 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2004, 06:02 AM   #699
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Joe, that title was Mischief Makers. I played the first stage and that was it, so I cannot comment on it.

Vert1, I don't think that it's because they're making 3D titles. The new Gradius looks like it's gonna be a blast. However, I do see where you're coming from.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2004, 07:03 AM   #700
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
Metal Slug 3 is cool. But I really wish SNK knew how Dolby Digital worked. If you're not sitting exactly between your left and right speakers, Metal Slug 3 sounds really weird since in the whole 5.1 setup, it chooses only to use hard left and hard right. All SNK had to do was to simply apply a Pro-Logic flag and then the game would have went into Pro-Logic mode and sounded normal (I know because I encode a lot of 5.1 Dolby Digital and also a lot of 2.0 Dolby Digital). As it is now, I must switch to analog when playing Metal Slug 3 on my receiver. It sucks when I know more about sound than the sound designers.

Last edited by Joe Redifer; 06-13-2004 at 07:07 AM.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2004, 08:04 AM   #701
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
The thing is that they made a direct port of the Neo Geo version, and, I suppose, they were too busy with other things to care about whether it utilized Dolby Digital 5.1. Overall, it's a very good soundtrack. I need to play the original MS again on my Saturn sometime in the near future. I'll review Jumping Flash! 2 ~ Big Trouble in Little Moo/Two Faces of Baron Aloha (PS) and Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis) this coming week. Perhaps I can fit King of Fighters R2 (NGP) in as well. We'll see.
__________________
Turn on the difference.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2004, 12:50 PM   #702
Vert1
Banned
 
Vert1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: by my computer
Posts: 3,365
Thanks for the Metal Slug3 review.I'm gonna print it out to slap my XBOX friend around with it if he doesn't buy it after reading such a passionate review.

Last edited by Vert1; 06-16-2004 at 04:44 PM.
Vert1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2004, 08:27 PM   #703
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
I'm not saying it should have been in 5.1, I'm saying it should have had a Pro Logic flag that would have told the receiver to treat the signal like any other stereo signal. Metal Slug 3 sounds better in analog than it does in digital.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 01:47 PM   #704
Icarus4578
Deal with it.
 
Icarus4578's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Ready for a new feature?

Venting My Frustrations
~Widespread stupidity is the norm of the day~

Pick practically any recently released game that's popular. Chances are that the reason it is selling is because~
A) it sets a new benchmark in 3D graphics
B) it's made by :insert company name:
C) it's a new installment in :insert game series title:
D) it's all of the above
Now what happens when the 'impressive' graphics are no longer impressive (usually after only 5 minutes) and all of the fancy cinemas are finally out of the way? Exactly ~ you realize you've just wasted $40-50 on over-produced crap with tired, limited gameplay. What is the point in shelling out so much money on a game if it doesn't offer great gameplay and longevity and/or tons of replay? Answer: I don't know.
Most games sell based off the presumption that they offer some sort of epic experience, a false presumption that's utilized by every 'experienced' game journalist that you could ever allow to encourage (sucker) you into a vortex of bullsh*t where they get you to believe that you are somehow obligated to purchase the latest game-that's-really-trying-to-be-an-interactive-movie. How often have I witnessed some reviewer trying to justify the sale of a new title off the now-complacent epithet "best visuals ever"? People are so stupid, it's only fitting that they deserve likewise reciprocation.

Typical Game Reviewer ~ "Best. Graphics. Ever."

Fu*k you.

Anybody with even half a brain should realize by now that every year there's going to be new titles which harbor better visuals (technically, of course), yet the journalists refuse to acknowledge the fact that the amount of polygons and effects doesn't equate to excellent visuals. There is a dramatic difference between great visuals from an artistic perspective and excellent visuals from a technical perspective. The latter is the sole choice when it comes to hype and, hence, the purchases of choice by the typical consumers---walking zombies brainwashed into buying only the newest and hippest gadgetry with the most multimedia choices. My section isn't for the likes of them. If you're one of those consumer zombies, I say, go play your Enter the Matrix and leave my section forever.

Perspective is what's needed. That's where I come in.

