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Old 10-21-2003, 07:37 PM   #316
Icarus4578
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AtariX, since I just played through Tiger it'll be awhile before I review another golf game. I used to trust Dave Halverson but not anymore. I enjoy Tiger, but I'm no golf freak. A 7 is a great score, especially from me; I don't give high ratings easily.

Joe, I reviewed 2003. I like how in 2004 the create a player is so complex it's insane. Unfortunately, I don't own it so....

Anyways it looks like it's gonna be a busy season for reviews. I'm getting Castlevania ~ LoI tommorrow, then there's Ninja Gaiden, Mario Kart, and a bunch of others, plus more classic/import games. It's gonna be fun.
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Old 10-24-2003, 09:50 AM   #317
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icarus did you review any f-zero games? and the new gx.
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Old 10-24-2003, 11:13 AM   #318
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No, I haven't. Someday I intend to.
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Old 10-26-2003, 07:26 PM   #319
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I just died in your arms tonight...

Castlevania ~ Lament of Innocence - PS2 - Rating 4
For about 7 months I've been sitting here wondering when somebody would release a game on one of the new platforms that would give me cause to be more optimisic about new software. During all those months since Zelda ~ Wind Waker, what has there been? Nothing much worth notice. Devil May Cry 2 wasn't much more than a shell of the original. I needed to revitalize my optimism by playing something new that provided a fresh and genuinely quality gaming experience. Alas, it seems we're out of luck when even Konami fails to get the job done, and with perhaps their greatest series to boot.
Enter Castlevania ~ Lament of Innocence. Konami takes the series way back to its roots in the 11th century with the first in the line of vampire killers Leon Belmont. Leon's betrothed Sara Trantoul has been kidnapped and taken to a castle in a dark forest called Eternal Night. On his way to the castle, Leon meets a man called Rinaldo who fortunately is of much assistance throughout the game. Throughout the game you learn much about character backgrounds and the events which are to transpire fill in a lot of questions about the series itself. Although it's nothing too impressive the story does manage to hold your attention.
But what really matters in every Castlevania is the gameplay. Leon can jump, double-jump, use chained whip combos using the square button for weak swipes and the triangle for strong, use items, equip and activate relics which eat away your magic meter, use subweapons, equip orbs which change the effects of each subweapon, guard, latch onto things like poles and railings to swing up onto higher platforms (though he cannot actually swing...), use evasive rolls, and as the game progresses learn an assortment of attacks/combos and moves. The fighting engine in this game is done pretty well and as a consequence of fighting Leon keeps developing his skills with newer moves and combos. It kinda feels like Konami didn't incorporate enough into the heart of the battle system. What I mean to say is that every enemy encounter feels very much the same: you see an enemy and proceed to run up and attack it with a combo. In previous Castlevanias you'd have to be more careful and take into consideration enemy placement around the areas, plus there was the added pressure of always keeping a steady footing on solid ground and navigating around while doing battle (instead of simply rushing up to attack foes). One thing I really like about this game is that there is a wide variety of enemies (over 70) which is in stark contrast to most every other 3D action game where a dozen or so is most likely the case, but the core elements of enemy structure and placement seem to be a bit lacking here.
The bosses can be challenging but in this respect I was rather disappointed because some of the damage I received was due to a lousy camera that wouldn't keep some of the bosses in view, leaving me to keep running, hoping that I would be able to anticipate what attack was coming next by relying on sound alone. To be fair, this doesn't happen that often but when it does it can be rather annoying. Furthermore, in previous Castlevanias you'd have to work your way through the rooms and corridors by battling the enemies, but in LoI you can simply rush right past many of them and just head directly into the next location. The excellent platforming design which is a staple to the series and provides an indispensable tension is virtually nonpresent here. What gives Konami??
