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Old 10-31-2004, 02:22 AM   #901
Joe Redifer
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Polterguy is even better than Grand Theft Turismo 4!!!!! Best. Game. Ever. It's. So. Good. That. I. Have. To. Separate. Each. Word. Into. It's. Own. Sentence.
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Old 10-31-2004, 02:51 AM   #902
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Batman Returns - SNES - Rating 8
Konami has a PhD in the SNES hardware, that much is for certain. They always seem to squeeze the most out of it, no matter what the cart size may be. There was a time when River City Ransom was the only deep beat-'em-up on the planet. Until.... One day, Konami was walking down the bad streets of Tokyo and saw Technos styling and profiling all by itself. Upon seeing Konami gaining distance, Technos just smirked them off and looked into the heart of the city blanketed in the cool wash of the laughing morning sun. Konami don't play like that, so they decided that if they were going to be as cool as Technos they'd have to regulate, y'know? So what did Konami do? Gain the license to a shallow Tim Burton offering and transform it into something beyond magic, something which only comes along once ev'ry decade, if even. Forget "cool"; games just aren't supposed to be as downright chilly as Batman Returns. I almost got frostbite just by being in the same room.
You look at the screenshots and are misled into believing that this is just more of the same. Wrong, wrong, and wrong, buddy. This game keeps the presentation so varied, the action so non-stop that it never loses rhythm. You begin on the streets of Gotham City, taking out the circus freaks and carnival misfits of the Red Triangle Circus Gang by punching their stupid faces in, pounding them into the gravel, even throwing them into background objects. You'll take out bikers, thin clowns, and bazooka clowns like in a regular beat-'em-up. But then you'll find yourself in a side-scrolling action playfield where the gameplay changes considerably. You'll be using your Batarangs here more often, so you can keep a safe distance from enemies and still take them out. You'll need to, too: there are guys on stilts who juggle torches at you. You'll also learn how to use the grappling hook in these areas to cross chasms and avoid hazardous areas. Afterwards, you'll encounter the first boss. Piece of cake.
Stages are called "Scenes" in the game, of which there are seven total. In order to get the full ending you must complete the game on Hard. Though that sounds kinda rough, I managed to make it to Scene 7 my first time through on Hard after having not played the game for a long time. There's a tremendous variety of locales that you'll see ranging from rooftops to museums and the top of a train. The enemies are all circus-based: Clowns of every shape and size, sword swallowers, knife throwers, fire clowns carrying flaming pitch forks, and so on. The bosses are pretty cool, with the coolest one being not Catwoman nor The Penguin but rather the Organ Grinder. :cool guy: Now that's a cool boss idea.
The story is presented in cinema fashion using various stills and one-liners from the movie. "I am Catwoman. Hear me roar." ...Oh well. Konami's still cool. Batman has the standard beat-'em-up repertoire except he can also block, grab two enemies at once and bash their heads into one another, and throw enemies into background objects such as windows and benches. He can also make use of Test Tubes, a special attack which damages everything onscreen. Furthermore, there's also a stage where you'll ride the Batmobile and take on riders until you catch up with Penguin's Campaign Vehicle. There's enough variety in Batman Returns to keep you glued from start to finish without it becoming a boring chore like in most other similar titles.
I must nitpick in a few areas, however. When you continue, you have to go back to the beginning of the section you're in. It could've been worse (beginning of the Scene), but it could've been better, more arcade-like. In Stage 7 there are penguins firing rockets at you and it's near impossible to avoid getting hit. There's some minor trial & error involved with some of the side-scrolling areas, so expect to fall to your death a couple of times. There's probably one or two other minor issues I have, but I'm getting sleepy and can't recall them offhand.
The music rocks from start to finish. You will be dazzled by the aural alchemy of Konami's sound engineers. It's so good, you'll need to be pinched to remind yourself that this isn't a CD-based title. And all of the sound effects are crispy and crunchy. :cool guy:
Take my word for it -- Batman Returns is superior to most every other beat-'em-up out there, beating out even Final Fight as far as overall value is concerned. It's no surprise given Konami's prowess in the field, especially in the arcades with games such as X-Men ~ Children of the Atom and The Simpsons. Well, that's it. I'm beyond exhausted. See you next review. Same bat time. Same bat channel. *zzzZZzzZzz*

Cheats ~ http://www.neoseeker.com/Games/cheat...n_returns.html
Screenshots ~ http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/p,15/gameId,3620/

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Old 10-31-2004, 07:26 AM   #903
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Great Holloween reviews, Icarus. :cool guy:

I always wanted The Haunting: Staring Polterguy back in the 16-bit days, but only owned a SNES and it was only released for the Genny.

