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Old 12-28-2004, 11:55 AM   #1036
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Don't leave, don't give up the fight! You can still keep on gaming, just slow down. You have been a machine since you started this review thread and I mean that in a good way. Just slow down to about one review a month or every other month even.

Stay :cool guy:


Go :thumbdn:
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Old 12-28-2004, 07:05 PM   #1037
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Now now, Icarus may have gotten himself a girlfriend. When some people get girlfriends, they shut out the rest of the world. Vicviper and I have a friend who is like that.
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Old 12-28-2004, 08:19 PM   #1038
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i think icarus is married... anyway, you can't leave, man. there are far too many morons filling up this board!!!

don't leave
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:44 AM   #1039
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Messanic ~ "What!? Your leaving!? But you can't, the boards just wont be the same without you."

I'll be able to keep checking up on posts here but I won't have the amount of spare time necessary to keep my thread going. Besides, since I'm selling most every game for those systems I mentioned, it's pretty much pointless to go on any further. I've more than done my work (around 300 reviews!) and I'm satisfied with my contribution. It was never a contest of "Who's the best reviewer?" but rather a matter of self-excellence, just trying to do the best job that I could and, oftentimes, finding satisfaction in my work. Now that Joe and others are committed to making reviews, there will be more than enough material to please everybody. It will still be fun to talk about stuff with you guys, but I have to be realistic: I just don't have the time to be gaming as much as I used to.

Sinful Sam ~ "Unexpected news, Icarus. I'll miss your reviews. I probably agree with about 80 percent of your reviews. Well from the games I have played from your list. "

Glad to hear that. As long as you enjoyed my work then that's all that matters. I probably agree with myself on about 98% of my reviews. I need to re-review TMNT because I don't think I did it justice. Oh, and yes -- Tetris Attack does indeed rock.

AtariX ~ "Don't leave, don't give up the fight! You can still keep on gaming, just slow down. You have been a machine since you started this review thread and I mean that in a good way. Just slow down to about one review a month or every other month even.

Stay :cool guy:

Go :thumbdn:"

Thanks for your kind words. I won't abandon the MagicBox but my reviews section is going to end soon. Katamari Damacy will come tommorrow so please look forward to it. Oh, and I hope you liked those mix CDs. ;)

Joe Redifer ~ "Now now, Icarus may have gotten himself a girlfriend. When some people get girlfriends, they shut out the rest of the world. Vicviper and I have a friend who is like that."

No, not at all Joe. I don't have the time necessary to commit myself to a relationship right now. It's just that I'm working to secure my future and gaming is a distraction, albeit a fun distraction... I still must obtain the sure-to-be excellence that is Zelda ~ The Minish Cap, though. I'll never sell my Zelda games, nor my Sega Saturn collection. :cool guy:

gearhound ~ "i think icarus is married... anyway, you can't leave, man. there are far too many morons filling up this board!!!

don't leave "

I won't but I just won't be around nearly as much as I used to. I'll still be checking out the reviews and such; I'm not gonna flat-out disappear. Besides, I still wanna make more mix CDs in the future. Those are actually fun to come up with. I got Katamari from my bro on Christmas... and ordered the soundtrack the next day! That game is super-fine!
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Old 12-29-2004, 01:17 AM   #1040
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I've got it! Icarus must be trying to secure funding and time for a community college! That must be it.

Interestingly, while I love the Katamari soundtrack, I get very bored listening to it when I am not playing the game, just as the game would be boring without the kooky soundtrack. They belong together.
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:15 PM   #1041
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus4578
Oh, and yes -- Tetris Attack does indeed rock.
It sounds like you found a copy.:cool guy:

Yes it's great puzzle game indeed.
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:27 PM   #1042
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a good update to tetris attack is pokemon puzzle league. I hate pokemon, but love the whole premise of the game.
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:22 AM   #1043
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Oh! I feel it. I feel the cosmos!

Katamari Damacy - PS2 - Rating 8
Just when I thought I'd seen it all, along comes one of the strangest games ever conceived in the universe--Katamari Damacy. It also just happens to be one of the most fun games I've played in a long time. This much force is brought to you by none other than Namco, former masters of arcade-to-home conversions of top hits such as Tekken, Ridge Racer and Time Crisis. Funny, I heard it through the grapevine that Namco actually bought this game from another Japanese developer. I dunno. I don't really care either way, just as long as the sequel is just as good.
The King of All Cosmos is responsible for shattering the stars in a freak accident. He then places responsibility in the Prince's charge (that's you). Very naughty. Completely uncalled for. What's the poor Prince to do? Ah! Why that's it! The Earth is overflowing with a wide variety of objects of all shapes and sizes! The Prince must roll up stuff into his Katamari and then send it into the night sky to restore the stars. Cool stuff. Very lovely indeed. So we'll leave it to you, dear Prince.