The Castle Entrance is where you access the five main areas of the castle: Anti-soul Mysteries Lab, Garden Forgotten by Time, House of Sacred Remains, Dark Palace of Waterfalls, and Ghostly Theatre. Also, there's the final area, Pagoda of the Misty Moon, and then there's a basement which is sealed.... Within almost all of the areas is an impressive assortment of areas that have a different feel than the others and this is easily recognizable as a fact because when you enter upon certain areas of one section the song will change to reflect that. As a matter of fact, in areas like House of Sacred Remains almost every room has its own design and decor. From the frescos on the vaults of ceilings to the massive assortment of paintings, statues, and candles, to the marble floors and the finest details such as the mold and shrubbery on the old steel reinforcements of what appears to be prison cells, everything is so richly detailed it is staggering. And then there's the elements such as the fog which can be seen flowing by within the remains of light from a pane glass window, or the almost Christmas-esque lighting of candles with flames seemingly of every color, or the running waterfalls, fire, flashes of lighting in one hidden section, etc. etc. This game is a graphical feast in many respects. The huge problem is with the lack of platforming elements, as I've said before. How can Konami even consider replacing one of the best aspects of Castlevania with mundane hallways and open rooms wherein platforming is practically unessential?
There're many hidden secrets to be discovered and they're hidden unusually well. For example, In a room off to the way left in the House of the Sacred Remains there is a bookshelf which can be pushed (you can tell because there's a light shining on some circular scrape marks). There's a painting on the 3rd floor of the Anti-soul Mysteries Lab in a hallway which you can jump into. In the Dark Palace of Waterfalls there's a dead end with a stone wall at the end in the shape of a door. You have to lure the Heavy Armor into throwing its ball & chain at the door by standing in front of it and quickly getting out of the way before it hits. In the Garden Forgotten by Time there are two rooms where there's ledges you cannot reach by ordinary means. You have to flagellate the Man-eating Plant in each room until it opens up, then jump on top of the plant and from there reach the ledge. In the Ghostly Theatre there's two rooms where spikes keep slamming down into the ground. In both rooms are ledges you can reach. The first one is easy; find the opening beneath the ledge, double-jump and use your whip to swing up onto it. The harder one is when there's a balcony and you have to time your jumps perfect and whip the left-side of it to swing up onto it. There's also tons of hidden switches, statues which need to be whipped into walls, find a stone slab with the letter "e" on it in order to activate the Golem boss fight, whip statues of heads so that certain doors will open, and so on. Whoever says this game has no worthwhile puzzles and secrets must be playing another game. In just over 10 hours I've found 97.7% and beat it to get two hidden codes. The first is typed @Joachim (yes, with the @) to play as him and the second is @crazy which will give you the game on crazy difficulty. There's more, but I've yet to access them. If you complete an area you'll know it because it will say "Completed" underneath the percentage on the area's map.
LoI is not trouble-free. The camera can be confusing at times and there's no way to control it. This can be a tad aggravating, but for the most part it's not an issue. Also, having to sort through items and equipment mid-combat was not a good decision by Konami. Some of the old bosses that have become so infused into the psyche of every Castlevania fan are noticably MIA. They tried to compensate for this with some nifty elemental bosses which, if defeated, yields a different type of whip. But I still miss some of those old bosses.
Aurally, you're in for a treat. Though not equalling Symphony of the Night, Michiru Yamane does pull off a very accomplished soundtrack filled with all sorts of tricks and treats, with influences ranging from classical to rock to even techno. I tried out Joachim and fought a boss, the Succubus, and an old tune is resurrected from the dead with a great rock arrangement. I won't ruin any of it. I don't know what else is in here, but to say I'm impressed would be an understatement. If you beat the game and return to Rinaldo's house you can buy the music box. After that, save and go to the title screen for the sound test. Oh yeah, all of the sounds, screams, and moans are perfect as well. You can select between English and Japanese from the options menu, thankfully.
As an adventure game I'd give LoI a 3 but as an action/platform game, which Castlevania is to the core, it's a 5. So I guess it deserves a Rating 4 total.... Pretty disappointing for one of gaming's greatest series, I know: LoI is an underwhelming CV experience. It's certainly not SotN or IV quality, though I expected this from the fact that it's in 3D. CV series is best kept in 2D.

-----Codes & Secrets-----
All Skills Mode
Beat the game and save it when it prompts you. Enter the name @LLSKILL when you start a new game.

Crazy Mode
Beat the game and save it when it prompts you. Start a new game and enter the name @CRAZY to play the game on a harder setting.

