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Old 10-15-2005, 10:15 AM   #1426
Icarus4578
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That's why I said at the end of the review that Namco oughta port this game onto the Xbox. Of course they'll never do that (they're biased against making more money).
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:01 AM   #1427
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WHich page is the Shin Megami Tensei NOCTURNE review in? Just started playing this game and I want to read your review on this game!
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Old 10-26-2005, 01:27 AM   #1428
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Dude I click on the link to Mark of the Wolves on your first post & I can't find it. Which page is it?
Also regarding the final part of your Athena review, the Athena in KoF is BASED off THAT Athena for the NES. THE ONLY time NES Athena ever debuted in a game would be SNK vs. Capcom Chaos (and she's in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum as well). Plus what's your gripe on Hinako? You hate sumo wrestlers or something?
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:42 AM   #1429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubeus
WHich page is the Shin Megami Tensei NOCTURNE review in? Just started playing this game and I want to read your review on this game!
Sorry, I never reviewed SMT Nocturne.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman
Dude I click on the link to Mark of the Wolves on your first post & I can't find it. Which page is it?
Page #58. If there isn't a link on the title in the first page, the actual page the review/feature is on is displayed to the right. I never linked all of my reviews, although I should, because it takes such a damn long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman
the final part of your Athena review, the Athena in KoF is BASED off THAT Athena for the NES. THE ONLY time NES Athena ever debuted in a game would be SNK vs. Capcom Chaos (and she's in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum as well). Plus what's your gripe on Hinako? You hate sumo wrestlers or something?
Athena ---> That's why when you play the original arcade Athena you hear the same exact song and lyrics as when fighting against her team in KoF '96. Basically every SNK title with Athena in it is all meant to be that one person, Athena, just different versions or what-have-you.
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Old 10-30-2005, 01:06 AM   #1430
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Wild side

Fatal Fury ~ Mark of the Wolves - Dreamcast - Rating 5
Who doesn't know Fatal Fury by now? One of SNK's most popular series, Fatal Fury has seen a tremendous amount of sequels and releases across many platforms (Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn import, Playstation, etc.). Cherished by the 2D fighting crowd, Fatal Fury Special is considered by many the finest in the series.
FF~MOTW is a worthy addition to the series in many ways. Yet it can't live up to its full potential. I'll explain why, but first I'll explain the game structure. It's yet another 2D fighter with a few new additions. There's story mode, survival, VS, practice, a gallery section with artwork and cinemas (most of which have to be unlocked), and of course options. The fighting system now includes several new additions. There's the T.O.P. Setting which you set up after selecting your character of choice. You use left and right to determine the activation timing from front, middle, and back on the life bar. Also, by pressing up and down you can choose from 3 power levels. It increases your attack power, your life gradually recovers and a special T.O.P. attack is enabled. In order to activate it your life bar has to touch it. The Power Gauge works like in Street Fighter Alphas, only you have a limit of two filled at once. It allows you to use special moves and, if filled up twice, a hidden ability may even be activated. There's the Just Defended system (there's that word yet again - 'system'...) which lets you regain some energy if you press block immediately before an opponent's attack can connect. In addition, there's guard crushing and guard breaking, as seen in other fighters.
You select from 12 characters (and both bosses, if you earn them). There's Rock (the new main character), Terry "OK!!!" Bogard, and all new faces: Hokutomaru, Kevin, Tizoc, B. Jenet, and Gato are among the new additions. The others are similar to other SNK characters -- both Dong Hwan and Jae Hoon are basically Kim Kapwan, Hotaru is Nakoruru, Butt is Takuma Sakazaki, and Freeman is Basara. The character's profile art is weak in comparison to former SNK greats like KoF 94-2000, Art of Fighting series and former Fatal Fury titles, which is a disappointment. However, the characters themselves (in-game) are well done with a lot of animation. Most of them are a bit small though (except for guys like Grant, self-proclaimed 'Martyr of Might' and mid-boss before Kain). Think King of Fighter-size and you'll understand. The backgrounds are fairly well-done but what is especially cool is before each match there is a small 'entry' cinema preceding the match. Those are cool additions, as are the cinemas that occur during the game (with nice animation). Jumping between planes during the fights is sadly absent from this installment, and the characters are not as interesting as in most other fighters. If you lose and have to continue you can handicap the opponent by selecting one of 3 options: Power Gauge MAX for your character, COM difficulty down, or 1/4 the opponent's life meter. OR, you can bypass all these by selecting 'No Service', like us real gamers do. Whenever you beat an opponent you get graded on your performance - from top to bottom: Miracle, SSS, SS, S, AAA, AA, A, B, and finally C. I mostly get the S rankings, and extremely rarely get Miracle (I'm not the best at this game but then again I don't find it to be as interesting as others).
The music does nothing for me, quite frankly. I enjoyed soundtracks like KoF 95, Art of Fighting, etc. but this one suffers from being too mundane/hollow, without any passion. The sound effects are carbon copies of the Neo Geo which means they're decent but unimpressive. Even the voices sound somewhat muffled....
So that's about all I have to say about FF~MOTW. It's an average fighting game and a let down as far as the Fatal Fury lineage is concerned. It's a shame, really, that SNK would downgrade after many great fighting games. However, in a way it's understandable. SNK was going through tough times financially and probably were scared of taking risks. May SNK live on forever....
As Rock says - "If you deny your wild side, then you deserve to die." Errr... whatever.
Actually many think Garou is one of SNK's best games ever made, even if people prefer a game like Real Bout Fatal Fury 2, they'd still say it's good, but if you don't think that way, then that's your opinion.
Though I may wish to comment on something: This game was made on the Neo Geo- a 16-bit engine, considering how very detailed the graphics are it would seem stressing for the board to handle any more.
I'll agree that some of the artwork isn't really good, but the ending art by Tonko (Not sure of his name ) are pretty sweet.
BTW did u know that Rock's theme uses some music from a song called 'Children' I think? Don't remember whose the artist, but I do know that his theme uses some music from that song. Anyone heard it?

