Friday, January 30, 2009

Flash Game Friday!

It's Friday! Free game time!

This one doesn't actually use Flash, but it is amusing anyways.

See how many video game systems you can name! From 1975 to now!

Click here! Name some systems!


Currently Playing: Animal Crossing: City Folk, Geometry Wars: Galaxies, CrossWorDS

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nine means no in German, but not in English

Mega Man 9! It's a new take on an old classic! Play it!

If you haven't played any of the Mega Man games, stop reading and go play Mega Man. Now, continue reading.

We've all played at least 1 of the old-school Mega Man games. They're tough as leather, but they're loads of fun. Lots of crazy wacky bosses, tons of robotic enemies, and lots of robot-killing spikes. That always makes me wonder. The spikes are made of metal. The robot is made of metal. He can endure water, laser beams, and explosions. That's like humans being destroyed by piles of flesh. Ok, I never should have brought that up.

Anywho, Mega Man 9 is a new game based on the classic NES Mega Man games. In fact, to ensure that the game held true to the classics, they made the screen go all flickery and weird when there were too many enemies on the screen. Awesome.

One of the best parts of original games was the music. It was bumpin', it was kickin', it was awesome. And this one is no different. Naturally, not all the songs are #1 hits, but there are some memorable tunes. Hooray!

Mega Man 9 is, in short, a worthy retelling of a classic mad scientist tale. All the excitement and difficulty of the old titles is intact. Plus, to ease the pain of some of the harder levels, the game takes cues from some of the later Mega Man games by letting you purchase power-ups that can be used as any time. My favorite? The item that lets you hit spikes and not die. I love you, spike-death-preventer.

Conclusion? Buy this game. It's only $10! If you don't have a Wii, go buy one. Then reread this paragraph.

  • Classic Mega Man action
  • Perfect homage to a great franchise
  • You can save!
  • Some levels are too easy, some too hard
  • Some of the powers aren't very useful
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Let me just pause for a moment and give thanks to the beautiful and wonderful woman who makes my life so great. Happy Birthday Rachel! I love you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Secret is the Operative Word

And here we are with yet another game that starts with M. How quaint. You've probably never heard of it. It is called Milon's Secret Castle. Now, you have heard of it. Let us discuss it. And by that, I mean let me tell you about it.

Milon's Secret Castle is an old NES game that borrows heavily from Super Mario Bros. and Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle, both of which are great NES games. You start outside of a castle and you have to work your way in, unlocking items and buying potions to get to the end.

The controls are similar to Mario games, in that you can jump really high, and you can find things hidden in bricks. Also, Milon shoots bubbles which can break bricks. That's some heavy artillery bubblage there. An added 'feature' is that Milon starts walking slow, but if you hold down the button, he speeds up. So... yeah. Energy conservation or something.

As you progress through the game, you find shops in the most random of places. These shops provide you with the most random of items, such as a potion that will make you shrink if you get hit with a boxing glove (I'm not kidding). You need these items to progress. Otherwise, you just get punched for no reason.

The game sounds interesting, no? And it is. It's fun, too. At least, for the first few minutes. After searching for a very long time for somewhere to go besides the bottom floor of the castle, I just gave up. It's ridiculous trying to find everything. After looking up the location of some of the items, I found out for an essential item, you have to break a certain brick, then push the brick next to it in it's place, and then shoot the empty space. And somehow you're supposed to figure this out on your own. Yup. Another NES game with the difficulty set way too high.

The game certainly has its share of frustrations. There are enemies that can go through walls, so there's really no safe place to be. Also, when you get hit, Milon doesn't flash invincible for a few seconds like in most other games. So if you get stuck in a corner with an enemy, you'll be dead really fast. And since you get one whole life and 6 HP, you usually won't live very long. Also, there's no passwords or save points or continues. So... beat it on one life or be smart like me and give up.

To be fair, it has also has its share of good traits. It's done nicely with music and sound effects that fit the mood. The enemies are varied and difficult, but also predictable, so they are beatable.

All in all, it's a semi-decent game. I try to judge games like this based on other games of the same time period, and I can see myself playing this for quite a while as a kid. It's definitely not the worst game I've ever played.

At the very least, it's worth the $1 I payed for it.

  • (Mostly) good controls
  • Good graphics and gameplay for its time
  • Takes some of the good things from Mario and Crazy Castle
  • Extremely confusing
  • No indication of where to go
  • Very hard to find essential items
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Have You Met My Friend Troid?