Pumpkin Mode
Beat the game with Joachim and save it. Start up a new game with the name @PUMPKIN.

Play as Joachim
Beat the game and save it when it prompts you. Start a new game and enter the name @JOACHIM to play as him.

Music Box
Beat the game and save it. When you use that file and go back to Rinaldo's shop he'll offer it for sale. Once you purchase it and save your game, the sound test will become available at the title screen.

Mobius Brooch
Beat the game on Crazy mode and save it. When you use that file and go back to Rinaldo's shop he'll offer it for sale.


Update - I've gotten 100% in the game. :cool guy:

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Old 10-27-2003, 07:50 PM   #320
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Dave Halverson rates everything extremely high.

he is also one of the greatest gaming journalists of our time.
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Old 10-28-2003, 10:04 AM   #321
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I think that nowadays he is just as much bought on hype and product name as all of the others out there. Back when he started GameFan he was trying to make an impression by pointing towards the Japanese market, hyping smaller developers that deserved more credit at the time (Treasure for example), and was an all-around Sega fanatic which led to some of the most bias reviews I've ever seen. However, after a couple of years he began to level the playing field because Nintendo granted them permission to make an illustration of a Nintendo product for their cover of Volume 2 - Issue 10, Super Punch-Out!! vs Minotaur (Minotaur being the GameFan mascot created by their in-house artist Terry Wolfinger), and began to work with them, allowing them inside information and such. The magazine itself was of super-high quality with blazing color and great layouts on seemingly every other page. Shortly after games like Zelda ~ OoT came out the book began going downhill. Dave eventually left GameFan and the entire magazine went downhill until it finally passed away.

Dave doesn't give me the impression that he cares as much about the industry as he used to. He 'sold out' to the hype of games that do not deserve it (Halo, for example) and gives these games big coverage just because he wants to attract the casual consumer. This is counterproductive to what he and the old GameFan crew in general used to stand for. He was always complaining about all the marketing promotions and advertisements that scoured the pages of other game magazines such as EGM, saying that they didn't care about that sort of thing and you wouldn't see that happen in their magazine because they cared about the integrity of the hardcore gamers and wouldn't 'sell out'. Well, it happened. Dave sold out and just makes excuses for his change of the guard, so to speak. It was easy for him to claim that his magazine (GameFan) and himself at the time weren't bought out by hype and consumerism because they weren't a huge magazine until a few years went by. Look at his magazine now - consumerism. There's no excuse for that other than to say that, yes, he became just like all the other game magazines.

Do you want to see a hardcore gamer? You're looking at one. I'll never sell out. I'll never buy the hype. I'll never change my standards by simply making excuse after excuse to justify the bad decisions many game companies are making. I want to play games that give me an experience that is fun and long-lasting -- nothing else will suffice. Even if I was offered a whole lot of money I'd never change my views because they're mine and I guard them jealously.

I'll see you all tomorrow with yet another review. To quote Dave Halverson of the old, good GameFan, "If you want the real scoop on the next generation, without all the annoying filler, you know where to look." Volume 2 - Issue 12. If only you could say that now Dave...

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Old 10-28-2003, 06:07 PM   #322
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Do you want to see a hardcore gamer? You're looking at one. I'll never sell out. I'll never buy the hype. I'll never change my standards. I want to play games that give me an experience that is fun and long-lasting. Nothing else will suffice. Even if I was offered a whole lot of money I'd never change my views because they're mine and I guard them jealously.
same here, brother:cool guy:
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:12 PM   #323
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"The evil of this world exists only in the hearts of men..." - Edward D. Morrison (From the game's opening)