So what's your next review bro?
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:20 AM   #1431
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I will review both Gunstar Super Heroes and Ninja Gaiden Black tomorrow. After that it's on to Shadow of the Colossus.
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Old 10-30-2005, 10:31 AM   #1432
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sweet! I am planning on buying Gunstar Super Heroes this week, make haste.
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Old 10-30-2005, 11:40 PM   #1433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus4578
I will review both Gunstar Super Heroes and Ninja Gaiden Black tomorrow. After that it's on to Shadow of the Colossus.
What's the difference between Black & normal NG?
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Old 10-31-2005, 12:05 AM   #1434
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From what i hear Black is an even harder version of NG, even though it also includes a new easy mode (its called underdog or something like that).
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Old 10-31-2005, 12:49 AM   #1435
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman
What's the difference between Black & normal NG?
In Ninja Gaiden Black, Ryo is black.
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Old 10-31-2005, 12:53 AM   #1436
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I do not know why people think NG was hard. I thought it was rather easy. It had its moments where it was hard, but once you got passed those points the game just cruised along fairly easily.
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Old 10-31-2005, 09:39 AM   #1437
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Do the funky ninja

Ninja Gaiden Black - Xbox - Rating 7
"Oh no, Icarus just dipped the rating lower by one point than the original Xbox NG. Why'd he do that!?" Because I was expecting a bit more than what I've been given, especially given the amount of time which has elapsed since the first's launch (and that was held back quite a few times). Some of the things I wanted: completely new levels and bosses added to the main quest, more weapons (the Lunar staff is nice and all but...), all difficulties available from the outset (more on that later), and, well, they actually did manage to improve the camera. Added to the mix are new costumes, new enemies on the harder difficulty settings, a trailer for Dead or Alive 4 (...), a new mission mode with some rather vicious challenges, the original Ninja Gaiden arcade is a hidden extra (too bad that game sucked), the removal of the original three NES classics , and not much else. As some of you may already know, the contents of the Hurricane Packs have been included here.
A few people are satisfied with this renovated working of what has become an Xbox classic because it's a more polished effort, as in the game that the original was supposed to be upon completion. I, however, am not a fan of game developers which opt to first release a game and then later release a rather underwhelming "upgraded" version of the same exact product. Should I be happy about having spent $50 on a game only to find out that I must pay another $30 or so for "the complete package" at a much later date? Sure, the mission mode is a [very] nice extra but it doesn't really change the dynamics of the total package.

