Sunday, January 20, 2013

. . . and Then Some Dreamcast Happened Vol 4: The Voyage Home

Ecco - Defender of the Future
This is the one Dreamcast game covered so far that I've never played. Always swam away from the opening tutorial and had me some nice mellow dolphin sim time. Using it to soothe the mind is so ingrained by this point  I'm not entirely sure I could go save the world from aliens. Very nice to look at and not creepy even after reading all about dolphin sex.

Fighting Vipers 2
I fired up this fighter hoping for a 3D version of Tapeworm for the 2600. Instead, it turned out to be some sort of fighter. So I used my usual level of skill at character selection and went with the dude wearing aviator goggles. He turned out to dress as a car and bellow "VROOM" at a guy who strapped his 10 speed to his back. Then I pressed the same two buttons a lot and won 5 rounds. The game made me miss Bloody Roar on the PS1 a bit and ultimately came nowhere near replacing it.

Fire Pro-Wrestling D
Everytime I play a wrestling game, part of me hopes for those old Technos arcade games like Wrestlefest. The controls were simpler, things didn't get bogged down by brutally forced attempts at storytelling, and the character models didn't have polygon cut out problems. So naturally when I finally find something one could consider a descendant, it has to be very heavy on the Japanese text. Thing is even without instructions, I managed to start some matches and get the controls down. As a bonus, the roster is pretty ridiculous. If the person was remotely famous  and active at that time, no matter the country, there's a good chance they'll be available. You can form that Austin/Goldberg tagteam you always wanted and have it beat the ever loving crap out of Kevin Nash. Good engine, very effective graphics, a wide array of options... my only real issue with the game stems from my own ignorance of the language and absolutely nothing on the part of the developer.

Super Floigan Bros. Episode I
I really wish they didn't use the words "super" and bros." in the title of this game. Creating the expectation of a Mario-clone never works out. That's especially true in a case like this where the game is actually fairly unique. It's got the look and humor of a classic MGM/WB animated short and is only a platformer sporadically. You're trying  to help a big lunk assemble a special present for your character and guiding him along the way by solving puzzles, playing mini-games, and all things considered rarely jumping around a lot. I wished there was a jump button when it came time to try and shimmy along some thin pipes to hit a switch using the joystick but that's very typical of me. What is pretty universally annoying about the game is its length. For a moderately skilled gamer, it should take a bit over an hour. Seeing as it came out near the end of  the system's life but was hyped in pre-release video, that is especially anti-climactic. Of course I am wondering if there were some big plans for it due to the whole "Episode 1" subtitle and the fact that one of  the save files on my VMU featured the word "monthly." If this had been an early instance of an online serialized title, it could really have worked. As is, it's a decent engaging little bit of Of Mice and Men/Tex Avery love that ultimately feels incomplete.

Frogger 2: Swampy's Revenge
This one surprised me. I remember it being leprosy on plastic. Seems that with some distance from the near constant release of totally pointless compilations, ill-conceived franchise revials, Frogger 2 isn't half bad. The "plot" amounts to a gator being pissed at serving as a log and stealing some kids to get even. It's not belabored and adds some item hunting to the gameplay mix. At the core, it's fairly similar to the original but with revolutionary enhancements made since then such as jumping. This will probably get added to my list of enjoyable once in awhile titles which is more than I can say for Centipede.

Gauntlet Legends
Do you like Gauntlet? If so, this is the same basic thing but with much less stylish graphics and some pretense of a plot. I'd much rather play on the NES and drive my dad insane by informing him that red warrior is in fact "it" repeatedly.

Gigawing+Gigawing 2
Vertical scrolling shooter. Fun at parties. Easy to control. Enjoyable to play. Not much  else to say really.  Besides oooh pretty KABOOOOM! x2.

That's it for this week. Next on deck there's maximum boobage, some more shooters, METAL, and cel-shading. 

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