Tales of Phantasia - Super Famicom - Rating 7
I'm one of a select (elite) few that doesn't give a damn how many polygons are floating around on my television screen. I'd much rather be looking at art as it is among the only pleasures from which I never tire. "We have art to save ourselves from the truth." - Friedrich Nietzsche. And I don't care if that art is being produced by the most minuscule hardware or the best that can be made. As long as it's art, that's enough. Shortly before Namco became obsessed with 3D polygons they made one of the most visually astonishing games on the Super Famicom in 1996, Tales of Phantasia.
During the game's opening, you watch a demon called the God of War get sealed inside a pendant. Afterwards, the focus shifts to a later time in which you discover that the pendant has been passed down to a young boy named Cless, the lead character throughout the game. In the beginning you take control of both Cless and Chester, his best friend, and you can wander around town, doing the usual routine RPG stuff like searching around for things and talking to people (in Japanese of course). Eventually they head out hunting together but when they return the village is ransacked. Cless finds his father dead, and in his mother's dying words tells him that the ones who attacked the village were after his pendant. The standard RPG tale of revenge and an evil resurrection ensues.
The battles are done from a side view as opposed to the standard first-person/overhead battles as seen in countless other RPGs. Cless is the only character you can control. He's a swordfighter and you can perform combos, use special attacks, etc. The other characters cannot be controlled and you must set their AI from the menu screen. Sometimes your party acts stupid and stands there getting hit, or does other meaningless things like cast a powerful spell on a weak enemy. But eventually you come to grips with how everything works. If you've played any of the Tales of Destiny titles then you know what to expect here. Enemy designs are well accomplished and their animation is commendable, as are all of the characters on your team. The backdrops during battles are often quite detailed and sometimes contain an impressive amount of parallax. And the special effects are among the best I've ever seen on a 16-bit system.
I do have some complaints, aside from the ridiculous amount of fighting. Eventually you come across an enemy called Hellbeast and these things can really punish/kill off your party, so you have to run away whenever you see them. In order to run away, you have to make it towards either edge of the battle field and hold L and R until a timer finishes. During this time you and your team can take punishment though and it just doesn't seem like something I would've incorporated into an RPG of this style. Some of the bosses are amazingly resilient, but that's actually a good thing in my opinion, especially since most recent RPGs have simple bosses that require no real strategy other than 'attack', 'use powerful magic' and 'heal whenever necessary'. Some of these require strategy and are unpredictable.
Dungeons and other such places are designed exceptionally well and include some puzzles such as stepping on switches in a particular order. It would've worked a bit better if I didn't get into a fight every few seconds which disturbs the pacing. How are you supposed to focus on these things with all the fighting? At any rate, I enjoyed the overworld map which is mode 7 just like in Final Fantasy III(VI), and later on you get to ride a mechanical bird which is just like riding the airship in FFIII. You can clearly tell that FFIII has had an influence here, not that there's anything wrong with that. At least this RPG has different gameplay than most others.
Let's talk about the soundtrack. This game is massive for a 16-bit cartridge at 48-MEGS (that's one or two more MEGS than the Neo Geo game Magician Lord!) and out of that Namco uses 16-MEGS just for sound and voice. Impressed? Not really, but they did hire some famous Japanese voice actors such as Kaneto Shiozawa who passed away on May 10th, 2000 (also did work in the Japanese version of Shining Force III. Go here to view his work ~ http://www.tcp.com/~doi/seiyuu/shiozawa-kaneto/), Inoue Kazuhiko (go here to see all of his work ~ http://www.win.ne.jp/~toshi/seiyuu/i...iko/roles.html), and several others. Too bad you don't really hear too much voice acting. The music is done wonderfully and there's a good variety of tracks throughout. There's even a sound test accessible from the title screen! (How often does that happen in RPGs?)
No doubt about it - Tales of Phantasia is a deep, enjoyable RPG that didn't get the attention it deserved, at least by Namco's US division. If there was half the battles I'd give it an 8. It was later remade on the PlayStation in Japan and that too was never localized, and then was remade for the GBA and so at least we have something to be fortunate about, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many other great RPGs have never made it outside of Japan and that is a crime.

For a complete walkthrough for Tales of Phantasia go here (part #1)~ http://www.rpgclassics.com/shrines/s...walkfull.shtml
For screenshots and more of this wonderful game go here ~ http://www.rpgamer.com/games/tales/top/top.html

"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."
- George Bernard Shaw
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
- Arthur Schopenhauer

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Old 10-30-2003, 02:08 AM   #324
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Tales of Phantasia came out in 1994 on the Super Famicom. You might be confusing it with its unofficial cousin Star Ocean which came out in 1996.