For those of you who have never played NG before on the Xbox, you must either not own the system or spend a little too much time and money on sports titles. It's too bad that more games of this calibur didn't come along at more regular intervals in the Xbox's lifecycle. Otherwise, this dicussion would be irrelevant. ....But it's not. I have to agree with Itagaki when he speaks down upon his Japanese contemporaries whom almost always choose the PS2 over the Xbox, almost certainly because it's a Japanese-made console, and then after they've helped make the former a national/worldwide success dare to lay the blame on the first-party (Microsoft) or some other half-handed excuse for something which was inherently their own fault to begin with! It's no understatement to say that the Xbox more than had the full potential to rock Sony's world. The hardware is far superior technically, the online community absolutely dwarfs Sony's, and the system even has a HD built in. All I can say is if I see a repeat performance coming from Japan when the X360 comes out, I'm going to intentionally shy away from most Japanese software. That's right, two can play the same game. I'm not even playing around. They expect us to devour all the manufactured [turd] anime they can possibly throw our way, and many "otaku" willingly oblige. But where and when do we draw the line? Don't try and attribute their one-track minds to some sort of national pride because I'm not hearing any of it.

Just know that Ninja Gaiden is still a great game and very much worth the purchase if you haven't already bought the original. If you've got a completed save file from the original still intact on your Xbox, you can access the harder difficulties, or so I've heard (I sold my copy awhile back). "Why'd you go and do that, Icarus?" Because I got all the fun out of NG that I wanted and wasn't expecting to go back to it. Actually, I was kinda hoping we'd get the sequel before X360 (yeah, right). The new enemies are nothing terribly special--cat-like creatures which are super fast, ninjas wielding flaming swords, a rather nasty doppelg?nger, etc.--and were obviously created just for the sake of turning up the difficulty a few notches, which isn't a bad thing. Are the new missions worth the price of admission? Depends on whether you live for a good challenge. The only reward you get for beating Master Ninja mode, the hardest difficulty, is a new costume. By the time somebody actually succeeded at doing so (I didn't even bother to try) I suspect they'd be too worn out to even care to play through the game again. [*Note* All NG freaks, please disregard the previous sentence.]

The graphics are the same as before, at least to my eyes. I didn't notice a single difference. Certainly NGB features some of the best 3D graphics you'll find this generation. There are a few chinks in the armor, though, such as slowdown when you kill too many bats onscreen at once (hmmm). The music and sound effects are, again, the same territory, only difference being in slight things like Ayane now actually reading her little hints audibly as you view them. Oh my God, I just fell out of my chair due to the intense excitement this upgrade has caused. You must stop what you're doing, run over to your local game shop and purchase four or five copies of this game NOW!! because Team Ninja simply cannot be contained and they are super awesome and really incredible!!!

In this day and age of a hundred shallow RPGs, mediocre platformers aplenty and enough First-person Shooters to fill a hundred bookshelves, you know we deserve much, much better. Ninja Gaiden Black is essential for all Xbox owners whose gaming diets don't consist solely of Madden and Halo. If, like myself, you already own or owned NG and didn't think it was the Second Coming or an alternative way of life, you do not need to waste your money on this. Don't listen to all those game reviewers who are trying to sell you a product which you've already experienced. That would be sort of like paying for Mario 64, again, for the Nintendo DS. There's really no need. (Launching a new system with old software -- how shameful of Nintendo.) Next thing you know they'll be trying to make people purchase upgrades to unfinished games online.

Watch how right I am.
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Gunstar Super Heroes - GBA - Rating 7
Genesis owners surely recall the countless hours they spent under the spell Treasure cast with their seminal debut title, the now legendary Gunstar Heroes. Many also remember another bliss-inducing game from around that same time, Climax's famed action/adventure title, Landstalker. Why bring up Landstalker? To make a point, of course. You see, not too long afterwards, Climax unveiled a similar SNES title which was called Lady Stalker. The latter offering was not up to the giddy standards set by its direct predecessor. Do you see where I'm going with this? Although GSH isn't a complete letdown, it's also nowhere near as incredible as GH was and still is to this day. Treasure had taken a solemn oath that they'd never release sequels to any of their games. With the arrival of GSH, they've broken that oath and I'm not convinced that they should've.

Treasure has come full circle here with what is, in all actuality, a reinvention of the wheel. You will recognize most of the stages, bosses and music as being borrowed from GH, albeit retooled and reworked, naturally. You can select from either Red or Blue, select your difficulty (easy, normal, hard) and then create your data file. Yes, you can now save your progress, including your fastest stage completion times, much akin to Treasure's timeless GBA classic, Astro Boy. Hey, it's a small bonus. The actual game should take you no longer than 45 minutes or so to run through your first time, and if you should die on Easy then I'd suggest you go back and re-learn how to play games with Gunstar Heroes. Notice something about my review? I'm not trying to convince you that you shouldn't purchase this game. That's because it's a good action title when based on its own merits. The stage design is well varied, featuring standard action stages replete with platform jumping, two types of shooting stages (one overhead and the other a side-scrolling stage similar to the original's but with screen rotation now possible), a roulette area similar in style to Black's stage in GH, etc. etc. It's easy to notice the similarities between the original and its predecessor as they're very similar in structure and design. Heck, all of the former main characters and bosses return, only difference being that Colonel Red's role has been somewhat muted: he seems more like a lackey than a true villain in his own right.

As far as visual flair is concerned, well, you get what you expect from a 2D Treasure outfit. In other words, some of the GBA's best graphics, hands down. Scaling, rotating sprites, zooming, some polygonal work, lots of parallax scrolls, tons of color, and much more eye candy await. Characters are larger onscreen than before, due to the GBA's smaller screen, and much of the enemies and bosses are rather large and well animated. One of the funniest bosses involves a stuffed bear, a street and a truck. Don't ask. The controls are very good, though not as refined as GH's. You no longer pick up weapons and combine their powers. Instead, you begin with three preset weapon types (say goodbye to those chaser stars from the original) and can select from any one of 'em on the fly. Added is the ability to power-up each individual weapon in order to use a special attack which causes more damage. Sometimes when I'd duck and press attack in order to collect energy it wouldn't perform the action. 'Tis a small hassle but a hassle nonetheless.

Expect to be satisfied with the soundtrack. Remember how I described this 'sequel' as being a reinvention of the wheel? I wasn't kidding. You will hear pretty much every song from the original redone to take advantage of the GBA's sound palette. GH had one of the more memorable Genesis soundtracks, and so GSH features one of the GBA's better audio performances. Good stuff throughout. The sound effects are well done as well. I'd still have to give the edge to Astro Boy because it was highly original and is better than about 99% of the other stuff you'll find these days.

But all of this doesn't really explain my Rating 7 too well. The reason it gets a 7 (as opposed to the original's Rating 9) is because it feels like Gunstar Heroes Lite, parallel to how Lady Stalker feels like a weaker version of Landstalker, only major difference being that Lady Stalker is by and large a completely original title whereas GSH is a heavily derivative one. I think Treasure would've been better suited porting the original GH over to the GBA, not simply because it's a better game but, also, because it's very much the same game, only it has more to offer.

Do the math~
Gunstar Heroes - Genesis - Rating 9
Gunstar Super Heroes - GBA - Rating 7

As you can tell, there's nothing "super" about the GBA version. Although it's a good game, I'll stick with the original.
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Old 10-31-2005, 04:24 PM   #1438
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I'd rather play Gunstar Super Heroes than Astro Boy. I could not get into that game at all. Every time I tried to play it, I grew extremely tired and bored. Also, I didn't really fancy controlling an odd looking mostly naked child all the time, and Astro Boy's universe is just stupid (ie: the characters suck ass).
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:03 PM   #1439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SavedFromSin
I do not know why people think NG was hard. I thought it was rather easy. It had its moments where it was hard, but once you got passed those points the game just cruised along fairly easily.

You know, after i played Y's VI and went to check a walkthrough to see what ive missed, i noticed that every boss i thought was easy was one of the hardest according to the author and the ones he said were easy were the ones i had a hard time on. It really made me wonder about what dificculty is in a videogame.
Actually im still thinking about it... I have no idea why its this way. Probably its the way each brain works with the reflexes and rational thinking under pressure...
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:53 AM   #1440
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Joe, all I know is that Astro Boy gave me hours of old-school joy. I cannot rationalize the experience. We just have different tastes.

Nem, that's pretty much the way it goes. What some people find difficult others will find to be extremely easy, and vise versa. Somebody might kick ass in Castlevania but suck at, say, Strider, while somebody else thinks Castlevania is very difficult but cannot get past the fifth stage in Strider for some reason. (...)
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