You have less than 24 hours to do a review of Zombies Ate My Neighbors.

Where's the Atari 7800 love?

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Old 10-31-2004, 10:02 AM   #904
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Mmmm, never played that above Atari game. I wanted to add Zombies Ate My Neighbors but there's just one problem: I don't have it. I rented it back in the day. I remember that I liked it, that's all.
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Old 10-31-2004, 02:18 PM   #905
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I own it and I can't beat the bloody game(Zombies Ate My Neighbors). I can't recall how many stages there are in the game, but I think i made it to the 50th stage or so. I used to play the game so much back in the day I have yet to forget the highest password I made it too, its VLHX.
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Old 10-31-2004, 06:46 PM   #906
Joe Redifer
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I rented Zombies ate my Neighbors for the Genesis and remember thinking it was boring and low-quality.
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Old 11-01-2004, 07:00 PM   #907
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maybe you should have played the SNES version. i rented it, but it was so long ago. i think i liked it...
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:13 AM   #908
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Tommorrow night, DoA Ultimate. And sorry my Paper Mario 2 review hasn't come sooner. I had put in over 35 hours into DoAU, plus more for DoA3, XBV and the Dreamcast version of 2 for comparison's sake. You'll see.
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Old 11-05-2004, 03:24 AM   #909
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Don't forget the crappy PS2 version, which pales next to the Dreamcast version.
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Old 11-06-2004, 06:52 AM   #910
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Shake it baby

Dead or Alive Ultimate - X-Box - Rating 5
It's been several years since Dead or Alive 3 came out and juggle combo'd the masses to sexual heav.... errr, make that fighting game bliss. You got it all: Smooth buttocks, heavy juggs and leggy kicks. Penetrating stuff through and through.

Aaaaw, that was low of me.... literally. It's just that those who claim that DoA games are deep experiences, well, their minds are somewhere else entirely. Sure, DoA games do go down on you, but let's talk about something with weighty substance besides the upper proportions of the female characters.
DoA games have always been about giving players a fast fighting game experience, and Ultimate does not stray from that tried and tested formula of revealing new layers of depth that goes beneath the girls' costumes. Fighting bouts last about as long as a quickie. Umm, make that a few seconds. It's always the same story: use random positions to keep your opponent off-guard as to what's gonna come next. Only now there's a new twist ~ Prepare to unleash your inner sexual frustrations online with other players!! That's right, all the hard-hitting action of the DoA universe is now available on Xbox Live 'n all over yo FACE!!

DoAU comes with two remakes. The first of these is a remake of the Saturn import arcade conversion of the popular DoA Model-2 arcade, which I just so happen to own. The framerate is as smooth as silk undies and the textures are all enhanced, but the gameplay remains the same. What that translates to is counter heaven. Really, the game is a glorified version of rocks, paper, scissors: catch your opponent's moves by hitting the counter button, causing massive damage. Games like Virtua Fighter 2 (which DoA was originally built on) and Tekken 2 & 3 are much better fighting games. I have over 700 playthroughs in Tekken 2 with Law alone (it keeps track), and I've played other fighters similarly as much, but not DoA. The only thing DoA had going for it was that you could unlock tons of costumes for the female characters and there were new options which could be unlocked. Neither of those things constitute for a great fighting game -- they just make the experience drag on longer than should be in an attempt to goad you into believing that it offers you more than other fighting games. If you want to play a real fighter then I'd suggest you grab ahold of a copy of Alpha 2 for Saturn or a Tekken for PlayStation because DoA hasn't survived the rigors of time. Yeah, you can play it online all you want to but.... wouldn't you rather play something like Virtua Fighter 4 online?