Otherwise good review. The battles are very annoying, but wouldnt be so bad if you could carry more items on you. At least later in the game the battles can take on a more beat-em-up approach, if you buy the SNES controller item.

I enjoy reading all your reviews Icarus, even if I disagree with some of them. Keep 'em coming:cool guy:
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Old 10-30-2003, 09:06 AM   #325
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Thanks for the correct release date info. My mistake. And thanks for the compliment as well.

BTW, I'll add codes and such to my Castlevania ~ LoI review. I occasionally go back through my reviews and add sites and, sometimes, add/change reviews to reflect the current situations in gaming.
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Old 11-03-2003, 01:25 AM   #326
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icarus_insert random number here_

i expect a zelda ii review soon. ;)
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Old 11-03-2003, 05:46 AM   #327
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Soul-play

Soul Blade - PlayStation - Rating 4
If there's one thing that's for certain it's that Namco certainly knew how to put a better package together for the arcade-to-home conversions of their popular 3D fighters than Sega. You get modes galore, hidden characters, brand new CG cinemas, and a remixed soundtrack (or in Soul Blade's case a remixed soundtrack and a "Khan Super Session" soundtrack). Do all the programmers and designers at Namco carry He-Man swords around all day long shouting "I HAVE THE POWER!" because their arcade conversions all seem to undergo super-transformations of their arcade cousins... I don't know. One thing's for certain -- they've clearly made superior fighters than Soul Blade.
Maybe if you asked me at the time when SB was originally released whether or not I enjoyed it you'd get a different answer than currently - "Hey Dude! What'cha think about Soul Blade?" "Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house?" But the issues with SB all have to do with the simple fact that it feels so utterly inferior to its two sequels: Soul Calibur 1 & 2. SB was originally called Soul Edge in Japan before Namco decided to change the title for some unknown reason, and they're not the only ones who are guilty of doing this sort of thing - note Capcom with Street Fighter Alpha(US)/Zero(Japan), for example. The general hype that gave SB its ethreal aura back then was always "It's the best looking 3D fighter ever!" and that's a problem for most 3D fighters; they tend to sell on visuals 95% of the time, visuals which will be far improved in the future. Not that Namco didn't have all the proper ingredients for a good fighter, but how can I play a game as jerky as this (30 FPS but it feels like less...) and expect to have a good time?
Let me talk about the game itself. The game opens with a CG intro which still looks pretty good. There are several different modes for play: Arcade, VS Battle, Team Battle, Survival, Time Attack, Edge-Master, Practice, and of course an option mode. Many of these modes are found in the several dozen similar fighting games, so let's be honest here - who really gives a damn about Team Battle, Survival, and Time Attack modes? Answer: not I. Everybody spends most of their time in Arcade, VS, and Edge-Master mode, so I'm not even going to bother talking about those others (besides, it's not like you don't know what those modes do). There are 10 initially selectable characters and each of them has a unique feel - Mitsurugi, Rock, Voldo, Taki, Seung-Mina, Sophitia, Hwang, Li Long, Siegfried, and Cervantes. And since this is a Namco product you can expect to find plenty of hidden characters and other stuff