The opening itself is worth the price of admission (well, almost). Totally fabulous stuff. Ducks singing. The King strumming his guitar. Cows dancing. MOO! Score, you got a cow. Mmm.... Then you are given a brief tutorial before being given a test run. Just take your time rolling up random objects until you've reached 10cm00mm. If you happen to look up during the initial tutorial you'll spot His Royal Cosmos looking down upon you. Wicked.
The controls are excellent for the most part. Using just the two analog sticks, you can roll the Katamari in all directions, brake, perform a charge/burst (which can make the Prince briefly tired), turn, sharp turn, and quick turn. At first this may seem complicated but everything becomes second-nature after enough practice. L1 is used to look and R1 to jump, neither of which I use for practical purposes. Unfortunately, you have no control over camera angles. Bogus. Anyway, the object is to collect enough stuff to make a comporable star out of. The more stuff you manage to get per stage (called "Make a Star"), the bigger your star will be, and there's even the possibility of creating a shooting star. Furthermore, there are stages for making the constellations. Your mission isn't simply to create a huge Katamari, no sir. The missions vary greatly, from collecting the biggest cow you can find (Taurus), to collecting as many maidens as possible (Virgo)... even collecting as many pairs of twin objects/people as you can find (Gemini). All of this for the sake of fun. And boy, is it ever fun; a strange addiction.

Stuff you can collect consists of very small objects such as tacks, dice and crackers, to big stuff like adults, trees and cars, to GARGANTUAN stuff like clouds, buildings and mountains! Yup. It's an insanely good time. You start out rolling around in a house. Then, you take to the streets and it just keep going from there. The graphics are simple but effective, definitely among the better stuff on the PS2. Polygon pop-up doesn't really occur until Create the Moon (the final stage) and only when you're rolling over the ocean towards a distant city. Speaking of Create the Moon, my record best to date is 878m34cm4mm.
I do have a couple of gripes, though. Sometimes, the camera isn't as effective as I want it to be. For instance, if I go underneath something and turn, there's the possibility of the camera being 'covered up' by something, obstructing my view. Also, there are times where I get stuck and the Katamari begins to flicker back and forth rapidly. Why, I don't know. With the massive amount of things for the PS2 to keep track of I can understand how some issues would probably not be resolved in the production, so I hope that come the sequel they'll fix these flaws.

The pulse of this game is the soundtrack which will inevitably blow you away. It's stylish. It's fun. It's zany. It's everything you're not ready for. Right from the outset your ears will be assaulted with creepy-catchy singing: naaaa-na-na-na-na!! Most songs feature full lyrics and every one of 'em fits in perfectly. I cannot begin to stress to you how much cooler-than-cool it is to be happily rolling along, collecting swan eggs while some guy croons~

I'm so in love with you
I wanna whirl you up in-to my life
Let's roll up to be
A single star in the sky!


Not since Daytona USA have I been so enamored by a game soundtrack. It's that good. Much of it is in Japanese but that only adds to the charm factor. Twisted beyond funky rituals, J-pop flavored stuff that is so sugar-coated that it will warm your heart, infectious jazz (almost be-bop/swing) laden with delicious piano and flute solos, etc. etc. Performing artists include Kenji Miinuma, Saki Kabata, Nobue Matsubara, Charlie Kosei, Sci-Fi Live Action, Yui Asaka, Sakamotochan, and Shigeru Matsuzaki. You can order the soundtrack here from cdjapan or from gamemusic. Oh, and the sound effects are quite excellent. If you roll up certain objects you'll hear the appropriate sound effect, and people yield a multitude of audible responses to being rolled up, my favorite being the Pink Girl because of her innocently alluring scream.

Whoever owns a PS2 is required to own this game. That's just all there is to it. If Namco can top this--somehow--then we'll all be very fortunate indeed. I haven't even gone into the hidden cousins, the cinemas, the royal presents.... We have another winner series with Katamari Damacy. I'd say it's right up there alongside Devil May Cry as one of the best new titles of this generation. :cool guy:

Royal Rainbow !

There wasn't any alien base on the dark side of the moon.