Moving on to DoA2, the remake everybody is interested in. In the Dreamcast version, pretty much everything was improved over the original DoA in some form or another. The gameplay was evolved and involving, the graphics were radically improved and the game felt a lot more like it was trying to be a fighting game instead of a button masher. The addition of added cinemas mid-game helped to flesh out each character's conflicts and relationships. There was also a version for PS2 but I've never played it and, really, don't care to. Why should I be bothered paying twice as much for one game?
That said, I'm kinda eating my puzzled soup now, wondering what's so hot about the remake. In fact, I'll ask you: "What is so great about this remake?" The obvious stuff has been upgraded to X-Box specifications: the graphics, sound (I guess...), more unlockables, and online play. But what else? Well Team NINJA finally did it: they busted the counter system. Tecmo thinks they're being bitching by adding in a new counter--forward+guard--but this doesn't make the game any deeper than it was. In fact, it makes it more annoying than it once was. You'll have to spend more time guarding instead of countering. The problem exists that when you're caught guarding (napping) your opponent will have little trouble pulling off a throw. The gameplay itself is smoother but that also makes it easier than ever before to button mash your way to improper victory ....against most human opponents. As far as the computer is concerned, especially on the two hardest difficulty settings, well.... let's just say it's mind-numbingly cheap, cheaper than a hooker in a third-world country. It's so cheap, I cannot accurately describe the majesty of how effortlessly it can pull off counters. And if you try and guard against its attacks, it will probably just throw you. The funny thing is that you can button mash and win. Try doing that in SFA sometime and see how far that gets you. :annoyed:
This game has balancing issues, far moreso than in any other DoA game. The problem exists that a character such as Ein can do tremendous damage even with puny combos (his Ren-Fujin P-P-P combo will take off around a fifth of your life plus send you flying forward, and that's with your Life Gauge set to the largest setting and not including potential wall damage), while a towering character such as Bass does mostly puny damage. Ok, try to deduct some logic behind this: Bass is 6'5", 346lbs and he wrestles, and yet the girls stand a better chance of taking more damage than he could, save for Helena because her moves tend to take less than everybody else's. Guys like Jann Lee are smaller and weigh far less, yet their moves take at least as much as Bass' and you can combo effortlessly with them. Does this make any sense? And how come the Japanese characters are all presented as having supernatural abilities, yet everybody else is just a normal fighter with a few exaggerated moves? I don't know for certain, but the emphasis of all DoA games seems to fall on the Japanese characters' shoulders--they are the major focus, always. I guess everybody else is just a punching bag for the Japanese, which reminds me of how at every JAMMA arcade show where a new Virtua Fighter was being shown off Sega/Am2/Yu Suzuki would use Jacky, the American Jeet Kune Do practitioner, as their punching bag for guys like Akira. Is this racism? You be the judge.
Where it becomes pertinent is when you're actually playing DoA2U. If you're a guy like Zack you most certainly will have to pull off seven/eight hit combos to be effective much of the time because many of his other moves leave him wide open if he misses. But even here there's a balancing issue because when you're kicking your opponent you're not doing the same kind of damage you can get with, say, a Kasumi combo. Not only that, his multiple combos are not to be feared because they leave him wide open for a counter attack. Of course, somebody like Ayane is lightning fast all the time and can easily random combo your ass into broad sunlight. Does this sound like a balanced fighter to you? I don't think so. And then there's characters like Leon who, granted, can do some pretty decent damage, even moreso than Bass! Still, his throws don't tend to do any exciting damage, damage which is easily matched with the throws and counters of the other characters. Therefore, why bother putting in more weighty characters if their moves aren't going to surpass the other characters' in strength? Priority is given to the Japanese characters and the girl fighters (barring Helena), and that's all there is to it.
This brings me to my next question: Why does everybody give this game 8's and 9's across the board when it's riddled with inaccuracies and balancing flaws? Are these a**holes playing fighting games looking for gameplay or are they just a bunch of graphic whores sucking up to the popular equation? Just because the Team NINJA stamp is on this title doesn't necessarily make it any better than anything else, and this game proves it. I find it hypocritical that Itagaki himself goes on the record as stating (as a fact) that he could've made Pikmin 2 better than Nintendo had, yet he takes several years to produce this remake of an older fighter and makes it play worse than it did before. Don't believe me? Stick DoA2 in and, if you would but take a moment to notice the gameplay, see for yourself how much more well rounded it is than the remake. You have to use either the 3D button (in the Dreamcast's case, B) or the analog stick to freely move in 3D, but the game itself is far more balanced. Ein cannot do the absurd amount of damage like he can in Ultimate, and, I'm sorry to say, the only reason why they made him so much stronger now is because Itagaki is having a ego trip. Ein/Hayate is obviously supposed to be Itagaki, albeit a much better looking version. He dresses in dark clothing, is well built (Itagaki isn't), has similar hair and facial construction (barring the horrendous craters on Itagaki's face), almost every girl is wooing after him, etc. Why is it, then, that Ein is supposed to be the brother of Kasumi and half-brother of Ayane, yet they act like they're sexually tense whenever they meet him? If you play DoA3 you will see that it looks like a bad love soap opera:

Hayate [mad because his sister broke the code of the Shinobi] ~ "Let's pretend we never met."
Kasumi ~ "It's too late and I know what I must do."

He acts in every way like he's a loner, a characteristic which many have attached to Itagaki himself. In DoAXBV, if you're playing as Kasumi, you'll see how she's always thinking about her brother:

Kasumi, getting ready to call it a day ~ "Oyasumi nasai, oni-san..."
[*note* The game subtitles this as being "Goodnight, sleep tight," but it actually translates to "Goodnight, (older) brother...."]

Why is he constantly on Kasumi's mind? She ran away from her clan to kill Raidou, who, it was shown in the new opening for DoA2U, defeated both Hayate and Ayane effortlessly. Even Ayane is attached to her older brother. One could summarize that the events of DoA have been designed around Hayate--every major occurance relates to him in some fashion or another. Itagaki sets himself up to look like this amnesia hunk loner who must regain his memory while fending off the female population. O.K. Itagaki.

You can unlock three other characters: Bayman, Hitomi and the final boss Tengu. Hitomi (Japanese for "Eyes") plays the same as in DoA3, and Bayman is the same as ever. Tengu cannot perform his season changing move while you're playing as him. As a final boss, he gives me a headache, but he has a pattern that can be exposed: Play keep-away and wait for him to do something stupid, such as that stomp he does to change the season or when he begins flying towards you (but be careful about that), then take advantage of an opening with a crushing blow or combo. The endings are the same as before; no CG ending were added, which is a letdown because the original DoA2 endings suck. There are some minor additions, such as a brief new cinema for Ein where he chops the tops off of a few bottles (big whoop).
As far as the added extras are concerned, there are up to 20 costumes added for most of the female characters (Helena has the fewest--13), plus about 6-9 for each male character, barring Tengu who only gets a measly 3. You can unlock a CG Image Gallery of glossed over rendered shots of the DoA girls, mostly taken from DoAXBV. Now isn't that funny? Wouldn't it have been far better if you could take each of the ladies' wardrobe and accessories from DoAXBV itself and used that stuff here? Itagaki proves time after time that his only mission is to let the gamer down with crappy additions. By the way, most of Lei-Fang's new costumes are color swaps of her standard dress. Can you say "lazy"? Once you've opened up either every characters' costumes or you've completed the Collection of items in Survival Mode, it will unlock the CG Image Gallery as stated before plus the DoA3 booster pack which adds a couple costumes per character. Also, in the Booster menu there's a video of a G4 feature on Team NINJA/DoA, the same G4 that did that horrendous Mega Man Collection video. You should hear the bullsh*t they spew:

Geoff Keighley, Contributing Writer for Entertainment Weekly ~ "What made Dead or Alive so great *inaudible gibberish* (was that) all of Tecmo's games have a speed and fluidity which is really unique to their games."