as well. How's the gameplay? Not bad, but not really great either. It plays similar to a weapons-based Tekken with a few adjustments. You've got vertical and horizontal slash buttons, a kick button and a guard button. You can also use throws, side steps, ground attacks, etc. Each character boasts a different weapon such as Mitsurugi's sword or Li Long's nunchaku and each has its set of priorities and disadvantages for you to learn and master. In order to pull off combos you press the buttons in different orders + often joypad movements or button combinations. You can win by either depleting all of your enemy combatant's life or by knocking him/her out of the 'ring'. The problem with all of this is the jerky movements of everything, sometimes even with some slowdown! I'm spoiled by its sequels and other better 3D fighters, so how in good consciousness can I say that this game plays great? It doesn't. The actual system is relatively deep but doesn't work as well as the Tekken series does due to its relative simplicity (and lack of 3D backgrounds on PS).
If there's one thing Soul Blade is it's ambitious. For a system with such ancient 3D architecture as the PS Namco certainly did live up to their boasting. Every stage is in 3D, and not just the ground the characters battle on - everything is 3D. From the raft(?) ride battle down a river in Li Long's stage to the omnipresent Greek architecture of Sophitia's stage, you'd be hard pressed to find a better-looking 3D fighter on a 32-bit system. And that's not all. There's light-sourcing, gradual time changing, and the little details like fireflies wisping around. Its 3D cousins on the PS - Star Gladiator and Battle Arena Toshinden - don't look quite as good from a technical viewpoint. But Star Gladiator is undeniably the more interesting of the two artistically speaking.
What makes Soul Blade worth the price of admission has got to be the incredible soundtrack. Or I should say THREE seperate soundtracks! That's right: there's Original, Arranged, and Khan Super Session as I mentioned before. All of these are great, although the Arranged could've used a little more work. Just who or what is Khan anyways? Good question! :cool guy: They're a music group from Japan as you'd know if you bought the particular arrangement of SB's soundtrack. Check them out here ~ http://gmi.rocketbaby.net/bvch732.html The Original is a very fitting epic score done with finely crafted thematics, featuring adventurous strings, excellent percussional arrangements, and some big brass sections as well. It sounds like the soundtrack for an epic film a-la Conan with a little mischief thrown in for good measure. There's a reason nearly everybody gives this game's soundtrack a perfect rating; it's so damn good it hurts! Far and away the best soundtrack that Namco has ever done for a fighting game alongside Tekken 2....
Though there are some good points to it (full CG endings!) and you can have a seriously challenging yet fun time acquiring additional weapons in Edge-Master mode, there's no denying the fact that Namco's Soul Calibur titles have eclipsed this once-mighty game. 3D fighters are at the distinct disadvantage of aging too easily which is in stark contrast to the 2D fighters which age much slower. That's not Namco's fault; time has been the harbinger of misfortune for 3D due to its nature to improve remarkably over the course of a short period of time. I can say with utmost sincerity that Soul Blade is a far superior fighting game than any Toshinden. For some reason I happen to prefer Star Gladiator over either of those. It's more original and I'm a Capcom whore as it is. SB just happens to be a 3D title too ambitious for its time (much like Culture Brain's 12-MEG 'epic' Ultimate Fighter for SuperNES.... :annoyed: ).