My first question to you is this ~ Were you even alive during the golden years of gaming? If so, you're well aware of the magic feeling associated with so much of the software that was available back then. Do you recall the first time you played the first 8-MEG console game ever.... Strider? If not, I pity you. Or how about the first lessons in gameplay you received from the likes of Metroid and Castlevania? Were those not far better moments in gaming's lifecycle than what's currently available? It seems that everytime I purchase one of these new over-hyped products I am severely underwhelmed. Why is that? Why am I constantly told that the new Metal Gear or Final Fantasy represents some sort of new benchmark in gaming quality when they offer absolutely nothing new that's of any merit? How many more times must I click 'Attack', point the cursor at the enemy I want to dispose of, hit the button again and watch the game take care of business for me? Haven't I done all of this about a hundred times before? And if so (and it is so, undisputably), then what is the point in constantly reminding me every new year to do the exact same thing about 10 times, potentionally wasting approximately 250 hours of my life away in the now-insipid RPG genre? That's about 10 days of my time wasted. Almost equally significant is the cost to subjucate myself to such learned boredom--about $400--just to experience instant replays of essentially the same game in different flavors. That's just one genre. Let's detail the deja vu of the FPS genre, a genre which has only improved once with the arrival of Metroid Prime.

Think about this gaming concept if you would~
You walk through a dark corridor which opens into a large area with enemies shooting at you, so you aim at them and fire while strifing every which way, and then you obtain some more ammo so that you can proceed into the next corridor and do the same thing about 20 more times before you finally complete the stage.

Which game am I describing? Oh, only every FPS ever made. And people continue to buy this garbage, happily shelling out $50 just so they can do the same thing again with 100 more polygons onscreen. Wonderful. Would any game reviewer care to elaborate as to how the gameplay has actually improved in the genre? Oh yeah, they can't do that. All they can talk about is how smart the computer AI is; that's something that I could give a damn about. The gameplay is what I'm interested in, not how much smarter the enemies have supposedly become. So if somebody creates a new platformer that plays the same as Crash Bandicoot but features super-smart enemies, does the game suddenly deserve high praise? I think not. Oh, that's right---they also praised Crash Bandicoot. Try actually enjoying that game now....
I defy you.

Ironically, as games become smarter, the gamers become more stupid.

There once was a time when great game design, unique play mechanics and a touch of creativity were what mattered most, but not anymore. Pure action games are fast becoming a rare species, and I haven't noticed any real improvement in the genre for years.... maybe even close to a decade. You simply cannot name current action games comporable to such bliss as Super C, Gunstar Heroes and Super Castlevania IV, aside from a couple on the GameBoy Advance. The fact that a great action title like Castlevania ~ Symphony of the Night was 2D cannot be undermined because games with 2D outfits most often require more precise controls than those in 3D, and anybody that wants to try and dispute this will have to take on a myriad of questions, such as these: In what way does attacking an enemy in 3D make for better gameplay than a similar attack in 2D? In what way has the actual gameplay advanced by means of utilizing 3D areas as opposed to utilizing 2D ones? Explain. I fail to see where the gameplay has taken a turn for the better. There have been only a small handful of actual high-quality action titles in recent memory--Devil May Cry being the defining moment, and even with that everybody brought up how responsive and quick the gameplay reacted.... 'like a 2D action game'. Was that also a coincidence?

Of course, it's not justifiable to presume that just because a game is done up in 3D means that it cannot match 2D efforts. But, alas, it has been so many years since games like Zelda ~ Ocarina of Time and NiGHTS ~ Into Dreams crept innovative concepts into 3D gaming, and there hasn't really been a damn improvement since. Yet nobody wants to discuss this. So let's all just suck it up and be complacent with those EyeToys, Enter the Matrix titles and whatever other garbage multimedia devices these bozos try and shove down our throats under the guise of innovation. It's all an effort to try and disguise the fact that there hasn't been actual gameplay innovation for years now, and that gameplay is rapidly in the decline in favor of the newest titles that want to pretend to be part movie-part game. You know something's very wrong when even Sega cannot seem to churn out a classic, and then they got bought out by Sammy!

What's in store for us next ~ a multimedia device designed like a handheld that plays movies and MP3s for 2 hours before needing new batteries? Gaaaah! How long until people are actually stupid enough to pay money to download some crappy film that they can watch it on some dinky cell phone screen?

Yes, the corporates have caught on at last. Possibility broadens when you're dealing with idiots, and broadens even moreso as you continue to make them more and more susceptible to stupidity.

My final opinion is that real gaming is dying. I'm hard-pressed to find more than five great titles coming out within the next few months. That's how bad it's gotten to be. But what do I know? I just want to have fun with some new great games.
__________________
Turn on the difference.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 06-19-2004 at 04:57 AM.
Icarus4578 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2004, 08:43 PM   #705
Joe Redifer
Olé!
 
Joe Redifer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,128
I agree for the most part, but a game like Super Monkeyball is definitely better suited for 3D than 2D. And what of everbody's precious Ninja Gaiden? It is true that I appreciate that game more than I did in the recent past, but do you think that game is better served in 3D? Racing games are also good examples of something that plays better with true 3D graphics.
Joe Redifer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.