Yeah, sure thing. It wouldn't have anything at all to do with the girls, would it? Naaaaw. Let's see Tecmo release a DoA with an all-male cast and then see just how well it sells.
Further on in the G4 video, they do something quite funny when observed: The narrator say "two bold decisions" right as the camera is in a closeup of a Kasumi doll's breasts. Was that intentional guys? We may never know.

Back to the game. Yeah, the backgrounds are definitely the best in the series, graphically speaking. But they also contribute to the broken gameplay. Knock somebody off a side in the Great Wall of China stage, for instance, and you'll send them rolling down a ton of stairs, taking a TON of health! In fact, if you use the right move, you could easily deplete half your opponent's life bar just like that. Does that sound fair to you? I'll hand it to them in that it is not possible to lose a round by damage taken from falling anymore, but it's still amazing how they can do something so damn cheap and get away with it with nary a complaint from somebody in the mainstream "gaming" media. Oh, and with the proper moves you can now 'slide' an opponent down certain ramps. Like I really care.

Funny thing about the graphics is that nothing looks substantially better than in DoA3. The texture quality is about even, and the characters don't really look better than they did before. In fact, the one turnoff of DoA2U is that the girls look much more like mannequins, less lifelike, than they did in DoA3. DoAXBV still has the best rendering of the women, case closed.

Musically, prepare for supermundane, unlistenable stuff. You'll hear the same music as in DoA2, which wasn't that good to begin with, plus remakes of the DoA3 songs. And-- are you ready....? Tecmo acquired yet another Aerosmith song, 'Dream On'. Classic Rock fans may be happy about this, but I personally don't see what sense it makes going along with the haphazard opening sequence. There are now several different system voices which can be acquired by completing the exercises in Practice Mode with various characters, some of these voices include Kasumi, Ayane, Raidou, and Tengu. Oddly, Kasumi sounded much more childish in DoA2 for Dreamcast, yet here her voice sounds a bit older like in DoA3, but you can alter voice history anyway. The sound effects are good, hard-hitting stuff.
And that about does it. Dead or Alive Ultimate is the same games as before with a few extras and severe balancing flaws. The setbacks are pretty much even with the positives, so take note of that. Dead or Alive 3 is still a bit more fun overall because it doesn't suffer from as many problems. Pretty sad, isn't it? In fact, Xtreme Beach Volleyball is actually more fun in most ways--at least you can use a custom soundtrack! Why didn't Tecmo include this feature here in DoAU? Because they're stupid.

This illustrates how I feel about DoAU~ :thumbdn::cool guy:

Links:
www.neotaku.com
www.tecmogames.com
www.doa.tenkokutenshi.com
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:23 AM   #911
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O_O Ohhhh! Now I see, Game Informer gave it 9/10 cuz of the ladies! How lame!
Hey Icarus, can you be kind enough to review a KoF game, unless you've already done one and don't want to do another? Or maybe a Crash Bandicoot game, yeah, why not one?
As always, you give some good reviews . Keep up the good work.
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:26 AM   #912
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I just reviewed KoF Maximum Impact a short while ago. Check it out. Also, I did a review of KoF2000 for NEO GEO. Oh, and KoF R2 for NGP.
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:32 AM   #913
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No offense pal, but some people actually like Hinako, she's unique. I find her an interesting character .
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:33 AM   #914
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Hinako.... is that that stupid sumo girl? I hate her!
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Old 11-06-2004, 07:39 AM   #915
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Icarus, I don't agree with you on much at all on almost anything LOL

But I'd have to say your reviews and scores on these classics are right on the money.

Most Dragon Quests, particularly 7.

FF4, 6 and 7.

Both Lunars.

Phantasy Star 2 and 4.

Secret of Mana.

Alundra.

Grandia 2-didn't see you review it, but agree that Grandia 1 was awesome as well.

River City Ransom - My all time favorite game. If Nintendo could come up with a RCR game for the Gamecube where you could play 4 players, that would rock so much.

P.S. Have you ever played that horrible game BC's Quest for Tires on the Atari system? haha When I first brought that bad boy home I thought it was the shiznit, but now I look back and realize it sucked so bad
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