Collection stats to date~
Objects:1256
Collected:087%

Last edited by Icarus4578; 12-30-2004 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 01-01-2005, 01:54 AM   #1044
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Heroes in a half-shell.... Turtle Power!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Arcade - Rating 8
TMNT II ~ The Arcade Game - NES - Rating 7
As I recall, even when I didn't have any spare change on me, I'd sit there watching the TMNT arcade machine play the opening, then play a sequence of the game on its own, then watch the opening again.... Or, I'd settle for watching other people play it. That's the kind of game this was -- the kind which was enjoyable both playing and watching all the same. Strange how things used to be, how everybody used to team up and play this game. Whether it was that young kid wearing his TMNT shirt or those older gentlemen in three-piece suits, everybody was pumping quarters/tokens into that thing, kicking shell and taking names. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that adults began gaming at the same time as kids, so any argument over whether this is a "kid's game" goes straight out the window.
This is my second time reviewing both games, the first time being over a year ago. And I don't know what the hell was wrong with me, giving the NES conversion a Rating 4. What audacity! But what is most disgraceful is that I have no explanation as to exactly why I went ahead and did such a thing, and, thus, this is a great opportunity for melioration. TMNT not only features first-rate beat-'em-up action but also sports cool, crisp graphics (even today), with stellar stage design and memorable boss encounters to boot. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to find any real faults with both the arcade and NES conversion. Speaking of the latter version, there was obviously going to be some sacrifices in the conversion, the most obvious ones being loss of graphic quality (less animation, smaller explosions, less sprites onscreen, etc.) and sound reduction (no singing in the opening theme and the voice acting is gone). Some of the other details missing in the NES version are throwing enemies into walls, some missing cinemas, four-player action (obviously), and the Bebop/Rocksteady boss fight where you have to take both of them down at once. But since Konami is so fond of us gamers--and because of how much money they recouped from those lovely TMNT arcade machines--they decided to add some exclusive lovin' for the NES version in the form of extra stages (called Scenes) and added bosses.
Unfortunately, despite the added goodies, the NES version is somewhat hampered by a few key issues. For one thing, there are waaay too many enemies to dispose of in contrast with the arcade. On average, you'll take out around 300+ enemies in the arcade, but in the NES build there are around 1,000 enemies total to dispose of. What this means is repetition. Also, there are only four credits in the NES version and you have to restart from the beginning of the stage. Aside from these flaws, you pretty much get what you pay for: an 8-bit version of the arcade original, which is good enough for me. This may be nitpicking but one thing which irritated me about the NES version was that for some unbeknownst reason Konami made the Mousers take two hits instead of one. Why...?

At any rate, I would still be proud to stick a handful of quarters into the arcade today simply because it's so damn fun. The graphics and animation, while not as good as the arcade sequel Turtles in Time (which made its way home on the SNES), are still more than acceptable. Backgrounds look great and the presentation is simply superb. All bosses speak their lines and, sometimes, make commentary mid-battle, as do the Turtles (*note* the NES version just uses text in message bubbles). This really added to the "Wow!" factor. We could only dream of having such a thing at home. Voice acting, on a home console... imagine that! The soundtrack is very good and stands amongst the better offerings on the NES. It's amazing what a company can squeeze out of such a humble console if given enough time and effort. The sound effects are very good for an arcade and decent/above average for an NES cart.

Of course, there's no real need to get into the controls because if you haven't played this game by now then you must be living under a rock. TMNT is another Konami arcade great and deserves to be placed alongside the best beat-'em-ups in gaming history. You can unlock the arcade version in TMNT: Battle Nexus; that's pretty much the only reason to buy that game.
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Old 01-01-2005, 02:13 AM   #1045
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Heh. I'm going to have to get me Battle Nexus for the arcade version.
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:06 AM   #1046
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The Icarus Awards for Excellence for the Year 2004

Best Graphics: Ninja Gaiden
There's just no shaking the visual splendor of this standout Xbox title. Luscious, exquisite scenery, excellent animation, superb effects, and some of the most intense bosses to be encountered yet. Everything about this game screams quality and, oh yeah, it's a quality adventure. You owe it to yourself to experience this game at least once.

Best Soundtrack: Katamari Damacy
No contest here--Katamari is an aural tour-de-force of Daytona-like proportions. The music is so good it's almost nauseating. I can't help but sing along with most of the tunes, even the ones with Japanese lyrics! Oh my! It puts you in a good mood and that's as much as I could ask for.

Best Storyline: Paper Mario ~ The Thousand-Year Door
Combining both indelible style with witty, humorous substance of an abnormal, seemingly limitless quantity, Paper Mario stole the show, as they say. The quest is deep and super-enjoyable, but the writing is what makes this game as enjoyable as it is. Nintendo's writing skills RAWK SUPREME!

Best Controls: Gradius V
GV nailed this category with tight, precise controls to augment an already killer shooter experience. Difficult? Yes, unquestionably. But with controls this good you cannot blame the game for losing.