And here we are again, you and I. One of us, enjoying the fun and excitement of beating a new game every two days. The other, writing this blog. I kid, I kid!

This time, it was Metroid. For the NES. Yeah, it's an oldie. That much is for sure. And, like many games of the mid 80s, it was ridiculously difficult (I'm lookin' at you, TMNT 1!). But, as we know, these early and sometimes less-attractive titles has since blossomed into indispensable franchises.

In any case, this is the first time Samus was called on to save the galaxy. At least, the first time that was documented in video game form. We see many of the same enemies we see in current-generation Metroid games, only slightly less 3-D.

To be honest, Metroid starts out as a really fun game. The physics are nicely done, the graphics are good for their time, and the sound and music fit perfectly with the ambience. That luster tends to wear off, however, when you discover just how stinking easy it is to get lost.

Ok, I'm going to be frank here. I'm not the most patient person in the world. And when you've played games like Metroid Zero Mission, it's easy to say that this version is total crap. You have no map, no indication of where to go, no hints... you're in the dark, buddy. Yeah. It's a dang hard game. We established that. But even so, it's a fun play. Even for NES days, it has it's enjoyable moments.

Now, let me be honest again. I never actually finished the game. At least, not without cheating. A lot. I made a nice map to begin with, but the game got so hard that I couldn't get far enough to explore new areas. So... I used a small, but effective cheat code. It only gives you 30 health. But as soon as you drop below 30, it gives you 30 again. So... yeah. Minor cheat code.

The bosses are not what you might expect from current Metroid games, except that they are very difficult. I have decided that they are actually just baby versions of the monstrosities that Ridley and Kraid have since become. Very, very mean babies.

In any case, the game really is well done, even through 1987 eyes. I actually wish more games like this existed, because that would mean we'd have more matured franchises to play today. But I digress. The game is good. I won't lie. It's hard. Harder than Contra (seriously!). But it's good.

And even if the game wasn't that good, I'd much rather battle Metroids than battle hemorrhoids.

  • The dawn of Samus!
  • Great controls and presentation
  • Classic music
  • Hard
  • Very Hard
  • Too Hard
This game has recieved a Blatantly Biased:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pinball? Famous?

Another one bites the dust! This time it was Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection for Gamecube. It's a bunch of pinball tables! Alrighty then!

Pinball Hall of Fame: The Excessively Long-Named Gottlieb Collection is an amalgamation of several old-school (and I stress old) pinball games all rolled into one (get it?). It includes tables from all the way back in the 50s, to some that are a little less stupid. I kid. But seriously, compared to current video game pinball tables, some of these are lame.

And I guess, there's a reason for that. They're trying to conserve the nostalgia of the older tables. They have no music, they have really strange themes and backgrounds, and I kid you not, one of them has a score counter that can go no higher than 9,999. Wow.

In all seriouslessness, though, some of these tables aren't too bad. There's one from 1993 with a golf theme. That one's pretty good. And really, none of them are terrible. In fact, the physics are, for the most part, quite accurate to real life.

But we haven't even got to my favorite part yet. You can enter cheat codes. And one of those codes lets you play forever. How amazing is that? Yeah, I know. Cheat codes are for cheaters. No duh. But I think that's about the only way to unlock everything. Which I have done.

Ok, so, in addition to the pinball tables, they have a few old-style arcade machines, like the love machine, that randomly selects how much in love you are with the other person. I recommend not playing this game with a sibling of the same gender.

Also included is a Playboy table. Seriously! But it's not what you think. It's Playboy as in rich person who gambles, not Playboy like Women-As-Objects Monthly. It's not so much a pinball table as it is a table with holes in it that you launch a pinball into. Each hole is marked by a playing card, so you try to get good cards (as if you can control it) and get the best hand. Yup.

So, in conclusion, I believe there's a reason this one is a bargain bin title. It's pinball, yeah. And I love pinball. But after games like Metroid Prime and Pokemon themed pinball, it's hard to go back to stuff like this.

  • Classic pinball tables
  • Realistic physics
  • Bonus arcade games
  • BOOOOORING! (sometimes)
  • Annoying announcer
  • There's a scary monkey on the 'Central Park' table
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

They're Looney, alright

Hoo-hah! More games beaten for 50 by 4-19! Today it's Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal. The Looney Tunes are kinda like anything with Mario or Ninja Turtles. I just need it. Even if it's lame. Which, sometimes it is.

Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal is a platformer starring your favorite Looney Tunes characters. You can play as Bugs, Daffy, and many others. In the game, Dr. Frankenbeans has gone back in time to erase the Looney Tunes' ancestors. It's your job to go back and keep Tut Bugs, King Daffy, and Colonel Foghorn from being destroyed.

First, let's start with the good things. The voice acting is mostly really good. While it's not Mel Blanc, it's not too bad. Plus, there are some fully animated cut scenes in between some of the levels. They too, are mostly well done. Much of the classic Looney Tunes humor is intact. Also, there are some cool weapons, like a grenade launcher and flamethrower. And then there are really cool weapons, like a sawblade gun, a giant punching boxing glove, and a cream pie launcher. Awesome.

As far as graphics go, the game actually looks quite good. They're simple, but not crappy. The characters and enemies are animated well and I don't think there was ever any slowdown. Naturally, the characters have a nice and smooth elastic and animated feel. Very good.

Unfortunately, there's not much else that's great. Good, but not great. The levels are nice, but they're nothing over-the-top. Sometimes there are far too many enemies in one place, and some of them are shooting you from a distance, so you can't kill them if you don't have a gun.

But my biggest gripe is with the controls. I'll bet this isn't an issue on other versions of the game. There are certain parts where you have to use a spin move to be able to make it across large gaps. To spin, you have to turn the nunchuk a quarter turn either left or right. But to say that the move is unresponsive would be an understatement. I'd say it works about 1/3rd of the time. That's just stupid. All they had to do was make it so you pushed a button instead of twisting the nunchuk sideways (which is kind of uncomfortable anyways).

Now don't get me wrong. That game has its fun parts. It's just that it feels unfinished. Which is really too bad, because the game would have been much more fun with more polish. For example, when you die, the character says something, but it doesn't even give the character enough time to say it before the level reloads. Also, one of cutscenes is wrong, so you never really get to see what happens to Colonel Forgorn. Again, these are things that should have been fixed before production.

All in all, it's not a terrible game, but it could have been much better. Hopefully someday someone will make a great Looney Tunes game. Maybe they should let Nintendo have a shot at it...

  • Classic Looney Tunes humor
  • Nicely animated cut scenes
  • Merciless and unresponsive motion controls
  • Many glitches
  • Simply feels unfinished
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You got street in my jam!

NBA Jam was the best basketball game of its time. You could play as real stars, and you could push Dennis Rodman to the floor. It was great. There was no out-of-bounds, no fouls, and if you knew the cheat codes, you could dunk from anywhere on the court. It was pure fun.

NBA Street is the best basketball sim since NBA Jam. (Looney Tunes B-Ball is better, but there are no real players, so it's different). You can play as your favorite team, plus you can create a custom player so you can play alongside all-stars from years past. Surprisingly, NBA Street v2 is even better. It takes the adrenaline up a notch, intensifies the frenetic gameplay, and adds even more trick moves.

The premise of the game is street basketball, obviously. The courts range from trash-strewn alleys to high school gyms. It's all 3-on-3, so you can pick 3 out of the 5 best players of any team. If you beat enough teams, you can unlock legend teams and players, like Magic Johnson and Bob Cousy.

Now don't let the real players get you down. This is not real basketball. Anyone can dunk. Seriously. Anyone. You can alley-oop from 20 feet away, or do trick moves to throw your opponent off. There's no double-dribble or travelling either, so feel free to play like a girl. And my favorite part? No goal-tending. So feel free to grab the ball no matter where it is. Stand under the rim and block shots all day. No one cares.

One of the stand-outs of NBA Street is the Gamebreaker. It is similar to the Gamebreaker in NFL or FIFA Street games. If you build up enough trick points, you can shoot or dunk the ball. If you make it, you'll get points, plus your opponent will lose points. So make sure you do lots of tricks. Like a dog. Or... a rabbit.

In short, the game is a lot of fun. It takes everything great about NBA Street 1 and improves almost everything. It has great multiplayer and loads of replay value. Seriously. I never get tired of pushing Kobe Bryant in the back.

Anyway, this is the 5th game on my goal of 50 by 4-19. Yeah, I know, I'm way behind. But I'm workin' on it. I've got several games in progress, so I think I can still pull it off. More on that later in the week...