Cheats for Soul Blade ~ http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/code/20333.html

The soul still burns...

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Old 11-03-2003, 10:08 PM   #328
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Cool, but kind of tough to read with the paragraphs clumped together. If ya pressed "Return" or "Enter" (depending on what styl of keyboard you are using) just one more time between each paragraph, I think the problem would be solved.
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Old 11-05-2003, 03:46 AM   #329
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Your lucky punch won't even phase me.

Digital Champ - PC Engine - Rating 3
What fond memories I have of the first time I played NEC's TurboGrafx 16 that wonderful Christmas day. Keith Courage man... that felt like magic. And there was also the Sega Genesis and its wonderful conversion of the arcade Altered Beast. Whoooooooooo!!! Man, I was flying high! After all those years of excellent 8-bit gaming with the NES/SMS we were (finally!) living with hardware capable of more than just a shell of an arcade conversion (TMNT Arcade on NES; no pun intended). Yes, it was time to play with the 'big boys'. Gaming was fast becoming more than just kid's entertainment - it has been elevated to an art form where dreams can come alive and take your breath away. Indeed, games are the embodiment of not just one but several art mediums - artwork and music not the least of these. The right game can become more than just flashing lights on a TV screen, more akin to a Renoir masterpiece, a Fugue by Bach, the movie Citizen Kane, etc. The amazing thing about games is their potential; any and all of those works of art I mentioned can, in fact, become a very real part of an actual game, if such is the desired effect. In a word: potential. And to think of all the condemnation video games must suffer as a whole. It's not uncommon to hear a quote like "Games are rotting our children's minds." because people are always looking for someone or something else to blame for their actions except (of course) for themselves. It's a shame when artwork like Strider, Ys, and Zelda must suffer the consequence of being part of an art form we are told is nothing more than a waste of our time.
Onto the game. I first saw this Punch-Out! inspired game back on my TurboGrafx 16 promotional VHS cassette which showcased many titles from both the TG16 and the Japanese PC Engine version, games which for the most part never made it outside of the land of the rising sun. One snippet which stood out in my mind was a game which resembled Punch-Out! except that it was done from a first-person perspective (remember, this is before Super PO!) and it looked like you were fighting none other than "ADRIAAAAAAN!!" Rocky Balboa A.K.A. Sylvester Stallone. So you can bet that when I had the opportunity to play the actual game recently I was elated.
The game, released in 1989, is called Digital Champ and it's made by Naxat Soft which was among the more prolific developers for the PC Engine alongside Hudson Soft, Sunsoft, and many others. You begin a game by pitting yourself against Marciano, the Rocky knock-off I mentioned before. The first thing I noticed (and liked) was the size of my opponent on the screen. He took up about 1/3rd of the television screen. NEC wasn't joking when they compared China Warrior to Kung Fu (NES) in the promotional tape; the TG16 can push bigger, more colorful, and just more sprites on-screen at once, even if some of those sprites are just the accumulation of much smaller ones.... ;) At any rate, the only thing physically visible from your perspective is your gloves and the CPU opponent. You're given three different meters: the stamina meter is your health, the energy meter can be interpreted as how much health you have left in reserve, and the punch meter which I'll get to in a moment. The D-Pad allows you to guard and side-step while Button II and I are your left and right jabs, respectively. (I could never figure out why game companies opt to put roman numerals/letters in the reverse order. go figure.) By holding down either button you charge your punch power and then release for a much stronger punch; that's what the punch meter is used for. Regular punches don't really do much anything so you'll have to rely on charged punches in order to win. Each round lasts for 3 minutes of sped-up time (much like PO! on NES) and if you can manage to knock your opponent out three times before the round ends you'll win. Either that, or you'll need to have drained the energy meter out of your opponent so that he can no longer recover and get up. Whenever you knock somebody down both you (if you've lost some stamina) and your opponent recover via the energy meter. In order for you to regain it you must dodge and block your opponent's onslaught for however long it takes.
The game features many boxers you'll have to fight and have rematches with such as Marciano, Mick, and Samson. Here's the first problem with the game -- they all fight too similarly. They're certainly textbook fighters because they'll cycle through about 7-10 punches and then repeat that same pattern again and again with very few change-ups. You can tell what your opponent is going to do next from the way they bob and weave about. At first you'll be able to take one helluva beating before going down, but as you continue to defend your National Boxing Championship belt you'll begin to feel the heat as boxers become much more formidable. Repetition is what drags this title down. Even the end quotes by your opponents after being victorious are always the same - "You were lucky today, but I'll be back again. The next time, you might not fare so well." Yeah, yeah.... One thing I do like is how damage accumulates into bruises and lacerations on your opponent's face, but that simply cannot rescue this game from mediocrity.
The music is nothing worth mention, so there goes that. The sound effects are decent enough though, not that there's that many to begin with.
I really wanted to like this game, and, actually, a part of me does. But the personality of the boxers in a boxing game like PO! mutes any potential for excitement. You'd be better off playing the Genesis game James Buster Douglas Boxing (from back when he beat Mike Tyson), or even the Genesis/SNES Chavez Boxing titles. Or... you can always do like me and stick with the best boxing series of all time - Punch Out!! It'll do you good.

Wanna see a great TG16/PC Engine site? ~ http://pcenginebible.roarvgm.com/index.htm
How about some codes for DB? ~ http://www.cheatsearch.com/PC_Engine...ats_03293.HTML
Here you'll find the cover art for the game (sorry, I can't find in-game screenshots anywhere ) ~ http://www.cs.uml.edu/~msrdanov/tg-16.html
Here's more screenshots ~ http://www.geocities.com/opcfg3/digchpreview.html

Let's keep it clean gentlemen.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 05-09-2004 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 11-06-2003, 05:34 PM   #330
The Steved!
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Originally posted by Joe Redifer
Dave Halverson rates everything extremely high.

Is this a review of Tiger Woods 2003 or 2004? 2004 just came out a few weeks back. I don't think Billy is in 2004, but what the hell do I know?
The only thing wrong with Dave is that he forgets that people actuslly pays to play this games. Unlike him which has them praticly for free!
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