Best Art Design: Tie - Astro Boy: Omega Factor / Metroid ~ Zero Mission
I'm a sucker for good old-fashioned gaming and both of these two titles deliver. They play great and look simply fantastic. Although I wasn't too keen about Nintendo adding psuedo-stealth to what would've been a near-perfect game, Nintendo's art design is drop-dead gorgeous in every way. Treasure was a true surprise this year, creating Astro Boy for GBA is a mere three months time, or the same amount of time it took for Virgin to finish Alladin for Genesis. Eek!

Best GBA Game: Astro Boy: Omega Factor
I was so taken aback by this title that my body went numb for a week. Everything about this game is Grade A greatness, save for the lack of variety in enemies. However, the amount of awesome bosses (trademark Treasure) really makes all the difference, sort of like Alien Soldier for Mega Drive, only not quite as relentless. Add to this a wonderful storyline wherein you have tremendous freedom over the course of events, gobs of hidden goodies, an exceptional soundtrack, and great controls and we've got ourselves a winner.

Best PS2 Game: Gradius V
Just slightly ousting Katamari comes another Treasure/Konami installment in the legendary shooter series. It was the reunion that was meant to be. Excuse me while I wipe the moisture from my eyes....

Best Xbox Game: Tie - Ninja Gaiden / RalliSport Challenge 2
Say what you will but Microsoft turned up the heat (bigtime) with the best rally title to come along in over five years. Yes, insatiable fun is had from the moment you pick up the controller to the split-second you put it down, which isn't always an easy thing to do. As well, Tecmo stunned the gaming world with an extremely impressive--and duly difficult--retelling of the legendary Ninja Gaiden series. Halo 2? ...What's that?

Best GC Game: Paper Mario ~ The Thousand-Year Door
Pure, unadulterated fun is to be had by all with this Nintendo masterpiece. It was a very unstable year for the GC and PM had little trouble situating itself atop the rest. Yes, it's better than Metroid Prime 2. Yes, Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga for GBA is still a better game overall. No, I won't give you my copy.

This is it --- this is the moment when a legend will be born!
The 'Best Game of The Year Award' goes to....

Drumroll please.

~~~Astro Boy: Omega Factor
Yup, there she is! She's a beauty! Treasure crafted not only the surprise hit of the year but also my pick for second place: Gradius V Wowzer! Will 2005 be another banner year for Treasure? That remains to be seen. I know one thing: these three titles--Astro Boy, Gradius V and RalliSport 2--are the ones which I will be playing for years to come. Some of the other hits, such as Ninja Gaiden and Metroid Prime 2, are engrossing experiences first play-through but their impact is lessened come the second time around.

Will the new year bring with it a higher fluctuation of quality games than the former? We can only hope so. Although 2004 did hit a few high notes every now and then, it also tested my patience as I would often wait for months on end for a truly great game to come along. I hope 2005 isn't a repeat performance in this respect.

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Old 01-01-2005, 03:44 AM   #1047
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aaaaaaaa I only get out for 4 or 5 days from this fourm and my favorite poster is leveing
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Old 01-01-2005, 10:52 AM   #1048
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Great list Icarus. I agree whole heartedly with almost all of it.
I also feel that the soundtrack to Katamari is completely awesome. I listen to it on a daily basis. It leaves me wondering if Namco has made it impossible for themselves to come up with more great tunes for Katamari 2.
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Old 01-01-2005, 09:31 PM   #1049
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I've always wondered how they can call the NES version of TMNT as "The arcade game". Shouldn't it be called "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The NES game"?

PS - I really didn't find Ninja Gaiden to be tremendously exceptional in the graphics department. It was great, but not outstanding. I think Rallisport Challenge 2's graphics top it. Same with Out Run 2.
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Old 01-02-2005, 12:44 AM   #1050
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PaperEXE, I still have to do Illusion of Gaia.

I wonder about that myself Vic, whether or not Namco can match the original's soundtrack, much less top it. Let's hope so!

Joe, there was the original TMNT game brought out by Ultra Games for the NES (side-scroller). To help differentiate their title from Ultra Games', Konami had to title it TMNT II ~ The Arcade Game so that people wouldn't be given the impression that it was another side-scroller. I found NG to be very engrossing first play-through. However, just like so many other games (e.g. Prime 2), the experience isn't as amazing the second time through. Graphically, I wouldn't underrate NG like that. Although RallySport 2 and OutRun 2 look excellent, they also don't have to worry about keeping tons of animated persons/creatures onscreen which eats up the system's power on other things such as AI, animation and whatnot. Better environments, perhaps so, but when all is said and done NG is the "total package."
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