  • Awesome NBA Jam-style b-ball action
  • No goal-tending!
  • Loads of fun, with lots of unlockables
  • One-player mode can get a little repetitive
  • AI is crazy sometimes
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Civil Rights Day!

It's always a great day to play video games.

Image (c) 2007 AlmightyNabeshin (

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Bigger They Are...

The more sales they hold! It was announced today that major electronics retailer Circuit City is closing the doors on every US store. That's 500 some-odd locations shutting down. The good part? Liquidation! Starting tomorrow (Saturday the 17th) Circuit City stores across the nation will start liquidating their stock. This could mean good sales, but it may not. I don't really see them putting 50% discounts on the good stuff just yet. But I shall check it out nonetheless. I would advise all video game and DVD fans to check it out just in case.

I can't say that I'm totally broken up by this news, but I have received many a great deal at Circuit City. Just a couple of weeks ago I got Mortal Kombat DS for like $10 new. That's awesome. And there have been lots of other great deals. Then again, there have been times when I went there and waited in line for 20 minutes for 1 stupid item. So bittersweet news it is.

I guess this shows that even the biggest of businesses are vulnerable to this economic instability. But we also don't know how stable they were to begin with. We will probably never know. In any case, they are leaving, so head out there and grab some deals while you can!

While I'm here, we may as well have us a Flash Game Friday! That's right! Time for me to introduce to you another great way to waste time and have some fun when you don't have a Wii or DS on hand.

Ok, so technically this wasn't made with flash, but it doesn't matter, cause it's Friday and it's a game. So, here ya go!

The premise? Make something out of dirt, or water or oil, or something else. Then start it on fire, or grow some trees, or burn something, or... burn something else. Fun!

Click here to play New Sand Game. Go have some fun!


Currently Playing: My Japanese Coach, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Animal Crossing: City Folk

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To The Truck!

It's ok! I'm here! Honest! I wish I had some awesome story to tell you, like that I was called out of town on an emergency meeting with the president, and then some hijacker tried to take over the plane, but I managed to break his skull with my always-handy Wii remote, and then the pilot passed out so I guided the plane to a not-extremely smooth but decent landing in a field in Iowa. Then I ran to Washington.

But I don't have that awesome story. But I do have an awesome game to tell you about. It's exciting. And there are trucks. I think that might have something to do with the game's name. Which is Excite Truck. For Wii. It was a launch title, and it's kinda hard to find it seems. But I found it on sale at good ol' KMart a long time ago, and then finally got around to playing at Christmastime.

Excite Truck follows in the style of the ol' Excite bike games of the NES and N64. But this time, there are trucks and jeeps and SUVs and all manner of exciting vehicles to drive. And naturally, they go way faster and higher than in real life. That's what makes it fun, of course. Also like the old excite games, you have a turbo boost that you can use at any time, but you also have to watch your thermostat, because if you overheat, you lose your boost for a short while.

The game takes you to various locations in China, Scotland, Fiji, Canada, and Mexico. You can expect ridiculous jumps, insane tracks, and huge ramps. Also expect to crash about a billion times. But it's ok, cause you can get right back up and keep going. Plus, you get a star for good crashes.

Speaking of stars, the point of the game is to get loads of stars, not necessarily finish first. For example, each track has a set number of stars you must earn before the race is over for you to unlock the next track. You can earn stars for staying in the air a long time, drifting around large corners, and of course, wrecking other cars. Plus, you get bonus stars for finishing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

Since the game is on Wii, you control it by holding the Wii remote sideways and tilting it to turn. It makes it very easy to control, in addition to the fact that steering is quite easy. The game is really easy to just pick up and play, which makes it nice. Also, the game looks great. You can see a long ways ahead, so you can judge where to land, for example if another truck is right below you. Awesome.

In short, the game is pure adrenaline-pumped fun. I played it for hours and couldn't put it down. Plus, for the most part, it's not too hard to unlock all the tracks and trucks. It's perfect excitement! Also, nothing is more fun than t-boning another truck at 190 MPH. Sweet.

  • Stays true to the Excite paradigm
  • Easy to pick up and play, but plenty of strategy to learn
  • Lots of tracks and trucks to unlock
  • Not too hard!
  • The last track is significantly harder to beat than all the others
  • On rare occasions, the steering doesn't respond perfectly
This game has earned a Blatantly Biased: